‘Homophobic’ soprano loses second role

‘Homophobic’ soprano loses second role


norman lebrecht

June 23, 2014

Hours after the Monnaie theatre in Brussels announced that it was cancelling her contract for next season, Tamar Iveri was ‘released’ from singing Desdemona at Opera Australia in two weeks time.  A replacement has yet to be announced.

‘Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,’ read the Facebook statement. ‘Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.’

Ms Iveri posted an abusive anti-gay statement on her Facebook page a year ago. Today, she added a statement of regret for her dismissal.


tamar iveri

Ms Iveri’s career is now in jeopardy. She is represented by Zemsky/Green management, whose roster includes such outstanding sopranos as Anja Harteros, Kristine Opolais, Eva Maria Westbroek and Pretty Yende. Their damage control mechanisms have not functioned well this weekend.


UPDATE: How an opera turf war blew into a world furore. Click here.


  • Boyd Vivian says:

    I find this very frightening. Whether one agrees or disagrees with an artist’s political or social positions, to watch the political correct police insist on the removal of an artist, is distressing….I am sure that in many instances, if I knew the positions held by many of today’s leading artist’s on many subjects, I would not agree at all. And possibly find their views offensive. BUT, to watch them be removed from theatre’s because of their positions, smacks of politics gone wrong…If today, these opinions call for dismissal, what might tomorrow bring?

    • pyotr ilyic says:

      Hopefully tomorrow will bring a work environment in which gay colleagues are less afraid of working with someone who openly advocates physical violence against them. Political correctness gone mad of course.

    • Max Grimm says:

      “….I am sure that in many instances, if I knew the positions held by many of today’s leading artist’s on many subjects, I would not agree at all.”

      The fact that you do not know their opinions shows you how very smart they are in keeping their singing/playing/acting etc. in the forefront and not their views on non-work related things. The only frightening thing is Mrs. Iveri’s utter naïveté in this entire matter. If you are in the focus of the public, and publicly voice opinions that will cause an employer to lose money or a reputation by continuing a working relationship with you, you’ll not be retained. And this business truth is certainly a universal one, be it in the East, the West, Georgia, Australia or Belgium.

  • PB says:

    I don’t really feel comfortable with the online “execution” of this singer’s career, but on the other hand someone who works in the public eye has to be a little more discreet if they hold personal views which are considered unacceptable in contemporary society…..

  • CDH says:

    So nobody is accepting her statement that it was her husband (which of course raises other questions) on her Facebook page, and that she in no way endorsed his views…does she have a prior reputation that makes her denial unbelievable? I don’t know anything about her.

    • Max Grimm says:

      The problem is that after the Facebook statement came up the first time, she did not distance herself and stood by what had been written. And yes, there have been previous comments about certain groups (albeit less vilely phrased) that one would probably not utter publicly or in civilized conversation.
      Personally, although I am neither homophobe nor homophile, it has been my experience that when it comes to couples, it is rather rare to find couples with religious and social views on opposite ends of the spectrum. If one person’s views are extreme, often the other person will share those views or simply won’t care and indulge the other person.

  • Anon says:

    CDH, I have been following this saga since it was first spawned on a little known opera facebook page with a mixture of horror and sense of justice at her execution. What made her lie unbelievable was that after she released that statement that it was “her religious husband’s opinions”, journalists managed to uncover an interview she gave in Georgia four months after she initially recanted her statement where she said she still supported the views in her letter and never mentioned that her husband wrote it at all. The only mention of him was that he shared the same views as her. Even now she refuses to apologise or make amends, seeming only to spin further tale to save her contracts and career.

  • David Boxwell says:

    People can believe whatever they want; they do need to have common sense (if they can’t actually summon up human decency) about expressing those beliefs in public, especially when they are in the public eye and their livelihoods depend on the good will of artistic associates and the punters. TI is just one more individual in the business of show who needs to learn that lesson.