Soprano Tamar Iveri Plans Benefit Concert for LGBT People to Apologize for Homophobic Letter
Soprano Tamar Iveri announced yesterday that she is planning a benefit concert in Tbilisi, Georgia dedicated to gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities. Iveri said that the concert is a way to apologize once more to LGBT people for a letter expressing homophobic sentiments that was posted to her Facebook page last year.
The concert, which Iveri said is "dedicated to the victims of all kinds of violence," will take place in Tbilisi on October 11, which is National Coming Out Day (NCOD). All money raised at the charity event will be used to assist victims of violence.
The letter in question was posted to Iveri's Facebook page on May 18, 2013, the day after Orthodox Christian groups violently assaulted participants in a gay pride march in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
The letter reportedly included the following statements: "I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade" and "Please, stop vigorous attempts to bring the West's 'faecal masses' in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda."
The post was quickly taken down, but news of the letter's contents made it into the Georgian news media.
Iveri later explained that her husband had written the offending comments and posted the letter to her account, using her name.
She wrote in a separate Facebook post, "For my entire career I have been working with gay people and some of them are very dear friends. All of them can confirm that I [have] never [expressed] a word that might associate me with homophobic ideas," she wrote.
Regardless of who actually wrote the letter, it had negative consequences for Iveri's career. News of the letter sparked outrage from opera fans and LGBT communities in Australia, where Iveri was set to perform as Desdemona in Opera Australia's production of Verdi's Othello this month.
The Guardian reported that Opera Australia released Iveri from her contract, "describing views attributed to the singer towards gay people as 'unconscionable.'"
And La Monnaie Opera in Brussels is also reported to have replaced Iveri, who was scheduled to appear in their production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera in 2015.
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