General News

Australian opera company parts ways with star over gay slur row

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Jun 23, 2014 | 5:55am EDT

Bosses at Australia's most prominent opera company have cut ties with soprano Tamar Iveri after she was embroiled in a homophobia row. The Georgian performer had been hired to appear in Opera Australia's production of Otello, but she faced a backlash after posts on her Facebook.com page from last year (13) came to light. In the messages, Iveri appeared to support violent attacks on gay rights activists in her native country, describing protesters as "fecal masses". Opera Australia chiefs have now released the star from her contract. A statement from the company reads, "Opera Australia confirms soprano Ms Tamar Iveri will not be performing in Otello. "Opera Australia has reached (an) agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company. "Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri. "Ms Iveri has unreservedly apologised for those comments and views. Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable." In the wake of her dismissal, Iveri returned to her Facebook.com account to apologise and claimed that her husband was the one who wrote the original post. The production of Otello is set to take place at the Sydney Opera House from 5 July (14). A replacement for Iveri has yet to be announced.

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