Opera Australia finds itself in the middle of a publicity shitstorm this weekend, facing calls to sack soprano Tamar Iveri over homophobic comments she made in a open letter to the president of her home country, Georgia.

Iveri, whose name was probably unknown to anyone but opera insiders yesterday, posted a rambling, multi-page rant on her Facebook page, comparing gay people to “fecal masses” and condemning Georgia for allowing a western-style pride parade in the country.

After the rant was criticised, Iveri scrambled to hit delete, but someone had already archived and translated a copy, which you may or may not want to read here, depending on your tolerance level for homophobic ranting and weird digressions about small dogs.

This morning, the singer furiously tried to distance herself from the remarks, claiming that her husband – who sounds like a cool dude – made the post in her name, and that everyone should chill because she has lots of “very dear” gay friends.

The post did little to satisfy her detractors, who are calling for the singer to be fired from the Sydney production of Otello, which is currently in rehearsals ahead of its premiere next month, and also from an upcoming Melbourne production of Tosca.

Opera Australia fans have threatened to boo her in her performances, and called her apologies half-hearted. There is already a Change.Org petition calling for Opera Australia to revoke her passport, although I don’t know that the bigwigs of Australia opera actually have those kinds of powers.

For those following the story, we suggest trying our Tamar Iveri drinking game: Any time some Facebook doofus chimes in about how “freedom of speech” means being able to say whatever hateful bullshit you want with zero consequences, take a shot.

via Sydney Morning Herald

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