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Pet Shop Boys To Premiere Alan Turing Opera Today

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Wednesday evening, Pet Shop Boys will perform their original opera about gay codebreaker Alan Turing. Turing is often pointed to as an overlooked person in history — during WWII he played a key role in the watershed cracking of the Enigma Code. But in 1952 Turing was arrested for homosexuality, and in 1954 he took his own life.

Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant explains that the band's interest in Tennant stems from an 80s play in London's West End — Hugh Whitemore's Breaking the Code. The Guardian quotes Tennant:

You really get a feeling of this extraordinary quirky genius when you learn about Turing. [He] made a big impression on people that knew him, because he was such an unusual person … coming from this different era of V-neck sweaters and sports jackets, yet having this incredible vision of the Universal Machine, and going round telling people he was homosexual.

The often-quotable Tennant goes on to describe the political situation in England today regarding gay rights, and he notes that even conservatives like Prime Minister David Cameron are for marriage equality.

It isn't really a party political issue any more. I think what really happened is we've moved, not totally, but as a society, away from toleration to acceptance, and a reasonably happy acceptance actually. All parties are supporting that now...You'd have to ask David Cameron about his motives, because I know what certain people say about it. Nonetheless he's run with this issue.

Pet Shop Boys will premiere their Turing-inspired work, A Man From the Future, this evening (July 23). The performance will feature Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. You can find audio and visual streams via BBC here, the show starts at 5:15pm ET.


Georgian Soprano Tamar Iveri Plans Benefit Concert To Apologize To Gay People

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Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri announced yesterday that she intends to hold a benefit concert in Tbilisi dedicated to sexual minorities, reports Classical Lite.

Last month, Iveri was released from her contract with Opera Australia after posting anti-gay comments on Facebook in which she referred to gay people as “faecal masses.”  The homophobic post was framed as a letter to the Georgian president regarding the violence which occurred at a gay march in Georgia in 2012.

Iveri said that the planned concert, which is "dedicated to the victims of all kinds of violence," is to apologize to LGBT people.

The concert will take place in Tbilisi on October 11, which is National Coming Out Day. All money raised at the event will be used to assist victims of violence.

Describing Iveri’s views as “unconscionable”, Opera Australia has since replaced her with Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian. 


Opera Australia Replaces Homophobic Tamar Iveri Following ‘Unconscionable’ Facebook Post

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Opera Australia has announced a replacement for Tamar Iveri, the Georgian singer who was dumped last week following comments on Facebook in which she compared homosexuals with "faecal masses".

Describing Iveri’s views as “unconscionable”, Opera Australia released her contract to perform the role of Desdemona in their production of Otello.

20140623-123328-45208391Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian will now replace Iveri in the production. Addressing concerns regarding Iveri’s other Opera Australia contracts, the company said they are following the “same due process” they underwent with her role in Otello.

In her Facebook post, which was presented as an open letter to Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili after Christian Orthodox groups violently assaulted members of a gay pride march in the capital of Tbilisi in May, Iveri wrote:

“I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade … Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future, and to be taken into account seriously. Please, stop vigorous attempts to bring the west’s ‘faecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.”

Iveri later claimed that the post, which has since been deleted, had been written by her husband.  

However, in an interview made public by Georgian LGBTQIA,  Iveri states she wrote the original homophobic post and also makes further homophobic comments:

"On that day, as readers might have noticed I was very agitated and absolutely sincere in expressing my opinions. at the end of the status I even apologised to readers if they had found it impolite. My agitation was caused by the turmoil and accidental or deliberate promotion, propaganda, which in those days was passing through the media. My friends were calling and telling me that children were talking about gay parade all day long and that they could not take that anymore. When we do not tell them what that (gay parade) is exactly, they surf the internet and ask us to take there.”

Watch a report on the May 17 violence in Tbilisi, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Opera Australia Replaces Homophobic Tamar Iveri Following ‘Unconscionable’ Facebook Post" »


Opera Australia Dumps Star Soprano Tamar Iveri For Disgusting, Anti-Gay Facebook Remarks

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Georgian singer Tamar Iveri (right), a soprano contracted to perform in Opera Australia's upcoming production of Otello, was released this weekend after posting anti-gay comments on her Facebook page. The post was framed as a letter to the Georgian president regarding the violence which occurred at a gay march in the capital of Tbilisi. 

The Guardian reports:

“I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade … Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future, and to be taken into account seriously,” the post said. It was deleted following the recent backlash.

“Please, stop vigorous attempts to bring the west’s ‘faecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.”

On Monday Opera Australia shared a Facebook post of its own, saying Iveri would not be performing the role of Desdemona in Otello.

“Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,” it wrote.

“Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.”

Iveri now claims the post was written by her husband, stating that he has a "tough attitude towards gay people," and is "very religious." Her arguments seem not to have swayed anyone, as she has reportedly been dropped from a 2015 performance with a Belgian opera company as well.

The public response to Iveri's dismissal has been overwhelmingly positive.


Opera Diva Renée Fleming Sings National Anthem at Super Bowl: VIDEO

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Opera diva Renée Fleming did the "Star Spangled" honors at Super Bowl XVLIII at MetLife Stadium on Sunday evening.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch a Free, Live Webcast of the New 'Brokeback Mountain' Opera

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This week we reported that a new opera based on the classic Annie Proulx short story and film Brokeback Mountain opened in Madrid. Now, you'll be able to see it:

Medici.TV 3_brokebackwill present a free, live webcast of the world premiere production of Charles Wuorinen’s new opera, "Brokeback Mountain," from Madrid’s Teatro Real on Friday, February 7 at 2pm (EST).

The American composer, whose honors include both a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, based his opera on the short story of the same name by his fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx, who wrote the libretto herself. Starring Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and American tenor Tom Randle as closeted ranch hands Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, Madrid’s world premiere production is directed by Ivo van Hove, general director of the Toneelgroep in Amsterdam, under the leadership of conductor Titus Engel.

The live webcast will be available for free streaming on demand for 90 days, beginning on February 7. You can also watch medici.tv concerts on the iPhone with the free medici.tv App.

Watch some video clips of the opera, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Watch a Free, Live Webcast of the New 'Brokeback Mountain' Opera" »


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