What was Tamar Iveri thinking?
I have been a professional performer now for getting on to 45 years. It takes a lot to upset me. My job is to truthfully present a story in three dimensions, and to get an audience to react to my performance by letting me know they have been changed by some aspect of the story they have witnessed.
I have watched recreations of major events worldwide on stage and screen, stories told by talented performers who have made sure their audience received the message they were attempting to deliver and showed how they were moved by the mirror that has been held up to them by the actors.
Quite frankly, nothing has made me as angry as the reported slur on the LBGT community by Tamar Iveri, a person who earns her living in a community that has fought for and gained a reputation for fairness and equality in the workplace – the entertainment industry. This industry has always nurtured talent, no matter what its sexual proclivity might be, and that has meant that our LGBT friends should always feel safe in and out of the workplace.
Seldom though have I been allowed to witness a drama of such Wagnerian proportions unfold as quickly and effectively as that which has erupted from the reaction of the entertainment world, subscribers and corporate sponsors of Opera Australia to the rather unfortunate letter by Tamar Iveri giving her opinion of the LGBT community. Reactions have been played out in the social media and just go to show how effective the combined voice of an outraged arts, and arts-friendly, community can be. Don’t think because you live on the other side of the world that a thoughtless and cruel letter published on your Facebook page will not serve to be instrumental in your undoing. If you are cruel and thoughtless, as it appears Tamar Iveri has been, and then choose to attempt to lie your way out of it, you will be found out. Outraged people will be crying out for revenge, and they will get it.
Opera Australia found itself cornered by an angry and defiant body of people who would not let this event pass over and be swept under the carpet.
By their actions in standing down Tamar Iveri, they have redeemed themselves, and hopefully ensured that other bigoted and thoughtless individuals will think very carefully before inciting hatred and violence in an open letter.
It will only come back and bite you.
Was Opera Australia right to stand down Tamar Iveri – or could they have taken some other action regarding the situation? Have your say below!