Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan, who was fired from a singing engagement at the behest of an Azerbaijani tenor, with whom she was scheduled to perform, issued a statement, in which her representatives say the opera company had discriminated against her for her nationality and asked for an apology.
Armenian soprano expects apologies from opera organizers for being discriminated on ethnicity
Mantashyan was scheduled to perform on February 7 at SemperOpernBall in Dresden, Germany. She was told by organizers that she would no longer be performing after they booked Azerbaijani tenor Yusiv Eyvazov, who said he would not perform with an Armenian with Mantashyan because she is Armenian.
Semper Opera Ball organizers issued a statement claiming that Mantashyan was not contracted to perform and dodging responsibility for siding with a xenophobic performer. Mantashyan’s agents also issued a statement countering the event organizers’ claims.
Mantashyan’s agent René Massis urged the chairman the chairman and artistic director of Dresden Opera Ball Hans-Joachim Frey to apologize to Mantashyan in a revelatory statement that alleges that the February 7 event organizers chose to side with Eyvazov.
Massis accused Frey of muddying the waters by “intentionally” obscuring the matter by on the one hand elevating the opera company’s history of diversity while, at the same time, cancelling Mantashyan’s performance, which was highlighted in a company press release last month.
“One would think that you were forced to [cancel] due to the inflexibility of your guest star,” said Massis’ statement. “While this in not desirable, but the facts are there: Ruzan Mantashyan has been withdrawn from the project.”
“The best approach would have been, at least to apologize to Miss Mantashyan,” said the statement adding that the company did not attempt to make contact with the Armenian soprano and, instead, opted to address the matter in a press statement.
“Instead, in your press release of January 15, you dismiss, in an arrogant and insulting tone, the concrete arguments we had made to back up the facts of our version,” said Massis’ statement, which challenges the opera company on whether it would want the matter litigated. Massis also insists that agreement on Mantashyan’s participation was reached in December. As such, the opera company announced Mantashyan as a performer for the February 7 event.
Membrs of Armenia’s National Assembly have decided to send a letter to the German Bundestag—parliament—regarding Mantashyan’s dismissal from the bill.
“The Semper Opernball festival cancelled singer Ruzan Mantashyan’s performance at the demand of Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who is singer Anna Netrepko’s husband, because of Ruzan Mantashyan’s Armenian nationality. We, the parliamentary standing committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, have drafted a letter and would like it to be signed by as many lawmakers as possible. The letter is addressed to the Budestag, in order to draw their attention on the xenophobic manifestations taking place in Dresden,” said Artur Manukyan, a lawmaker representing the ruling My Step bloc.