Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan has been invited back to perform in an opera in Dresden and she has accepted the call back.
This is the latest in a series of developments in this saga worthy of an opera itself.
Mantashyan was invited to perform at the SemperOpernball on February 7 alongside an American tenor, who cancelled his performance. The event organizers then booked Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Ayvazov who refused to perform with Mantashyan because of her nationality. That’s when the situation became thorny as SemperOpernball president issued a statement saying that Mantashyan was never confirmed on the bill for the event sparking a controversy that also hit a sour note with several German musicians who took to social media to express their outrage at the apparent racism by the event organizers.
On Thursday, Mantashyan told Armenpress that she was invited back to perform on February 7.
“I was offered to perform at the concert. After lengthy deliberations I accepted the offer. That itself will be a victory,” Mantashyan told Armenpress. Reportedly, she will perform Tatiana’s aria in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opera.
Earlier this week, Mantashyan’s agent slammed Eyvazov and the SemperOpernball leaders, saying that the soprano was demanding an apology for the obvious discrimination she experienced.
Renowned Armenian singer Hasmik Papian had condemned the event organizers from day one. On Thursday she took to Facebook to declare victory.
“Is this a victory, many will ask? Yes, of course,” Papian wrote on Facebook. “Speaking about the problem, we at the same time helped the Germans to review and correct the mistake, restore justice and save their faces.”
Eyvazov’s protests and SemperOpernball’s decision to cancel Mantashyan’s performance angered many German artists who took to social media to express their concerns.
“Mr. Eyvazov, shame on you!” the renowned bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff wrote on Facebook. “Racism has no place in our profession as a singer and in general in this world!!!”
German bass Rene Pape condemned Eyvazov in a public statement on the matter.
“Usually I do not comment such things, but as a Dresden native and as an ambassador of music, art and antiracism, I have to tell my esteemed colleague Yusuf not to bring any hate into my town or somewhere else. To be able to make music means to be able to build bridges, not to destroy them… To be invited to sing here and to make an audience happy is an honor and a privilige! You should be proud and happy to be asked to be a part of it,” said Pape.