An Azerbaijani tenor has reportedly forced organizers of an event to force out an Armenian soprano with whom he was scheduled to perform.
According to the music news site slipedisc.com, Armenia’s Ruzan Mantashyan was invited to perform at The Semper Opera Ball, a classical entertainment event in Dresden, Germany. She was scheduled to sing a duet with an American tenor; however, he was unavailable to perform. As a result, the opera house replaced the American tenor with Azerbaijan’s Yusif Eyvazov, husband of world-renowned soprano Anna Netrebko.
At first, Eyvazov was more than willing to perform at the opera house, until he learned that he was paired with a soprano from Armenia. After realizing Mantashyan’s ethnicity, Eyvazov refused to partake in the performance. Instead, he demanded she be fired from the program altogether. As a result of his outburst, the Dresden organizers rescinded Mantashyan’s invitation, in order to retain Eyvazov.
World famous opera singer Hasmik Papian expressed her outrage on social media saying that forcing Mantashyan out because of her ethnicity was political.
“I have sang in the mentioned opera theater and I cannot recall any similar incident. I plan to raise my voice of protest,” Papian said in her social media post.
The organizers of the event rejected the accusations in a released statement noting, “The artistic director of SemperOperaball, Hans-Joachim Frey, however, strongly condemned the accusation as an insinuation. At no time had there been a contract with Ruzan Mantashyan for a performance at SemperOperaball on Feb. 7, 2020. Nor did Yusif Eyvazov ever make the collaboration with a fellow singer dependent on her origin. However, it is now assumed that there may have been misunderstandings in communication with Ms. Mantashyan’s agencies,” reported operawire.com.
The Semperoper Dresden is preparing for its annual ball, which is set to take place on February 7.