Wednesday, September 11, 2013

French Blog: US Opera Companies Rescue Gay Russians?

(Members of Gays Without Borders and SF Opera patrons on the steps of the War Memorial Opera House, September 6. Credit: Bill Wilson.)

A popular LGBT political and cultural web site in France known as Yagg assigned reporter Maelle Le Corre to cover the several recent developments in the opera world, related to Russia's anti-gay propaganda law. Of course, I'm proud that our Gays Without Borders group in San Francisco and our advocacy and cooperation with the SF Opera company receives attention. Merci!

Here is a rough translation via Google of Maelle Le Corre's story in French:

September 23 will be held the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, with representation Eugene Onegin, an opera composed by 's Tchaikovsky based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin. On stage, this is the famous Russian soprano Anna Netrebko will play Tatiana. While eyes are on Russia because of laws prohibiting " homosexual propaganda ", many voices were raised to the Metropolitan Opera dedicate the opening of the season in the LGBT solidarity. The symbolism is even stronger than Tchaikovsky himself was gay [...]

There was one year, Anna Nebretko was officially showed its support for Vladimir Putin during his election campaign, as well as the conductor of the Opera, Valery Gergiev [...]

Another opera star, American Joyce DiDonato, she given voice to show er solidarity with the Russian LGBT peoples last Saturday evening at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London .

To put pressure on the Met institution, the composer Andrew Rudin has launched a petition . But the Met, the idea of dedicating the performance of Eugene Onegin is clearly not on the agenda  [...]

Across the United States, the San Francisco Opera has not dedicated its season opening night opera Mephistopheles to LGBT Russia as militant gays requested. But on September 6, the night of the show, a gathering had been authorized before the opera. 

Despite his refusal to rule on the question of human rights, the director David Gockley gave his blessing : "Over the years we have received many similar requests, to officially embrace some of the reasons why we personally great empathy. However we decided that the mission of the company was the operas, and not take a position on political or moral conduct of sovereign nations, or, in general, to give an opinion publicly. As an organization, we have always welcomed in our midst a workforce of individuals of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. We support your right to hold a rally and offer help to facilitate this. "

The rally has also received the support of one of the stars of Mephistopheles, soprano Patricia Racette, and her wife, the mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton.

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