Drama is unfolding and engulfing Opera Australia today about the words of hatred and venom said (or not said) on Facebook by Tamar Iveri toward our gay and lesbian friends. The words over compared gay and lesbian people to faecal matter. For the full story see here and for the “explanation” see here.

As a supporter of the Performing Arts throughout our areas of practice, Kernaghan & Associates despairs at the act of cyber-bullying.

Our comment follows:

Opera Australia has a unique opportunity to show young performing artists who struggle with bullying and harassment because of their gifts and passions that no matter who you are, no one will stand for bullying, whether it be here, there or anywhere in the world. All of us, straight, GLBT or otherwise (I’m talking to you, horse from Carmen), we ALL stand together AGAINST bullies whether they can sing high or low, loud or soft, or carry a baton.

Opera is the greatest of all performing arts – the summation of what artistic civilisation has been able to achieve in the medium of performance art. Great arts require great sincerity, great truth and great achievement. Grandiose gesture isn’t in any of those must-have categories. Let’s see the Opera require more of it’s artists and support those artists within its ranks that do not fit the bill judged by some as less “normal”.

None of us should remain silent while some of us are being condemned for who or how they love. An “excuse” is a justification, not an apology. It is not an act of empathy nor an act of condemnation or rejection of wrongful sentiment. The devil is in the detail, just ask any surtitle-operator.

If an opera truly is a composition in which poetry, dance, and music are combined, then there is no room in it for invective and hatred – unless of course it is at the point of an ironic sword or an artistic condemnation.

Otello, is one of the most sublime compositions of operatic achievement. The jewel in the Verdian crown. When Otello enters singing, “Esultate!” let us all hope it will truly be a moment to exalt and rejoice. Opera Australia, who I have supported for all of my adult life, who I have cheered and argued over, in green rooms, the stalls, the D Reserve (back when I couldn’t afford anything better and back when they actually sold tickets to the top row of boxes), a place for my dear friends in the chorus and orchestra and the champions who work backstage – you mean to me that very word, “ESULTATE!”. You do not mean hatred – ever.

Never let our company become anything other than moment after moment of Esulatate!

Anything else, is unworthy of our company and the country that supports it.

Aaron Kernaghan
Principal Solicitor
Kernaghan & Associates Lawyers

For more from the internet see herehere and here and here and this from the singer’s own Facebook page.