Valerian Ruminski, or "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"

Valerian Ruminski, or "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"

Greg Finney

So as it turns out, Tamar Iveri isn’t the only one with controversial opinions on alternative lifestyles. Only about 2 months ago the Georgian soprano was released from contracts in Australia due to an ultra-homophobic and hate-mongering post on her Facebook. There’s been a fair bit of media around it and her reactions and you can catch up on the drama here.

Now, Opera Lyra in Ottawa is having the same problem. Only they handled it somewhat more deftly.

In their upcoming production of Tosca, bass Valerian Ruminski until recently, had been slated to sing the role of the Sacristan. Then he posted something pretty disgusting to his Facebook feed. The post has since been removed, but a quick search through Twitter reveals a lot of people grabbed a screenshot of what he said, and the follow-up comments:

bigoted baritone @OperaLyraOttawa @CBCNews @CanadasNAC @ThomasMulcair @Carolyn_Bennett @cher #boycotttosca #firehim — Dustin Hiles (@DustinHiles) August 23, 2014

Opera Lyra acted swiftly and justly, and released this announcement on August 24th to their Facebook page stating the companies belief in their relationship with the diverse communities that support their organization.

As a gay opera singer myself, I’m floored again that this could rear its ugly head in my industry, art, and where I’ve called home for about 25 years of my not much longer life. The thought that my safe place is also under threat from my colleagues is tragic and frightening.

Let’s move forward here, people. It’s time we all took a moment to remember Thumper from Bambi.

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