OPERA Australia have announced Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian as the replacement for controversial Georgian singer Tamar Iveri in the company’s upcoming production of Otello.

Haroutounian will be taking over the role of Desdemona, which was vacated this Monday following Opera Australia’s cancellation of Iveri’s contract following the public backlash she and the company faced when a past homophobic post on Iveri’s Facebook page was resurfaced.


The singer, who has been described as one of the most promising Verdi sopranos of her generation, will make her debut appearance with the opera company after making waves through Europe as an emerging star.

Haroutounian made a name for herself in her acclaimed debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2013, after filling in at the last minute to sing the role Elizabeth in Don Carlos.

Her performance drew the attention of opera lovers around the world and earned her several awards, and has recently performed the same Otello role in an Italian production at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli.

Opera Australia’s production of Otello runs from July 5 to August 2 at the Sydney Opera House.

Addressing concerns regarding Iveri’s other Opera Australia contracts, including her role in Tosca in Melbourne, the company have said they are following the “same due process” that they underwent with Iveri’s role in Otello.


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