Armenian up-and-comer saves the day for Opera Australia, after Georgian soprano shamed for homophobic rant.

Opera Australia has announced that the Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian will replace Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri in the company’s upcoming production of Otello. Iveri withdrew from the productionafter a homophobic rant posted on her Facebook page last year was unearthed by Limelight, leading to a storm of outrage on Australian social media.

Haroutounian has acquired an impressive reputation as a Verdi specialist of late and is something of an expert at replacing indisposed sopranos, having stood in last year for Marina Poplavskaya in the Royal Opera House’s production of Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes. Earlier that year she replaced Anja Harteros in the same company’s production of Don Carlos. Both roles were accounted a success, and her Elizabeth de Valois has gone on to receive considerable acclaim in Zurich and other houses as well.

Lianna Haroutounian in Les Vêpres Siciliennes

Reviews of Ms Haroutounian invariably praise her vocal warmth and the humanity she brings to roles. “Into the breach on the second night stepped Lianna Haroutounian, and what a 42nd Street sensation she was. It was the stuff of fairy...

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