Gay hecklers at Met Opera before Eugene Onegin performance
OK, which one of you bitches was 1 of these 4 protesters that had be removed from the nosebleed section?
I would've hated on them if they heckled DURING the performance, but at least it was before. I kind of love that there are extreme gay-rights activists like this still. Beats apathy.
The Metropolitan Opera was never in any denial about the likelihood of protests ahead of Monday's opening-night performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, but there's not much a company can do to prevent hecklers who really want to heckle. After picketing outside the performance, some demonstrators protesting Russia's anti-gay laws took their demonstration inside, raising their voices ahead of the cast: "Putin, end your war on Russian gays," one yelled, according to the New York Times. "Anna, your silence is killing Russian gays! Valery, your silence is killing Russian gays," the protesters continued, referring to Anna Netrebko, the soprano, and Valery Gergiev, the artistic director, both visiting from Russia. Security escorted four protesters out of the nosebleed section. "The disruption was met by a flurry of boos and a hearty round of applause," according to Queer Nation NY, the protest's organizer. The Met saw this coming.
"We respect the right of activists to picket our opening night and we realize that we’ve provided them with a platform to further raise awareness about serious human rights issues abroad," Met general manager Peter Gelb wrote in an op-ed for Bloomberg on Sunday. "We stand against the significant human rights abuses that take place every day in many countries. But as an arts institution, the Met is not the appropriate vehicle for waging nightly battles against the social injustices of the world." Netrebko has issued a statement saying she did not discriminate against anyone, but it did not mention anything about Russia's official policy criminalizing "propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships."
Protesters said it absolutely was the Met's place, as Russian President Vladimir Putin was using cultural institutions and the Olympics to distract from the anti-gay policies. Given the high-profile forum the Met provides, and the ease of picking up a cheap ticket with the intent to yell, Monday's disruption likely won't be the last one at the Met this season.
This is disgraceful, pointless, and utterly classless. And I hardly think that Russia "uses" its well-entrenched cultural activities to distract from any current political controversy.
Some people are just lowlifes looking for any excuse to make spectacles of themselves and bully others in the process. Embarrassing.
As a gay man who prides himself in the fact that nobody knows I'm gay, let me just say, this is disgusting behavior. They are the reason I can't come out. I don't care that they are defending ME; in my mind, gays should never be seen nor heard...ever.
Just a self-loathing asshole
I was too busy lamenting the fact that even Netrebko could not escape that wretched curse which befalls Russian women of respectable years.
Mmmm, I'm sure these drama queens have made a huge impact on international homophobia.
R1, I applaud the hecklers. I don't think it's embarrassing at all to remind the world of Russia's anti-gay actions. Sure it's a fucked up situation for the people caught in between, like those Russian singers. If they condemn anti-gay laws they might face the wrath of the Putin's government, and if they don't they are either seen as homophobes or innocent victims caught in the crossfire.
I really hope Russia gets shamed even more in the near future, because Putin deserves it.
If you support bullying of people who are only tangentially connected to the source of your oppression, they you truly ARE self-loathing.
There are far better and more effective ways of being visible and taking a stand than this. Why don't you just go to a party and start beating up people who are drinking Russian vodka? After all, how DARE they??
[quote]If you support bullying of people who are only tangentially connected to the source of your oppression...
I wonder if Jewish people were told this back in WWII. Probably.
Bravo to the hecklers.
Those of you who can't see that what they did was proper, would you have felt the same way about those who would have taken the opportunity in the 30s to challenge German artists who failed to stand up against Hitler?
I would feel differently if they had disturbed the performance itself. What they did by raising their voices before the performance is not classless and in no sense the antithesis of cultural participation. Quite the opposite. Opera has a tradition of being a forum in which people have addressed many political viewpoints and causes. Verdi at times found ways in his work to challenge Austrian imperialism. Riots have sometimes occurred in the opera house and not just because of bad singing!
But this was not a riot. This was not remaining silent. And the world is better for it.
Netrebko is a Putin acolyte, so fuck her just for that and that other cunt, Gergiev, regardless of the anti-gay laws.
R6, this Met heckling was reported here in Europe, so it got the message through pretty well. It's all about shaming Putin's government and it was successful in that. The more Putin realizes that you can't just vilify gays without reactions from abroad the more he hopefully feels that it might just not be worth to lose Russia's reputation over it.
You don't see Russian people taking stands in support of gay people. Much like Germans didn't for Jewish people (or homosexuals) in WWII.
I don't see the problem with their actions. Like R10 mentioned above, the heckling and protests and boycotts are about shaming the Putin/Russian government and getting the message across through means of visibility.
Just out of curiosity, R6, what other more effective means of visibility would you suggest? (Not being snarky. Just curious).
Don't be such a drama queen r8.
Also, I would like to point out the hypocrisy of Peter Gelb (General Manager of Met Opera). He states that the Met, as an art institution, is not the appropriate vehicle for political statements against social injustices, but he must have a very short memory because the Metro Opera at one point in history refused to play before racially-segregated audiences.
R2 is vile and cowardly. Also a fucking asshole.
I think it should be made clear that the actions were aimed at Netrebko and Gergiev as much as they were aimed at Putin. Both are huge supporters of Putin. They are they no different than Leni Riefenstahl.
So Metropolitan Opera is supporting anti-gay Russia and you nasty queen is against people who protest it? How much Putin paid you?
R16, you can't possibly be comparing Netrebko's questionable talent with the genius and enduring legacy of Riefenstahl!
R18, no, just her political whoring.
R15, you took R2 seriously? (I [italic]hope[/italic] you are wrong.)
Is DL still a predominantly gay board? You could have fooled me.
Both Anna and Valery both have publicly supported Putin's repressive policies. They are his advocates in the cultural world and lend him some respectability, just as Wagner's children (among many others in the arts) lent Hitler elan in the 1930s.
R1, you should educate yourself about Anna's politics. I think you'd feel differently.
It is right on her blog about her and Gergiev.
Goodbye La Traviata. Goodbye Mahler.
Leni Riefenstahl made propaganda films which showed the Hitler regime in a glowing light. She sipported him until the end of her very long life. Putin is not Hitler yet.
Thomas Mann left Germany when Hitler became the leade of the country. But, even Mann took awilw before actually denouncing Hitler.
Netrebko and Gergiev are not comparable to Riefenstahl yet. Netrebko lives in Vienna. Gergiev is in a more difficult spot because he is the Marinsky in St. Petersburg, but he too could easily live elsewhere and get more work than he can possible handle outside Russia.
Netrebko and Gergiev: their talent is as wishy washy as their poltical stances. Boring, easily replaced, singing non-entities.
[quote] But as an arts institution, the Met is not the appropriate vehicle for waging nightly battles against the social injustices of the world."
Is this code for "we're white and rich and don't want radicals to ruin our chance to wear our fancy clothes."
It seems to me many arts institutions have a proud history of waging nightly battles against social injustice.
It was a disgusting stupid act. Shameful!
I worked at the MET - you can't throw a rock without it hitting someone gay in the administration. Gelb (who can be a priss) stated over and over that the MET stood in solidarity with the LGBT of Russia.
Why is that not enough?
Why must you call out the names of two artists before a high pressure performance begins?
Why must you insist these Russian artists (both with large families STILL LIVING in Russia) do more than they have already done?
Why must you try to destroy a night of art (in an audience that is probably 89% pro gay and against Russia anyway)
As for Anna's art being questionable. I assure you, it's not as questionable as Ms. Fleming's abortions that she delivers over and over again..
R26 - do you just hate it when someone has the audacity to suggest your social life shouldn't be given a pass when it comes to human rights?
Really when will be people learn that respect for human rights should never stand in the way of earning money or spending the money we've earned?
[quote](in an audience that is probably 89% pro gay and against Russia anyway)
That's like saying Honey Boo Boo's mom is "pro-nutrition." You don't get credit for being "pro-gay" if you're not willing to put up with the most miniscule inconvenience to aid a gay cause.
R26 = paid Putin troll
How pro-gay is supporting people who work so closely with Putin? Just a week ago Putin compared gay rights to satanism and you call that ok?
If there are better ways to protest, by all means go ahead go ahead R6. Assuming you are not in support of the anti gay laws in Russia. As for me, bravo hecklers!
I don't have a problem with it. They made their point and left. The performance went on.
We SHOULD be boycotting the Olympics.
Russia is a hateful, dangerous place for gays. It should be shamed and ostracized.
[quote] Why must you insist these Russian artists (both with large families STILL LIVING in Russia) do more than they have already done?
What exactly have they done, except to publicly support Putin?
[quote] As for Anna's art being questionable. I assure you, it's not as questionable as Ms. Fleming's abortions that she delivers over and over again..
De gustibus and all that, but having heard both numerous times, I'd take Fleming any day.
[quote]It was a disgusting stupid act. Shameful!
[quote]Why must you try to destroy a night of art (in an audience that is probably 89% pro gay and against Russia anyway)
[quote]Gelb (who can be a priss)
He's not the only one, apparently.
I propose we subtitle this thread "When Opera Queens Attack!"
All in good fun, dudes. All in good fun. I think this is a great protest. A wonderful protest. It warms the cockles of my old, bitter heart to see activism brought back to the arts (where, of any possible locus, it ALWAYS belongs).
There hasn't been this much strenuous pearl-clutching over a night at the opera since the days of Margaret Dumont!
So many flamers and dykes- GROSS!!
I say Bravo to the hecklers as well.
[quote]As for Anna's art being questionable. I assure you, it's not as questionable as Ms. Fleming's abortions that she delivers over and over again..
Uh-oh! Now you're really going for the jugular!
Have at it, Netrebko and Fleming queens, and DON'T be afraid to use your nails!
The performance got mediocre reviews.
Interestingly, the opera was directed by two gay women: Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw.
[quote] Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw.
Both brilliant, and I'm glad they're on our team.