Armenian Soprano Feels Discriminated, Asks for Apology from Event Organizers

Armenian Soprano Ruzan Mantashyan
Armenian Soprano Ruzan Mantashyan

Armenian Soprano Ruzan Mantashyan

Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan, who was fired from a singing engagement at the behest of an Azerbaijani tenor, with whom she was scheduled to perform, issued a statement, in which her representatives say the opera company had discriminated against her for her nationality and asked for an apology.

Armenian soprano expects apologies from opera organizers for being discriminated on ethnicity
Mantashyan was scheduled to perform on February 7 at SemperOpernBall in Dresden, Germany. She was told by organizers that she would no longer be performing after they booked Azerbaijani tenor Yusiv Eyvazov, who said he would not perform with an Armenian with Mantashyan because she is Armenian.

Semper Opera Ball organizers issued a statement claiming that Mantashyan was not contracted to perform and dodging responsibility for siding with a xenophobic performer. Mantashyan’s agents also issued a statement countering the event organizers’ claims.

Mantashyan’s agent René Massis urged the chairman the chairman and artistic director of Dresden Opera Ball Hans-Joachim Frey to apologize to Mantashyan in a revelatory statement that alleges that the February 7 event organizers chose to side with Eyvazov.

Massis accused Frey of muddying the waters by “intentionally” obscuring the matter by on the one hand elevating the opera company’s history of diversity while, at the same time, cancelling Mantashyan’s performance, which was highlighted in a company press release last month.

“One would think that you were forced to [cancel] due to the inflexibility of your guest star,” said Massis’ statement. “While this in not desirable, but the facts are there: Ruzan Mantashyan has been withdrawn from the project.”

“The best approach would have been, at least to apologize to Miss Mantashyan,” said the statement adding that the company did not attempt to make contact with the Armenian soprano and, instead, opted to address the matter in a press statement.
“Instead, in your press release of January 15, you dismiss, in an arrogant and insulting tone, the concrete arguments we had made to back up the facts of our version,” said Massis’ statement, which challenges the opera company on whether it would want the matter litigated. Massis also insists that agreement on Mantashyan’s participation was reached in December. As such, the opera company announced Mantashyan as a performer for the February 7 event.

Membrs of Armenia’s National Assembly have decided to send a letter to the German Bundestag—parliament—regarding Mantashyan’s dismissal from the bill.

“The Semper Opernball festival cancelled singer Ruzan Mantashyan’s performance at the demand of Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who is singer Anna Netrepko’s husband, because of Ruzan Mantashyan’s Armenian nationality. We, the parliamentary standing committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, have drafted a letter and would like it to be signed by as many lawmakers as possible. The letter is addressed to the Budestag, in order to draw their attention on the xenophobic manifestations taking place in Dresden,” said Artur Manukyan, a lawmaker representing the ruling My Step bloc.


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  1. Raffi Caliustian said:

    Armenian activists in Germany should organize a campaign to express our displeasure in a direct way during this performance, just as we did in NY City during the Fotem dance group performance some years back.

  2. Ararat said:

    I think something much more sinister is going on in here. Ask yourselves the simple question that of all performers in the world why would they want to pair up an Armenian soprano with an Azerbarani tenor knowing full well that the dirty and racist anti-Armenian politics of this filthy terrorist and artificial Azerbarani state would take advantage of this opportunity to sabotage the performance, in the name of disgusting Azerbarani fake patriotism, in attempts to discredit and humiliate the Armenian singer in the process? More importantly, why in the world would an Armenian ever want to perform next to an Azerbarani in the first place? I just don’t get it.

    In my humble opinion, the Armenian side should do the following:
    1. Sue the company for breach of contract
    2. Publicize and spread the news throughout Germany
    3. Expose filthy Azerbaranis for their institutional brainwashing and racism at the state level
    4. In hindsight, thank them for denying her the chance to elevate the status of Azerbarani tenor

  3. Azi said:

    I think Semper Opera Ball organizers should apologyze to Ruzan,fire tenor Yusiv Eyvazov and give her position back, If not i would pursue a multimillion lawsuit.