German opera singer René Pape has criticized Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov for forcing Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan out of Dresden Opera Ball.
“Usually, I don’t comment on such things, but as a Dresden native and as an ambassador of music, art and anti-racism, I have to tell my esteemed colleague Yusuf not to bring and hate into my town or somewhere else. To be able to make music means to be able to build bridges, not to destroy them,” Pape said in a statement shared by Armenian opera diva Hasmik Papain.
The comments come after Yusif Eyvazov refused to share stage with Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan and requested to fire her. Hasmik Papian was the first to break the news.
The two artists were to sing together on February 7 as part of the Dresden Opera Ball.
“Dear Yusif, just in case you don’t know it, Dresden had a very bright and very dark past and history and also a very glorious musical one. The city is making its way again to be one of the greatest cities in Europe and in the world,” René Pape continued.
“To be invited to sing here and to make an audience happy is an honor and a privilege. You should be proud and happy to be asked to be part of it. You want to be remembered as an artist, not as a Hater,” he added.
German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff also took to Facebook to criticize the Azerbaijani singer.
“Mr. Eyvazov, be ashamed! Racism has no place in our profession and in the world, in general,” he said.