Berlin State Opera Releases Statement Condemning René Pape’s Homophobic Comments

By Francisco Salazar

The Berlin State Opera has released a statement regarding René Pape’s homophobic comments in regards to the Metropolitan Opera participating in New York City’s Pride Parade.

The Berlin company took to Facebook and said, “The comments René Pape posted on social media regarding the Metropolitan Opera’s participation in the Pride Parade in New York have caused great irritation in the house and among the management. René Pape is a long-standing and valued member of the ensemble of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, who can currently be seen on our stage, and management sought out a personal discussion with him about these intolerable comments directly. It is clear that homophobia and discrimination of any kind have absolutely no place in our house and will not be accepted. During the conversation, René Pape announced that he will publish a statement and we would like to give him the opportunity to do so.’

The company continued, “As an institution, we want to make an explicit statement for LGBTQIA diversity and against hate and discrimination. For respect at eye level, tolerance, and togetherness. We want to be clear that we support all members of the community. For the first time Pride Month is taking place in Berlin this year: Starting last Tuesday (28.6.) – Stonewall Day – for four weeks, until Sunday, 24th July 22. Pride Month was created by the CSD Verein to give Berliners and visitors more space for LGBTQIA issues and encounters in and with Berlin’s queer communities. The Pride Demonstration and the final rally on 23 July are still the highlight and conclusion of Pride Month. The Berlin CSD e.V. association aims to make all facets of the LGBTQIA community visible and strengthen them. Furthermore, their goal is to support existing Safer Spaces in Berlin and to create more during Pride Month.”

The statement comes a day after Pape said he would not return to the Metropolitan Opera because the company participated in the Pride Parade and noted that he felt “sorry for New York City.”

Pape is currently at the Berlin State Opera performing “Turandot.”

OperaWire has also been in contact with Pape’s team, who noted that they would get back to us. OperaWire has also reached out to the Metropolitan Opera for comment.