Regina Opera Company has announced that Elena Jannicelli has resigned from her several positions within the organization.
The company had made a statement on July 24 regarding comments made by Jannicelli. But the company has since updated it noting, “UPDATE: ELENA JANNICELLI HAS RESIGNED FROM REGINA OPERA AND WILL NO LONGER HAVE ANY INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMPANY.”
Jannicelli, who was Vice President, a member of the Casting Committee, and a Board Member of Regina Opera Company, had made a Facebook post on July 24, stating “I would like to paint on 12th. Avenue. Opera Singers Matter. Do you think the rock community would object? If anyone can paint BLM with paint that my taxes buy and I pay 24 policemen and 3 sergeants to guard it. Close the street etc etc. crime is up but 30 men protect a mural of letters. They want to raise our taxes and defund the police. Figure out what this costs.”
When her statement was challenged as being racist in nature, Jannicelli not only pushed back but utilized Regina Opera Company’s Facebook account to defend her position and also made offensive comments to several commenters, including several People of Color.
“Felix Jarrar who do you think you can criticize me… What have you done to support the arts and your family,” Jannicelli replied to Felix Jarrar, an opera composer who has collaborated with Regina Opera Company two years ago.
As a result of this behavior online, many called for the Regina Opera Company to remove Jannicelli from her position in the company.
“Regina Opera Company regrets the recent insensitive comments made by one of our Board members on her personal Facebook page regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. The Company does not condone the views expressed in the post, which has since been deleted. Those who know us know that we have always been an inclusive opera company, and we will continue to strive for diversity and equality. Our entire Board will undergo cultural sensitivity training,” said Regina Opera Company’s original statement in response to Jannicelli’s post.