San Francisco Opera’s 91st season opened last night, with a performance of Arrigo Boito’s Mephistopheles, described as “one of the most impressive productions ever seen at the War Memorial Opera House”. And what made it more impressive for us, was the enormous support for a vigil in support LGBT Russians, which was staged outside the Opera House.
The fact that gays/lesbians are everywhere was marked by the fact that two lesbian opera singer were present. Patricia Racette and Beth Clayton are partners. This is what Beth wrote:
Operatic singing is a sport in itself really, and I can’t imagine Patricia or myself being ‘boycotted’ from performing in any country for any reason based on our sexual orientation! We wish this peaceful but meaningful protest all success and will be following closely the progress to rectify this mistake in social justice. Fortitude be yours,” noted Beth Clayton.
Those attending the Opera House in support of LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia, composed a letter and just a short time, one hundred signatures were gathered at the event.
To: LGBT Community Russia
Dated: September 06, 2013.
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Russia’s LGBT community at this time, due to the rise in violence against them, resulting from the Russian government’s recent enactment of anti-gay propaganda laws, and the government’s oppression of human rights defenders and activists.
Tonight, Friday, September 6, 2013, the opening night of the San Francisco Opera company’s season, we add our voices to the growing international chorus deploring the anti-gay propaganda laws and escalating attacks.
We are a diverse group of individuals from many backgrounds, countries and stations in life. Some of us are singers and performers, patrons and promoters of the arts, political activists, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, straight allies and citizens of the world.
Together we believe it is of the utmost importance to dedicate ourselves, our performances, our hopes and prayers and wishes for a Russia that respects the human rights of all its peoples, including the LGBT community members.
Melanie Nathan , Executive Director, PCI-Justice, San Francisco
Michael Petrelis, Gays Without Borders, San Francisco, CA
Robert Sweeney, DumpRssianVodka.com
Patricia Racette, Opera Star
Beth Clayton, Opera Star
100 Plus signatures and counting