René Pape

German bass René Pape has now published a new statement on his Facebook page, following the one with homophobe comments over the Met participation at New York’s Gay Pride. He says that he is sorry, of course, and that his comments can be explained by his education in the GDR/DDR and his alcoholism. His statement is, in a way, terribly honest and courageous. It shows that he definitely needs help. But it can’t let forget what he said.

« To my dear friends, colleagues, and followers: I am deeply sorry for the pain and hurt I caused so many people by the comments I posted on Facebook. There is no excuse for it, and none of this matches what I feel in my heart. The disappointment I have in myself and what I said is something I will not move past anytime soon, if ever.

I was attempting to make a statement about what I feel are sometimes performative actions by opera houses, but instead I wrote poorly written comments that seemed filled with hate for a community which has loved and supported me for years, and which I have love and respect for in return.

I grew up in former East Germany. Hatred and division were fires stoked by a controlling government during this period. I grew up in the shadow of it, and my questioning of others’ actions and true motivations comes from a dark part of myself I am not proud of in the least.

This inexcusable lapse in judgement happened in a moment I am ashamed of, and after so many years of struggle and public speculation I need to be honest with you and with myself.

I am an alcoholic, and have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. I have fought on and off with a demon that brings out the worst in me. There is no excuse for any behavior that comes from this. I have no lasting victory over this demon, only a series of won and lost battles.

I will spend the summer focusing on my health, not only for myself but so I can be better for everyone else going forward. My most sincere apologies to the LGBTQIA+ community and all of you. »

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