Sacked conductor sues Mayor for ‘inhuman violence’

Sacked conductor sues Mayor for ‘inhuman violence’


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2015

The Mayor of Saint-Etienne in the Loire region of France has a lawsuit on his hands.

Conductor Laurent Campellone, 42, dismissed after 11 years as music director of the Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Etienne by the Mayor, Gaël Perdriau, is suing for aggravated damage. The theatre’s director general and head of production were also fired, allegedly for misconduct.

Campellone, a Christoph Eschenbach protégé, is fuming. He accuses the Mayor of ‘une violence inhumaine et s’apparente à une véritable rafle’ – the last noun being a coded reference to police roundups during the German Occupation.



  • Abendroth says:

    I don’t know anything about the case, but Mr Campellone sounds very sure of his own worth, talking about himself in the third person, as a “internationally renowned conductor, invited in the whole world” (“chef de portée internationale, invité dans le monde entier”).

    • JAMA11 says:

      Conductors at his level are, technically, internationally renowned (or at least “noted,” to use a favorite term of program annotators) and in demand around the world, because they are sort of a commodity. Every performance needs a conductor, and they often occupy a strange existence, flitting back and forth between glamorous concert halls in cities all over the world, almost regardless of their relative talent or skill. So, what he says is basically a true statement. But without context, it is, as you note, pretty weird.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sad to see Sophie Platret’s been canned. Hope she finds something else soon.

  • JAMA11 says:

    Godwin’s Law still applies, even if the Nazi reference is thinly veiled.

    I would love to know who advises these people. Doesn’t he have a publicist or manager, or someone who can tell him that this conflict of bureaucrats in a provincial French city is not really comparable to the holocaust; and that this fellow’s loss of this job, while unfortunate for him, isn’t really “inhuman violence”?

    Or does this guy want people to think he’s an idiot, so he gets more attention?

  • Wilbur says:

    Reading that he is a conducting “protégé of Christoph Eschenbach” doesn’t impress me, nor give me a sense of reassurance. It is odd that he managed to survive in Saint-Etienne for eleven years and now has this issue. I agree that he sounds rather arrogant and pretentious, speaking of himself in the third person and proclaiming that he is a “conductor of international renown” and other self boasting. Those traits are certainly not the hallmarks of a truly great talent, but rather an insecure egomaniac who has an inflated image of himself. His comments that he has been subjected to “inhuman violence” sounds completely hysteric and right out of opera buffa. With all that is going on in the world, I think that this guy needs to get his priorities in order and come back to earth.