John Copley latest: Cheers erupt at the Met as union gets involved

John Copley latest: Cheers erupt at the Met as union gets involved


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2018

A loud cheer went up in the Semiramide chorus room yesterday when a representative of the performers’ union AGMA announced that his organisation was presenting John Copley’s case to Peter Gelb, the general manager, as ‘a wrongful termination’.

AGMA is also representing the chorister whose complaint led to the veteran director’s dismissal.

The joy was, however, short-lived.

The union proposed to Gelb that he should either reinstate Copley, or compensate him for unfair dismissal.

Gelb refused both requests.

The leader of another house union told Slipped Disc that Gelb’s position was ‘absolutely ludicrous’.

This is not over yet.


  • Caravaggio says:

    You are right: This is not over. It won’t be over until Mr. Gelb and the entire board exit left or right. This in direct relation to Levine.

  • Sanity says:

    FFS, all of these assertions, on different articles on this ‘site, that Copley approached the chorister in a threatening manner. The man’s an 84-year-old stroke victim. The idea that the chorister was traumatised is ridiculous. What, did he think he wouldn’t be able to outrun him?

    But no-one’s talking about Levine now, right? And any other, proper instances of sexual harassment and abuse that might be about to rear their ugly heads.


  • Chris says:

    FFS is it not a surprise that people vote for Trump & Bretxit when there are idiots like Gleb managing the arts who do not have both oars in the water.

    Those of us who know John Copley will I am sure agree that the self-attention seeking male chorister who reported Johns innocent comment will if he continues with his attitude will I hope have a very short career in the business.

    Peter Gelb obviously over reacted to distract from the James Levine issue and to show that he is whiter than white.

    Peter Gelb….time now to apologise to John and admit you made a total porridge of the whole thing.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      … ‘do not have both oars in the water’. Never heard that one before. Very apt.

    • Cynical Bystander says:

      Depending on which comment one chooses to believe Mr Copley’s comment, I am insufficiently familiar with him to call him by his first name, might be construed as far from innocent. And as to your hope that the complainant’s career is quickly curtailed, vindictiveness of this type might just explain why many are now driven to stand up for themselves in the only way they believe is open to them.

      • Andrew says:

        Wishing retribution on the chorister is exactly what is NOT required if this thread is to remain as rational as the sacking of Copley is irrational. Do not fight cruelty with cruelty.

  • anon says:

    Beating. Dead. Horse.

  • William Evans says:

    Re Mr Ewing’s comments I, too, would have thought that, given the Met’s recent bad press and the litigious environment in the US, Mr Gelb would have been extremely keen to settle this amicably with Sir John at the earliest opportunity. Apparently not, raising even more questions for Met staff, patrons and management. As noted elsewhere, perhaps Sir John should seek legal advice, if only to threaten litigation against litigation!