Announcing John Copley’s next job

Announcing John Copley’s next job


norman lebrecht

February 09, 2018

Distressing as it was to get dismissed by the Metropolitan Opera ‘in a moral panic‘, John Copley’s distinguished career is serenely unaffected by Peter Gelb’s hasty misjudgement.

It has been announced that Copley, 84, will direct a new production of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio at the Grange Festival in June.

Jonathan Lemalu sings Osmin, Kiandra Howarth is Konstanze.

The production will sell out on a wave of solidarity.


  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    Without wishing to undermine in any way the support for dear John, Grange was such a success last year – artistically and commercially – that I suspect it would have sold out anyway!

    • Una says:

      Yes, sold out for anything is right, but to get a Copley production is simply just wonderful for anyone going there. I enjoyed my time working with him in Scottish Opera and at the Garden, and he was always fun. So this is good news to hear and at 84, and after a neurotic carry on at the Met.

  • tif robinson says:

    Let us hope that the seemingly harsh sacking, for what seems a rather trivial comment, is exposed as a kneejerk reaction from a management in crises.

    I am sure the tedious and camp, which goes for everyday banter in certain rehearsal rooms, is a drag. It is outdated and dull but it is hardly a cause for dismissal. Copley is famed in the industry for his filthy ‘faggy” humour but nothing worse.

    But let us not prejudge this dismissal from a nostalgia-based bias.

    The terror and uncertainty that accompanies the fall of any establishment is incredibly frightening. The outrage covering the shock and destabilisation within the industry is plain to see. The untouchables become unguarded and shown to be mere mortals and flawed.

    Let us truly hope ‘Uncle John’s’ reputation remains intact after a full disclosure of the facts

  • Sue says:

    “Moral panic”. Yes indeed.

  • Ashley M says:

    Hi everyone,

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet – the petition to have the Met reinstate John Copley – at least for future productions – is online:

    Please do circulate it if you sign it.

    Thank you!

    All best,

  • Objectified says:

    After wearing Copley’s costumes in “Semeramide” at the Met, I can honestly say he should’ve been fired 30 years ago. Everything is a fetish with this guy.

    • Angela Cockburn says:

      Costume designer Michael Stennett. Granted he’s worked with Copley a lot, as well as lots of others.

      • Objectified says:

        Is he dead? He should be. Welcome to a world of men who feel objectified. It’s awful. But I guess it’s all in good fun?! You’d think a woman would understand.