A baritone writes: I was raped

A post by the rising American baritone Samuel Schultz:

I was raped.

Pause and contemplate those three words. I certainly have as I have been living with that reality since 2010, while I was pursuing my master’s degree, when a celebrated opera singer and his boyfriend raped me.

In the aftermath of confronting this reality I was faced with two choices. I could choose to become someone who felt betrayed by everything, living a life of bitterness and anger, treating the world with hatred justified by what I had to endure. The other option, and the one I ultimately chose, was to reject anger and bitterness as driving forces in my life. I chose to pursue kindness and love, and in doing so, I have found a life full of potential beauty. Yet I often have to work hard to discover the beauty and it is not always apparent to someone who has endured life-altering and devastating circumstances.

Why now? Because this is my story and I hate that this is my story, but now I have the strength to own my story and to take back the power it has had over me and to use the power of its truth, its sacredness, to bring an end to rape. I have been terrified to talk about this publicly because, as many know, people in positions of power (or perceived positions of power) have not been held accountable in the past. There was a legitimate danger of destroying my career by reporting someone else’s assault against me. Because of this, I have lived with the fear of exclusion and being silenced which has meant that my story has not been told. And I was not willing to risk a career in opera by exposing this truth. But I know that I am not alone. My love for life and art and music and people compel me to tell this truth….

Read on here.

 

Schultz recently made debuts with Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and Utah Opera.

 

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  • Ben says:

    Awesome, more stories about people being raped and abused. When will the merchandise sales start?

    • Brent says:

      This is a serious matter and one that does not deserve sarcastic and crass comments like this. Be more respectful to Sam and others who are being brave by telling their stories.

  • Caravaggio says:

    “A celebrated opera singer”. This is quite an allegation and who may it be? What a courageous young man, not just because of what he has had to endure but because of his positive choice on how to cope with the trauma of rape. I wish him my heartfelt sympathy and sincere best wishes going forward.

    If this young man is reading this know that you are already a winner no matter what the powerful or pesudo powerful in the industry may think, say or do.

  • Caravaggio says:

    I also want to add that by coming open with your story you are already helping countless others who remain or must remain voiceless for one reason or another. Maybe one day they too will find the courage you inspire.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    What a pity on him. I’m happy hat he survived, and that his career seems to be going well. But why does he come up with only half a story? Who’s the big bad wolf this time?

    • Sharon says:

      I agree. Schultz might believe that not prosecuting is part of the forgiveness/healing process but he also has a responsibility to protect other young men in need of patrons/mentors from these predators.

      • LizardStyle says:

        Nope. Not even a little bit.

      • Naomi says:

        Hi Sharon, I can understand why you say that and know that it comes from a healthy place of wanting to put the people who did this behind bars, where they belong. Brent made a post below of which I’ll repost a part here.

        “Just because Sam did not name his attackers or give intimate details on exactly what happened, that does not mean he isn’t fervently working to bring about justice. It is unfair to assume otherwise, considering no one other than Sam himself knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to talking to the authorities, major publications, etc. To that end, it is safe to assume that there might be legal reasons why Sam is not able to name his attackers at the present moment, though hopefully that time draws nearer.”

        This is very true. And, though we feel powerless and angry when we read such stories, and we naturally want justice, along with safety for others (I’m right there with you) it is important to remember that someone who has been raped is the victim of a heinous crime, and it is not their responsibility to make sure the rapist doesn’t do it again. They are the victim of that situation. All they need to do is learn to heal themselves, one day at a time, at their own pace. Sharing their rape story is already a gigantically brave step for anyone to take, and I applaud Sam for speaking out.

        • Sharon says:

          Thank you. I needed to be reminded of that. A victim’s first obligation is to save himself, not save society

          As so many bloggers here have expressed in so many ways and for so many different contexts, the personal need not always be political.

  • Sarah K. says:

    So proud of you. You are so loved

  • Herr Doktor says:

    I think it’s wrong for any of us to second-guess what’s the best thing for Samuel Schultz to do. The best thing for him to do is whatever is right for himself. Personally, I hope he will go to the police. But regardless, I’m sorry for his suffering, and the suffering of anyone who has to go through rape or anything like this, male or female.

    I wish we lived in a world where this never happens and people truly loved and cared for one another. At least we can do what we can in our own little corner.

  • Brent says:

    I think that it is incredibly important to not pass judgement between the lines. Just because Sam did not name his attackers or give intimate details on exactly what happened, that does not mean he isn’t fervently working to bring about justice. It is unfair to assume otherwise, considering no one other than Sam himself knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to talking to the authorities, major publications, etc. To that end, it is safe to assume that there might be legal reasons why Sam is not able to name his attackers at the present moment, though hopefully that time draws nearer.

    I also feel that it is very important recognize the purpose of Sam’s story. I believe it is one that serves to encourage and inspire other victims to not only come forward with their own stories, but to also let them know that they are not alone. It is also a call for education about the tragedies of rape, including how to prevent them as well as what to do if one endures its horror.

    Shame is the virus that keeps victims silent, and attackers count on it. Sam is bravely using his voice to cut through its oppressiveness.

  • Brent says:

    I think that it is incredibly important to not pass judgement between the lines. Just because Samuel did not name his attackers or give intimate details on exactly what happened, that does not mean he isn’t fervently working to bring about justice. It is unfair to assume otherwise, considering no one other than Samuel himself knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to talking to the authorities, major publications, etc. To that end, it is safe to assume that there might be legal reasons why he is not able to name his attackers at the present moment, though hopefully that time draws nearer.

    I also feel that it is very important recognize the purpose of Samuel’s story. I believe it is one that serves to encourage and inspire other victims to not only come forward with their own stories, but to also let them know that they are not alone. It is also a call for education about the tragedies of rape, including how to prevent them as well as what to do if one endures its horror.

    Shame is the virus that keeps victims silent, and attackers count on it. Samuel is bravely using his voice to cut through its oppressiveness.

  • anon says:

    Rapists never rape once. There are always more victims. And there are always people who are aware of the rapists’ reputation.

    I applaud Mr. Schultz’s courage, and every survivor is different. If he could gather more courage to go to the police and the prosecutor, more victims will speak out, potential victims will be warned, and the rapists will be stopped.

    It took one person to speak out, but Harvey Weinstein finally got arrested after decades of (known) abuse. The battle has just begun and it will be ling and difficult. But nobody is above the law.

  • EagleArts says:

    Huge and violent allegations, let’s hope there is corroborating evidence. Too bad he waited three weeks to see a doctor as I’m certain there were options at Rice or in Houston to see one sooner.
    A horrifying experience for sure, but let’s remember that in the course of the #MeToo movement’s ascent that stories are often more complex than they seem at first…..

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