Two more resign over WashPo’s #Metoo exposé

Two more resign over WashPo’s #Metoo exposé


norman lebrecht

July 30, 2018

Florida Grand Opera has shared the resignations of Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan, co-artistic directors of its Studio Artist Program:

From Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan
‘It is with great sadness that we submit our resignations as volunteer, non-contracted, Co-Artistic Directors of the FGO, Studio Artist Program. It has been our great pleasure to work with such a fine group of Studio Artists during the past year. We wish this year’s Studio Members the very best in their coming year and in the future.’

Uzan was named by four women in last week’s Washington Post feature on sexual assault in classical backstages. Soviero is his wife.

The Post has updated its article to take account of the daily repercussions, including the Cleveland latest.




  • Caravaggio says:

    Surely the divorce will follow

  • Alan Millar says:

    When is Gatti going to resign?

    • The View from America says:

      The last holdout from the WaPo article … but that domino will fall, too.

      It will be such a loss for classical music. (lol)

  • boringfileclerk says:

    Hurrah! We’re ruining people’s lives for things they’ve allegedly done decades ago! Most of these alleged improprieties were well known in the industry for decades. Why the selective outrage now? These kinds of offenses should have been made public when they happened. No one should be above the law, whatever their talent.

    • Adista says:

      Anne Midgette is no doubt relishing her newfound power as classical music’s resident social-justice-warrior-masquerading-as-a-critic

      • boringfileclerk says:

        The problem is that this isn’t news to any of us, and many of us tried to bring these kinds of offenses to light in the past. The Levine affair is the worst kept secret in classical music, and Preucil was almost as famous for being a creep as he was for his artistry. They should have been taken to task then, not now. There’s some other agenda behind this…

        Given the time and statutes of limitations, it would be next to impossible to prove anything in a court of law. In our protracted rush for justice, what happens when our outrage is proven wrong on any one of these accusations? How can anyone’s career be repaired after this? While I’m glad that some of the worst offenders are finally being called out for scrutiny, we should be asking ourselves why we let this go on for so long.

        • Robert Holmén says:

          “How can anyone’s career be repaired after this?”

          And yet no one asks “How can the abused subordinate’s career be repaired?”

          Dropped from productions, whispered about being “difficult” or “unprofessional”, refused consideration for work they would otherwise be competitive for…

          Everyone is worried that the abusers’ career might suffer some ill effect..

          • boringfileclerk says:

            Should any of the accusations be proved, then yes, the victims should be somehow compensated, both monetarily, and for their career. Though not really sure how the later could be done. But what if the accused is innocent, and a young artist just wanted to take advantage of the “metoo” movement for personal gain?

        • Anon says:

          “In our protracted rush for justice, what happens when our outrage is proven wrong on any one of these accusations? How can anyone’s career be repaired after this?”

          You seem very concerned for the careers of the accused. As noted by others, it is within the rights of the employer to suspend these artists to avoid reputation damage. I’m sure there are fine points of this sort in their contract.

          Anyone who feel wronged by their employers’ decisions are free to pursue legal action, as Levine has done. I’m absolutely certain the court will make just decisions for these “unfair” dismissals, the same way the court does for the victims of sexual assaults. If they don’t bring these cases to court, they shouldn’t complain if their careers are “ruined”.

      • Sue says:

        We are living in very ugly McCarthiest times!! No wonder you’ve got Trump. Expect him back in 2020. He’s the only one who can remove this cancerous victim culture and its jack-boot-wearing SJWs. The Salem witch hunts on steroids.

        • Quodlibet says:

          Sue: “[Trump is] the only one who can remove this cancerous victim culture”

          Yes, Trump is indeed an expert in victimhood. He tells us so all the time how terribly he is victimized. He probably thinks he’s the world’s most important victim. He’s the best at everything! He says so! And of course, he always speaks the truth, if you define “truthfulness” as “mendacity.” Right?

          I can understand why you admire him, Sue. You two have a lot in common.

          • Bruce says:

            #thebestvictim, LOL. I like it.

          • Quodlibet says:

            Well, I seem to have allowed myself to get caught up in the partisan nastiness that has erupted here. Ick. Sue, I’ve been nasty to you, and though I disagree with every thing you express, I don’t need to adopt your dismissive tone, and I apologize for having been dismissive and derisive, too. I’m going to take my own advice and go play Bach fugues for a while. Bach is a great purifying force.

        • Sharon says:

          Actually, Trump rose to power on victim culture. His supporters are those who believe that they are the victims of impoverished immigrants and trade with foreign countries whom Trump uses as scapegoats as to why his base is either unemployed or in low wage jobs that keep them in debt.

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Makes the WashPo mgmt feel like their publication is relevant again…. for about 8 minutes. Again, of course, with the unsubstantiated character assassinations, about events that may – or may NOT – have happened per the recollections of the accusing party. #Where’sTheProof

      • Xm says:

        The proof is many honest people, men and women, who come forth to tell their stories, with nothing to gain. They are not character assassinations but earned reputations.

        • boringfileclerk says:

          The recently accused may very well be guilty. But in the court of law, given the amount of years that have lapsed, it’s impossible to prove. This is the problem.

          Both the management at the Met, and Cleveland took swift action mostly because everyone knew it was true, and did know for years. And they were culpable in covering it up. But what protections are there in place now for those falsely accused? It cuts both ways, and a mob can turn against anyone now on a whiff of impropriety.

    • Mark says:

      Another important issue is that not every sexual encounter that involves an assymetry of social, professional or financial standing constitutes sexual assault or violence.

      Someone regretting their youthful stupidity isn’t automatically a victim.

  • Alejandro Berger says:

    Back in 1987 a famous soprano friend of mine (who is now deceased) told me Uzan wanted her to be the go-between him and her leading tenor’s wife to convince the wife to have sex with him. The soprano told him that she knew the woman in question very well and that he would be wasting his time. Later on, the husband was not awarded the role of Canio at another opera company where Uzan was artistic director.

  • The View from America says:

    With the thousands of deserving younger classical musicians who are blessed with great talent and great training attempting to enter the field, all of these old bulls are indeed expendable.

    Who is going to miss the talents of Daniele Gatti or William Preucil? In the greater scheme of things, the number is embarrassingly small.

    William Preucil’s musical activities could even be taken over by his own daughter, Alexandra Preucil. That would solve things nicely: She’s a notable young talent looking to further her career — and she can do it at her father’s expense.

  • V.Lind says:

    I’m beginning to see a kind of justice here. Many of the (alleged) exploitations were not criminal. Few if any, including those with criminal implications — the age of the claimant, rape, other physical assault — are likely to have been witnessed.

    Whispers abounded and perpetrators carried on unimpeded, damaging the careers of others in their wake.

    The claimants of exploitation have nothing other than their word to bring forward. If someone is prepared to stand up, self-identify, and make a clear and specific statement about another — which in MANY cases is then supported by others who come forward — then for institutions employing those accused to take this seriously enough to suspend and/or investigate the accused is an appropriate response. There is no court of law for many of these accusations. There IS the arena of personal damage, and that of careers affected. The suspension — and outright dismissal — of people who, upon investigation — or upon presentation of a sufficient burden of evidence — show to be perpetrators of consistent unwanted sexual or other attention — looks like a pretty just outcome.

    In the Catholic Church cases, much was made of the transfer of guilty or accused priests to other parishes. In the case of the musical institutions, the comparable response has been to ignore and continue to contract talent that had a heavily whispered reputation. In many cases, enough time has passed that new managements have cleaner hands than those they replaced, though they still may have heard the whispers and ignored them. Their punishments remain to be seen. But in the case of accused where there are substantial reasons to believe the accusations — e.g. Levine, and now Preucil — removal from the privilege of being stars of their particular shows is the least they should expect. Levine was almost gone anyway, so his punishment is to reputation more than activity and income. But others will lose the latter. And seeing the3ir careers suffer as they have made the careers of those who fled them suffer seems like the object all sublime.