San Francisco Opera stated today that the countertenor has been removed from the role of Medoro in next summer’s production of Handel’s Orlando.
It said: ‘The decision to part ways with Mr. Daniels, for business and professional reasons, was reached after considerable deliberation given the serious allegations of sexual assault, an on-going police investigation and a lawsuit filed against the American opera singer. While these situations remain under investigation, San Francisco Opera is unable to present the artist on the War Memorial Opera House stage.’
Daniels has been accused of rape by two men, accusations that he has denied. This s his first role cancellation since the issues were made public.
The term ‘business and professional reasons’ suggests that SFO believed his presence would not play well at the box office.
In January, Daniels wrote: ‘I am extremely excited to announce another Händel role debut in the summer of 2019. I will be singing the role of Medoro in Händel’s ORLANDO with the San Francisco Opera. I am so grateful for my long relationship with the SFO and excited to tackle, yet another, amazing role.’
UPDATE: Daniels’s accuser Samuel Schultz writes: ‘I am deeply grateful for San Francisco Opera’s maintenance of their institutional reputation by placing value in the human body and mind over that of someone who abuses power in abhorrent and vile ways.’