Just in: David Daniels is fired from opera role

Just in: David Daniels is fired from opera role


norman lebrecht

November 08, 2018

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.’


  • Chipper says:

    The most thorough investigation I’ve seen so far of the allegations against Daniels is here:

  • Nigel says:

    Another casualty from the cesspool that is the Opera “business”. I spent several years in that world dealing with managers, agents, directors, etc. and couldn’t believe the behavior and abuse of power.

  • GoBlue says:

    …. my only question is why did it take this industry so long to realize he may be a predator… I suspect because he serves up sass, they looked they other way.

  • Good old times when there existed something like ‘presumption of innocence’.

    Sadly we live in an age of witch hunts and hysteria, masked as virtue.

    • anon says:

      Every criminal is presumed innocent, but that doesn’t mean you have to invite every accused rapist to your home for a sleep over just to make a point. You are capable of making a common sensical, sound judgement about somebody, can’t you?

    • HugoPreuß says:

      And that’s why he is not in jail (yet). There is a difference between a criminal trial and being hired to perform at an opera house. The former includes all constitutional guarantees, the latter does not. There is no basic human right to perform in San Francisco.

      Frankly, the link above (Michigan Daily) seems pretty convincing to me. And it is not a “witch hunt” to put someone on leave while the allegations are cleared. Has Daniels filed defamation law suits against his accusers? (I really don’t know.) If so, we will see, and perhaps he will be cleared. If not, hmm…

    • Doug says:

      Completely agree with you, helmut

  • The View from America says:

    You play with fire, you get burned.

    • JoBe says:

      I learned another version of that saying recently: “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. Brilliant! (the saying, not the story).

  • Daniel Layne says:

    I am glad the San Francisco Opera fired him. Surely they didn’t want him anywhere near the young male artists in the Merola program there. Hopefully the U. of Michigan will terminate him permanently at some point.
    The university has a lot to answer for in this case, and the lawsuit filed by Mr. Lipian seems extremely solid.
    Daniels is obviously a sexual predator who should not be teaching young singers anywhere.
    He is getting what he so richly deserves.
    May he vanish from the opera scene altogether.
    Good riddance to a pompous, no talent pervert.

  • anon says:

    He is being accused of rape. This is felony. Normally, one would be arrested and out on bail with one’s passport confiscated for being a flight risk, not planning his next appearance on some opera stage!

    • Doug says:

      You don’t get arrested without probable cause, moron. There is none in either of these cases. Contrary to public opinion, the detectives involved actually know what they are doing. There won’t be an arrest.

  • Amanda says:

    I went to Rice with Sam. It’s amazing how he has misrepresented his drinking and past. He was known to have a major drinking problem after he arrived from Wheaton. Probably because his parents forced him through conversion therapy. When he would hookup with people at school he would always freak out, probably from “gay guilt,” and then get drunk and do it all over again. He was exhausting. I hope he’s telling the truth… He sure seems to loves the attention.

    • Doug says:

      I’ve heard the same thing about Sam from numerous people, although I’ve never personally met Sam.

      Amanda, we should chat. I wonder if we can get names of people Sam hooked up with and freaked out over. This is so insane that someone can cry rape and we destroy a guys life without any due process. Scary.

      I do know Andrew Lipian personally, and all I can say is he is completely full of shit and I can’t wait to read the counterclaims that get filed.