Anne-Sophie is horrified at Charles Dutoit’s return to Paris

Anne-Sophie is horrified at Charles Dutoit’s return to Paris


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2019

The Orchestre National de France has issued a dubious defence of its decision to call in Charles Dutoit, who is accused of sexual molestation, to conduct Le Damnation de Faust next week. The orchestra said it was unable to find another Belioz specialist who was available at short notice.

What – in the whole of France? in the whole of Europe? Give over.

This morning, the French soprano Anne-Sophie Schmidt, who is one of eight women who accused Dutoit of offences against them, called the invitation ‘just deplorable’ and ‘a slap in the face of those who are trying to stop violence against women’.

Here’s her statement:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHARLES DUTOIT is BACK !!!!!!!!!!!

J’apprends avec un certain écoeurement que Mr Dutoit vient d’être engagé pour remplacer Emmanuel Krivine à la tête de l’orchestre National de Radio France pour diriger La damnation de Faust le 3 février prochain, alors même que 8 artistes dans le monde ont eu le courage de le dénoncer pour harcèlement sexuel.

C’est un coup de poignard au regard de la défense des violences faites aux femmes et un signal fort pour l’inconscient collectif, d’engager à peine la page 2018 tournée, un homme qui n’est pas digne de confiance et qui échappera à la justice grâce à la prescription des faits.

Circuler il n’y a rien à voir.

Tout juste déplorable!


  • Sanity says:

    Well, the audience – if they do not have a new conductor of whom they approve – might look to return their tickets.

    There is no surer way to make an organisation act.

    • AMetFan says:

      Agreed, but a little ass-backward. The responsibility is on the Orchestre National de France at this point. Shame. Are there no Berlioz specialists available who do not engage in sexual assault? Hiring Dutoit is more than deplorable, it is immoral.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Good for and courageous of her to not remain silent. Yes, the decision to hire CD is deplorable and a slap in the face.

  • anon says:

    I personally know a woman (not one of the public accusers) who was assaulted by Dutoit. It is absolutely disgusting that he is still working.

    • Mark Hildrew says:

      ==I personally know a woman (not one of the public accusers) who was assaulted by Dutoit

      Since both you and the woman who was assaulted are both anonymous, might you please be able to give some detail or context of this ?

  • Emil says:

    Again – “Anne-Sophie” has no last name, whereas “Charles Dutoit” does.

  • Alain Louy says:

    L’inconscient collectif n’existe pas!

  • MacroV says:

    It’s so hard to find a conductor these days who knows Berlioz.

  • Mark Hildrew says:

    ==two somewhat more famous Anne-Sophies

    Yes, on first seeing the heading I thought ‘Mutter or von Otter ?’

  • Rgiarola says:

    What would be justice? What sentence should be ruled agaisnt him, after his trial and conviction? I would like to ask his judges about it, including what code representing a society it was based, such a law etc.
    A fair question.

  • Euphonium Al says:

    The proffered reason bringing Dutoit off the bench is, of course, risible nonsense. There are plenty of competent Berlioz conductors around the world; Berlioz’s work isn’t exactly a rarity on concert programs. If the orchestra wants to say the allegations remain unproven, or simply stay silent as to why Dutoit is conducting, at least they’d have a plausible response. Why are they going their way to tell such a blatant, obvious, and transparent lie?

    • Una says:

      But if these conductors are so good, they will be working elsewhere and simply not free. That’s what good conductors do.

      • Bill says:

        So no good conductor is ever available to step in, is that it?

        All the more surprising that a Dutoit or a Gatti might get the boot in that case!

  • Hanna Nahan says:

    Accused. Not convicted. Presumed guilty until proven innocent?

  • Bone says:

    I sure hope when Dutoit is taken to civil court everyone from the court of public opinion shows up to see what it looks like when BOTH sides present their case.
    I’m willing to stipulate Dutoit certainly appears to be a dirty wretch; but is there any chance one or more of the accusers could qualify for “floozy” status? I’m sorry, I have seen far too much #metoo bullsh#t to buy every piece of news. And, no, I do not believe “friend of a friend,” “friend who says,” or any other bullsh#t peddler.
    Take. It. To. Civil. Court. Or. Shut. Up.

    • Ian Restil says:

      “Floozy” status. Hmmm. For someone with no stated firsthand knowledge of the allegations in question, you seem rather willing to force your way into a discussion you contend should be confined within the walls of a courthouse — and all because you feel aggrieved at having to hear about women accusing men of severe sexual misconduct. No, a woman’s sexual history has no bearing on the validity of her accusations against a man for sexual misconduct. Who’s “peddling bullsh#t” here, exactly? Asking for a friend.

    • Karl says:

      The basketball player Derrik Rose was taken to civil court on a vile sounding gang rape charge, but he won easily. Anyone looking at the details of that case could see that the women was one of those ‘floozies’ and a gold digger who was just looking to make a buck. Anyone with an ax to grind is claiming sexual harassment now. Many charges are false.

  • PL says:

    Circulez not circuler

  • Paul Carlile says:

    On the question of the celebrité of “Anne-Sophie” i’d like to add that for many opera fans in France, “Anne-Sophie” may well mean “Schmidt” before any others, as her “style français” is unique and has shone a spotlight on many lesser-known corners of the repertoire as well as the “standards”… Mélisande, Marguerite….etc. I think it’s still courageous and altruistic to stand up to a powerful figure in musical life, many years after; there are some who would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie, even now.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    What is shocking is that so few conductors can do Berlioz. The British conductor who specialized in Berlioz was worlds better than Dutoit.