#Metoo is dead: Charles Dutoit conducts Don Juan

#Metoo is dead: Charles Dutoit conducts Don Juan


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2019

The veteran Swiss conductor, subject of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, went into rehearsal this morning with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in Richard Strauss’s Don Juan.

#Metoo died today.

So did irony.


  • anon says:

    I await his Bartok Bluebeard’s Castle.

  • observer says:

    Not dead, just Shanghaied.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I would say the possibility of being a Don Juan died with #Metoo movement instead. We all have to live now sexually very cautious lives in order to avoid being caught up in some allegations ourselves. It is a movement open to much abuse and absurdity, even if it also helped to uncover some serious sexual misconduct. There is no fair alternative to proper institutional and legal processes when
    any complaint arises.

    • Emil says:

      Have you tried not harassing anyone and thinking about other people?

    • Rgiarola says:

      Bravo! Many ones believe it isn’t something for the court, but to be judged and condemned outside it. Let’s be straight, they are supporting public lynching, not justice at all.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      And in the Family Courts in my country men are treated appallingly. Any lies women tell are believed and men are regularly killing themselves because they lose their kids – often to lying women who are exploiting ‘the system’.

      This has all gone way too far and has nothing whatever to do with the way women are or want to be treated – it’s about power. There are simple ways to deter the unwanted advances of men and if women haven’t learned that they need to start wearing nuns’ habits. Not all, certainly, but many of them prefer the tease.

  • Patrick says:

    Good as he is a great conductor !

  • Will g. says:

    Conducting Don Juan? Really? Life imitating art.

  • Nick2 says:

    Dutoit has had at least a 10-year association with the Shanghai Symphony. This time he is conducting with Martha Argerich as soloist. I don’t think the MeToo movement has arrived in Shanghai yet. So to state it has died is a bit pointless.

    • Rgiarola says:

      Perhaps It’s just effects of the sadness about the possible mistake, it’s seems now happened in Concertgebouw. An injustice like that can in fact kill or extremely damage something like Metoo.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Both parties have accepted the Concertgebouw did not make a mistake. Perhaps you should accept it too.

  • MacroV says:

    Oh come on! I’m as pro MeToo as anyone, and I’m certainly inclined to believe all the allegations against Dutoit. But he should still have an opportunity for rehabilitation or redemption; doesn’t need to be put to pasture for good. Though I guess it would help if he actually came clean and issued some apologies.

  • Bruce says:

    Meh. He’s not news anymore.

    Neither is the fact that some orchestras are still going to hire him. Obviously they are free to do that, presumably having weighed the risk of backlash against the benefit of ticket sales. Anyone who disagrees with that decision is — also obviously — free to not purchase tickets, or protest in front of the hall, or write irate comments on Slipped Disc.

    Any orchestra that’s of a high enough level to hire him almost certainly has a certain amount of paid time off per season for musicians, so any musician who doesn’t want to play for him can request the week off without having to suddenly call in sick at the last minute (assuming this gig was not a “surprise — he’s coming in 2 days” kind of deal).

    He was never a great interpreter IMHO, just a solid one (and a good orchestra builder). I don’t see him ascending to some kind of “elder statesman” status like Haitink or Blomstedt just by virtue of his age.

    At this point, he’s just a dirty old man with a famous name.

    • Clarrieu says:

      “Anyone who disagrees with that decision is — also obviously — free to not purchase tickets, or protest in front of the hall, or write irate comments on Slipped Disc.” Except that protesting in front of the hall could probably get someone in big trouble, in People’s Republic of China…

  • Henrik Schwarzenberger says:

    Glad he’s back! Wether he grabbed someone by the kitty or not doesn’t really interest, as he’s an important conductor. A comparison: Given that both Furtwaengler and Karajan were larger-than-life conductors – you wouldn’t attack them for Third Reich opportunism, would you.

  • Jack says:

    #Metoo is hardly dead. Dutoit couldn’t get a job with an orchestra anywhere in the West.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    This is rather enlightening: for those with an open mind, that is.


  • Ben says:

    I see this #MeToo thing like an return to the barbarian nature of old age, when law and due-process meant absolutely nothing.

    So while the well educated ones keep blasting China and North Korean about their laughing stock, rubber-stamp court systems, the only thing I see #MeToo different from that is: We don’t even need a physical court room, let alone any proceeding.

    (P.S. I am sure CD did the crime and I am damn sure he has been “corrected”. All is well)

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Dutoit hasn’t been convicted in the courts, but equally, he hasn’t been punished by the courts either. All that has happened is that a bunch of people have decided they don’t want to work with him any more, since they don’t like his obnoxious behaviour. And other people (like us) get to discuss whether we care that his behaviour is obnoxious.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    It’s about time. Now, rescue Woody Allen from the flames of female rages.