Matthew Stump came to attention last summer when a colleague who allowed him to sleep over accused him of sexual assault.

One night in July, wigmaster Jolie O’Dell turned out the lights and went to bed. She awoke, she says, to find herself being groped by her house guest, a bass-baritone opera singer named Matthew Stump….

Stump issued a public apology in order to avoid prosecution.

Then he withdrew it.

Now he has been cast as Leporello at Michigan Opera Theatre.

The opera industry has issues with short-term memory.


Louis Levitt of Rutgers University is the latest victim of airline negligence.

He writes: Thanks United for breaking my bass from 1887.

Happily, Louis was heading for a doublebass convention in Bloomington, Indiana. There were guys in his hotel who could fix things.

Here’s one more from Mike Gaisbacher,of Nashville: Air Canada caused significant water damage to my bass and I feel it needs to be known that they are unwilling to accept responsibility for mishandling a bass. They denied my claim, which I am currently fighting. It was in a David Gage removable neck case that I have flown with dozens of times with no issue, even in rain before. The whole inside of both the neck and body cases were soaked, it took three days for the foam in the case to dry out.

Send lifeboats and CPR to Sony Classical.

It’s the essential new accessry.

San Francisco Opera, always ahead in the PC game, has created a Department of Diversity, Equity and Community (DEC).

Chip Mc Neal, presently of the Education Department, will become the first Director of Diversity, Equity and Community on August 1.


The purpose?
– An institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) both within the organization and externally.
– Continuation of the Opera’s ARIA (Arts Resources in Action) Residency program, which connects K-8 students and teachers to the process of opera creation across multiple visits, as well as the ARIA Dress Rehearsal and Professional Development programs.
– Continuation of select CUE (Community. Understanding. Engagement.) programs, the Company’s suite of programs for the broader community of adults, families and youth, building conversation and engagement around the stories being told on the Opera House stage.

SF Opera boss Matthew Shilvock said: ‘Great opera is about telling universal stories that bind us in shared humanity. San Francisco Opera is committed to building trust in our community that we are a place where all people can come together and feel welcome and included. We’re committed to championing an equity in the stories we are telling, the people who are telling them, and the audiences with whom we are sharing them. With the creation of a Department of Diversity, Equity and Community we are taking a critical step to deepen our relationship with our community, furthering the already vital work of our ARIA and CUE programs.’


Italian media are reporting that Carlo Fuortes, sovritendente of the Rome Opera, is seeking a contract renewal. He is not interested, it is said, in succeeding Alexander Pereira as sovrintendente at La Scala.

Fuortes has informed the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, that he wants to stay.


That would leave Dominique Meyer, the outgoing Vienna Opera chief, as the new favourite for La Scala.


The Italian heirs of the late concert organiser Antonio Mormone have launched a piano competition with Evgeny Kissin as chairman.

Kissin says: ‘Antonio Mormone was an extraordinary man whom I had a privilege to know and be friends with for almost 30 years. He loved music, he loved talented people, his memory should be cherished, and I believe that this Prize will be the best way to honour Antonio Mormone’s memory for many years to come.’

Top prize is 30,000 Euros.

Details here.


The venerable conductor has told the Volkskrant newspaper that he will conduct in Amsterdam for the last time this Saturday and for the last time ever in Lucerne in September.

At the start of the year Haitink, 90, said he was taking a sabbatical. Now, he says, it is his finale.

“Listen,” says Haitink in his London home. “I’m 90. And when I say I’m taking a sabbatical, it’s because I don’t want to say, I’m stopping. I don’t feel like all those official goodbyes, but the fact is that I will no longer conduct. “

The interview will be published in full on Friday.

Haitink first raised a baton with the Netherlands radio orchestra in 1954. He became chief conductor of the Concertgebouw in 1961, of the London Philharmonic in 1967, of Glyndebourne in 1978 and of Covent Garden in 1987.

Other chief conductor posts include the Dresden Staatskapelle (2002-4) and Chicago Symphony (2006-7).

For 65 years he has been the hardest-working and most reliable member of his vocation, unfailingly well-prepared, frequently inspirational. He will be universally missed.

Share your Haitink memories below.

UPDATE: The Haitink highlights reel

The international conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen has agreed to become artistic and general director at Bergen Opera. Among other reasons, it means he can spend more time with his wife, the soprano Mari Eriksmoen, and their kids.

Eivind, 47, made his Vienna State Opera debut two years ago and enjoys an extensive freelance career.

He says: ‘It is a great pleasure for me to announce that from 2021 I will be able to contribute to the opera scene in my home town of Bergen. Opera is in many ways the ultimate art form, where music, theater, dance and visual art culminates in something even greater. I look forward to continuing the great work that has been laid down by BNO & Mary Miller in recent years. In addition to leading BNO artistically, one of my most important tasks will be to participate in the process of convincing politicians, nationally and regionally, to support the building of a new opera house in Western Norway. This is an assignment, that with the greatest pleasure, I will take on immediately.’


The Swedish-American maestro Herbert Blomstedt has been named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic.

He was only asked to conduct them for the first time in 2011.