In 24 hours, an implicated conductor is gone

In 24 hours, an implicated conductor is gone


norman lebrecht

June 19, 2019

Message from Michigan:

Michigan Opera Theatre announced today that its Principal Conductor Stephen Lord has resigned from the company, effective immediately. MOT accepted the resignation following public allegations of Lord’s past behavior, which do not align with the Company’s values and standards.

Stephen has had a long and successful relationship with Michigan Opera Theatre, and we appreciate his artistic leadership, especially in his last three years as Principal Conductor,” said MOT President and CEO Wayne S. Brown.

MOT’s 2019-20 season begins in Oct. 12 at the Detroit Opera House.

Opera Theatre of St Louis has also severed ties with Lord.

UPDATE: Lord denies harrassment.




  • Luigi Nonono says:

    This is outrageous. Their only concern should be with current and future behavior. They have no right to punish people for their pasts. Why would anyone want to enter a career in such a self-righteous, puritanical atmosphere? I am disgusted. No one is perfect, least of all, artists. Artists have traditionally had license to misbehave. No one understands what goes into making art of any kind. Shocking things could be utterly necessary. Like wild animals, approach with caution. Such things cannot change.

    • Jules R says:

      What a disgusting comment. You clearly have no conception of what art means or what it means to be an artist. You’re just looking for an excuse for people in power to harm and abuse others. Shame on you.

    • Bill says:

      If this guy had a 9-5 er, he’d have been fired long ago. An employer does not need guilt determined by a jury to fire someone. If that were the case, very few would ever lose a job. Welcome to the real world.

  • Musiclover says:

    O, Lord….

  • John Rook says:

    What is not aligned with MOT’s standards, his behaviour or the allegations? Because at this stage, it’s only the latter.

    Maybe he’s guilty, but let’s have trial by jury, not by Twitter.

    • Anon says:

      The allegations are backed up by texts, emails, Grindr messages, etc. It isn’t twitter outrage that fueled this. It’s decades of using power to sexually harass young musicians. This isn’t even news–it was an open secret, as the original article clearly stated.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      It is an “internal disciplinary matter” not something for the criminal courts. If the employer feels there are grounds for dismissal, they won’t usually publish the evidence but treat the hearing as confidential.

  • Concordia says:

    How the mighty have fallen!

  • The View from America says:

    Poof! Just like that.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Arthur Miller wrote about stuff like this; it was called “The Crucible”. Nothing has changed. Recommended reading for the under 40s.

    • Anon says:

      I can personally confirm the allegations are true–I have seen the text messages, Grindr messages, and have close friends he propositioned–one of whom was 15 years old at the time.

      Wasn’t it Trump who used the “witch hunt” allegory…? Interesting.

  • christopher storey says:

    My comment on this being a flagrant breach of natural justice has been suppressed. Why ?

  • christopher storey says:

    Apologies … my comment was on the ENO similar thread