John McMurray, former head of casting at English National Opera, is first out to bat for the fallen conductor:
I have no comment to make on the allegations made by Basil Considine against Stephen Lord as I know nothing about them nor have seen any of the evidence which Mr Considine says he has. However, as ENO’s Head of Casting and then Senior Artistic Adviser between 2006-2017, I was involved in Stephen Lord’s engagement to conduct four productions for ENO. I worked closely with him on these productions, dating back to 2009, I have served with him on competition panels, and I have participated in masterclasses with him in addition to innumerable informal conversations about singers. Throughout this time not only have I never had any cause to be concerned about his behaviour but nor have I heard from singers or other colleagues any hint of such behaviour. In contrast the opera world is small and I cannot immediately think of any previous “metoo” case which particularly surprised me.
What I am certain of is Stephen’s complete artistic integrity. I do not believe he would promote any artist in whose talent he did not believe and nor would he advocate against one for non-artistic reasons. In all my dealings with him I have never had any sense of an ulterior motive in our discussions of singers. I could not say the same for every other conductor or director I have encountered.