Unrepentant bass-baritone is back at work

Unrepentant bass-baritone is back at work


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2019

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.



  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    Well, we can enjoy seeing him sing the duet “Per queste tue manine”, where Zerlina threatens to cut off his balls with a straight razor. If they don’t cut the duet.


  • mick the knife says:

    He groped a woman who invited him to stay over? He should never work again!!!

    • stop victim blaming says:

      She did not invite him under any romantic pretense. She allowed him to stay as a guest in her home. How despicable for you to blame her for his assault.

    • Jack says:

      Apparently that’s what you would do.

  • Karl says:

    He could still be charged. I looked at some of the texts. It looks like she would have a strong case. I wonder why she doesn’t press charges.

  • MOT is negligent says:

    Those of you defending Mr. Stump need to remember that he ADMITTED that he engaged in non-consensual acts with Ms. O’Dell. MOT is the only company to hire him since the allegations surfaced last summer.

    They have a serious issue with sexual harassment. Bernard Uzan, who was accused by multiple women, was a dear friend of and librettist for their founder, David DiChiera.


    In the above article, it details how a woman had her breast grabbed during a 2011 production of Rigoletto. The company and union asked if she wanted to presses charges, but she was afraid to because Uzan was her manager and she feared career ramifications. Despite this, DiChiera continues to hire his buddy until he retired, even doing a production of his (DiChiera’s) Opera Cyrano for which Uzan was the librettist as his swan song.

    Everybody out there in Detroit worships DiChiera like a God, but the truth is that he spent years covering for his predator friend (other singers have told me that they have complained about Uzan’s conduct to no avail to DiChiera) and the company is continuing is his ilk, but even worse. No other company has hired a predator again AFTER their story went public as far I know.

    • karl says:

      The problem was that his admission was under duress. If you are talking about the apology he made. It can cost hundreds of thousand of dollars to defend against charges like that so many people would rather apologize for something they didn’t do rather than spend so much money. I know a man who pleaded no contest to domestic abuse that I know he wasn’t guilty of to avoid the cost of a trial. I know another man who pleaded no contest to a sex charge that he probably wasn’t guilty of. It’s almost impossible to be 100% certain in the majority of cases.

      The texts I saw, if they really are from him, are good evidence. But it’s not a formal confession.

      The presumption of innocence is important. You will find that out and be glad for it if you are ever falsely accused of a crime. It does happen more often that people may realize.

      • Thomas Silverbörg says:

        As I understand, no charges have been filed. If anybody has any contrary info, I’d like to hear about it. It’s a jungle out there.

  • Commadatore says:

    Sounds like he’s a Don Giovanni instead…..

  • Yora says:

    The role is being recast!

    Thank you, Norman, for bringing this to a more public forum.