No-one would dispute that the Met’s removal of two of the world’s greatest singers in as many days was woefully mishandled by its general manager Peter Gelb.
But is it a sacking offence?
In the Boston Globe, Zoe Madonna thinks it has to be:
Whatever the reasons for Gelb’s circling the wagons around Domingo, he simultaneously created a toxic environment for his staff and confirmed my worst fears about opera. His response reinforces a paradigm of opera as a hidebound, hierarchical world, where venerated men get away with absolutely anything. In the meantime, artists who depend on good relationships with the powerful few (a.k.a. almost everyone else working in opera) must stoically sing past all kinds of inappropriate behavior — or leave the field entirely.
It’s time to ask: what do we want opera to stand for? I know what I want: I want an opera world where no one has to worry about giggling and smiling through harassment when they go to work. I want a world where having a famous name, or the support of the top 0.01 percent, or legions of adoring fans to descend on accusers and critics, doesn’t mean it’s easier to escape accountability. I want a world where less sympathy is given to abusers than those they abused, no matter how well those abusers might sing.
It’s time for Gelb to go, and take the board with him…
Read on here.