Breaking: Royal Opera suspends Grigolo for alleged groping

Breaking: Royal Opera suspends Grigolo for alleged groping


norman lebrecht

September 24, 2019

The Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo is being investigated by Covent Garden for an incident in which he appeared to have manhandled a female chorus member while on stage in a Tokyo performance of Gounod’s Faust.

The ROH said: ‘Following an alleged incident on September 18 involving Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, the Royal Opera House opened an immediate investigation and Mr Grigolo was suspended.

‘We are unable to comment further on this matter whilst this investigation is ongoing.’

Grigolo’s people are not saying anything either. Not even ‘whilst’, which is Covent Garden-speak for ‘between gritted teeth’.

He was replaced for the final tour performance by Georgy Vasiliev.

The Italian tenor, 42, has a huge reputation at the Met, but a lower profile at Covent Garden.

More details as they come through.



  • Jon says:

    I don’t know anything about these allegations, but to suggest he has no history with the ROH is incorrect. He made his debut there in 2010, and has returned to sing 7 other roles, appearing in pretty much every season since his debut.

    That’s a fairly substantial relationship by any reckoning.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      We stand corrected. His profile at ROH, however, is way below what it is at the Met.

      • Jon says:

        As he has sung 7 roles at the Met and 8 at Covent Garden, having made his debut at both in 2010, I would suggest his profile is similar at both houses. Indeed, his profile at the Met was relatively low key until he replaced Kaufmann in Tosca in 2017, and ‘saved’ the performances.

  • anon says:

    A sexy tenor who is not slightly gropy would be kind of insulting, no? At least I’d be insulted.

    • jw says:

      congratulations for defaming tenors everywhere! what does this say about your view of men though perhaps this just reveals your character and behaviour. wow!

      • Opera Singer says:

        You are obviously an audience member and have no idea what it is like for artists in this world. He was notorious I witnessed it myself. Just because he sings nice doesn’t give him liberty to grope a dancers bum. You’re part of the problem.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Please!!! I had this happen to me lots when I was young and I just stared and said “don’t touch the merchandise”. I didn’t need institutions or the state to be my lifelong nanny. Get a life!!!!!!!! Sexual predators exist; get over it.

        • Méphistophélès says:

          And, let’s face it, he doesn’t even sing well!

  • John Rook says:

    Overdue, from what I’ve heard.

  • Anonymous says:

    This train was a long time coming and has many, many carriages…

  • Yv S says:

    And the Royal Opera House chose avery elegant solution on Sept. 21, informing that Grigolo is indisposed for the 22nd… Ahem

  • Z says:

    I wonder how Peter Gelb is going to handle this. He was the backup for the notorious Jonas Kaufmann in Tosca back in 2017.

    • Mike Schachter says:

      Notorious for what?

      • Bruce says:

        So far, the only thing Kaufman is notorious for is cancelling. As I recall, Grigolo scored a big success when he replaced him.

    • Caravaggio says:

      This is how.

      “If Grigolo didn’t grope me, then it never happened to anyone. If Grigolo didn’t grope at the Met, then it never happened anywhere.”

      Remember, Grigolo is of the male gender therefore one can cut the air with the transparent double standard.

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    A prominent tenor named Grigolo
    Behaved like an ill-mannered pig-olo.
    And he laughed: “I don’t fear
    If it kills my career;
    I can always get gigs as a gigolo!”

    • V.Lind says:

      A baritone (tenor?), Domingo
      Was told he could no longer sing-o.
      He said, “Had to come;
      I’ll take up the drum
      And follow the footsteps of Ringo.”

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Your limerick is impressive!!

      Now can we have one about the new age of Puritanism when women who cannot stand up for themselves and demand to belong in the military?

    • Méphistophélès says:

      He certainly behaved like a gigolo in his Rio de Janeiro concert this July. Absolutely embarrassing, specially as he sang very poorly, to say the least.

  • Cassandra says:

    What say you, folks

    Maybe we should just call it a day?
    Forget that there was ever something called Opera.

    Instead, small
    of people could perform Singspiel, during daylight, in open spaces, separated by barbed-wire fence.

    • Antonio says:

      So without sexual harassment and abuse there would be no opera? Is that what you are saying? Shall we also shut down the film industry, theater, pop music, schools and universities, the military, NGOs, banking or any other setting where sexual abuse happens?

      The other option, of course, would be for the men who perpetrate this abuse to keep their hands to themselves and stop assaulting other people. But I suspect that would upset all you sexual abuse apologists out there.

      • Cassandra says:

        Yepp, shut down.

        Better safe than sorry. Stay in your house. Lock the doors.

        Or grow a thicker skin. Learn self-defence. Stand up for each other and walk out chin up.

        – – –

        Actual criminal abuse, assault, rape etc. is a matter for the police. Go there immediately. Vital evidence like blood, semen, DNA found on your body diminish by the hour.

        • Emil says:

          “Standing up for each other” is exactly what the chorus and ROH are doing, in fact.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Moral panic, the culture of fear, reputational destruction, tittle-tatting and (identity group) shaming; all the new world order thanks to the Left. The only thing missing is the uniforms, but that will come. (In short, all the things the Left accused the Right of doing for decades!!! Turns out these there just their own projections.

  • Karl says:

    Manhandled ? That’s not groping. Looks like we need body cameras on everyone now.

  • Just thinking about the past. How it started… I mean Grigolo’s carrier.. About his first two recordings

    In Dutch.

  • Allen says:

    “We are unable to comment further…”

    Not to worry, no shortage of people happy to fill the void before some actual facts emerge.

  • Caranome says:

    Amazing contrast. Grigolo: 1 grope and you’re out. PD: lifetime of wolfish behavior, “let’s have an independent investigation.” The difference? Power and money, the way of the world.

    • MWnyc says:

      The more difficult one is to replace, the more one can get away with. The way of the world. Alas.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The difference is that Grigolo (and also Gatti) committed their offences in Britain/Holland. Management believed the claims were credible; suspended the alleged culprit while they conducted their investigation; and then fired him when their investigations confirmed the claims. These claims were about specific incidents at their organisation.

      In the US, the management “looked the other way” because they wanted the income the star brought since they rely on donors. Then panicked when the press got hold of the story, worried their donors would withdraw their money.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    The Met suspended him from all performances pending ROH investigation

  • Mdesiderio says:

    The real crime is his voice.