The Met suspends Grigolo

The Met suspends Grigolo


norman lebrecht

September 26, 2019

The tumbrils are rolling.

Statement from the Metropolitan Opera: ‘Following the alleged incident reported by the Royal Opera House concerning Vittorio Grigolo, the Met will be suspending him with immediate effect from all future performances, pending the outcome of the ROH investigation.

Grigolo, 42, is accused of groping a female chorus member during a performance.

He has upcoming engagements at La Scala and Berlin.





  • sam says:

    What, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt so generously bestowed on Domingo? You mean how one’s treated depends on one’s box office draw? Shocking, absolutely shocking.

    Gelb has no principles, no backbone, no credibility.

    Why he remains GM of the Met is explained by the fact that the Met Board have even less principles, backbone or credibility.

    • Matthew Gurvitch says:

      It seems innocent until proven guilty went out the window with the rise of the #me-too movement. Anyone can now make an allegation and instantly destroy a career, even if the allegation is unfounded. While this one might be legit, he should be entitled to die process and so does pleasure Domingo.

  • V.Lind says:

    It’s not just in. I commented on it yesterday. The suspension of Grigolo was included in stories about the finale of Domingo.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Another casualty from the METtoo Opera House.

    Who comes next?

    Can one bet on it on Ladbrokes or other gaming site?

    • Olga says:

      Casualty? Witch hunt victim. Vittorio Grigolo was one of the favorites at the Met stage during previous seasons. He was so good as Romeo and Cavaradossi. He will be missed for surely. You asked a good question: who comes next? I’m scared to suggest an answer.

  • Guest says:

    There should be an anti-testosterone pill for men with too much.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Another troglodyte incapable of regulating his testosterone. Or unwilling to regulate it.

  • Charles says:

    If these issues are of such a serious nature of , that they result in this tenor being removed from his work with the ROH. And this then leads to the Met also suspending him, I don’t understand why this is just an internal matter?

    In the same way, the allegations against Domingo involve alleged sexual misconduct.

    Surely, it is the Police who should be investigating?

    The ROH’s stance on waiting for the LA Opera to investigate stinks. When did an opera house become the organisation that sees itself able to investigate potential crimes? This is not CSI LA Opera. How can such an investigation be independent, when the potential perpetrator works for the damn organisation and this is the ”evidence’ the ROH will rely on?

    • sycorax says:

      Harassing and groping a colleague isn’t exactly a “crime”, hence it isn’t something the police should investigate (one should think the police would have better things to do). Yet women should be save at their work places – and making the work places a save place it’s the job of the owner or the managers of the place.

      • Cyril says:

        You’re wrong – groping definitely can be assault, and a crime. Harassment is not a crime but it can certainly be the subject of a civil suit.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          In most countries the employer is responsible for the workplace environment. Hence the employer can be prosecuted if it allows an employee to be sexually harassed by a colleague. The police mostly will be reluctant to get involved if the offense is rather minor and getting a conviction is difficult (note the standard of proof is much higher in a criminal case); if the employer is dealing with the issue then the police and courts generally won’t intervene.

    • MWnyc says:

      The issue you raise last is the reason the musicians’ union is undertaking its own investigation.

      As for police involvement, the alleged assault (and yes, it could arguably count as assault, at least in the US) by Grigolo happened (on stage, no less) in Tokyo, so it would be up to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to decide what action to take.

      As described, none of the allegations against Domingo (or Levine, for that matter) are for illegal conduct — only reprehensible conduct. (Well, today some of Domingo’s alleged persistent pursuits might be covered under anti-stalking laws, but perhaps not back then.)

      • Cyril Blair says:

        Domingo allegedly reached down another singer’s shirt and grabbed her breast – that could absolutely be assault and illegal.

    • Risk Manager says:

      The police may be involved, but we don’t know one way or the other, do we? Or do you have inside info?

      In addition to any potential criminal wrongdoing that might warrant the involvement of law enforcement, these incidents are workplace situations that need to be addressed by the employers. Consider it a workplace safety situation; if a worker sustains an injury, there is an investigation as to cause, and often a correction in policy or practice to prevent further incidents. Such as if a worker were injured in a fall on a slippery surface, the employer would (should) take steps to find out what happened, clean up the slippery mess, tighten up procedures so that those carrying the slippery stuff around have a safer means of doing so in order to reduce spills. That sort of thing. Often these investigations, in addition to dealing with the behavior of the individuals involved, lead to changes in workplace policy and practice. That’s what we’re likely seeing now at the Met: a different sort of response than they demonstrated in the situation with Levine, because (one hopes) they did some thorough review and investigation of their workplace environment and practice.

      Now, whether their policy changes are effective and are being implemented effectively (two different things!) is something that will be made evident over time. For example, the meeting with chorus and orchestra musicians was a good idea, but there was inadequate planning of what was said and how they would respond, and it made the situation worse.

    • V.Lind says:

      FCS, can you people not realise that sexual harassment is not always a criminal offence? That does not make it all right — there are many things that are not all right in society that are not criminalised.

      Sexual harassment is a workplace issue, and the current workplace — the Met — has acted. Belatedly, in some opinions, but finally and definitively. LA is acting by holding an investigation. Philadelphia and San Francisco acted by removing someone seen as a problem. I doubt it was without some knowledge that this had been going on and had finally been caught out so they had better act quickly so as not to be on the wrong side of the issue.

      The Europeans are currently shrugging it off, but stick around. After the French debacle, they are understandably wary of MeToo. But I wonder if he will be invited back to the ROH.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        “The Europeans are currently shrugging it off”

        Err…not exactly. Generally speaking, employment protection is higher in Europe than the US. The European houses almost certainly have to fulfil the contract unless they can show some reason not to (e.g. the person has done something wrong). European courts will not allow the findings of the US opera houses to affect the decision; it would have to be something at the European house where the person is appearing.

        Both London and Amsterdam have been pretty ruthless in getting rid of the perpetrator when something happened at their institution.

    • AMiller says:

      Yes, these organisations are very confused. One opera house is waiting to see what another opera house does. The employer has a responsibility to investigate any internal complaints. Then, as you say, beyond that, is the criminal law. If procedures that are consistent with employment law are not followed then no wonder James Levine has got a reported, large settlement from the Met…..

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Levine got politely told to “get lost” and he agreed to go quietly in return for some meaningless weasly words.

  • Alviano says:

    I don’t know what he did in Japan, but this seems really weird to me.

  • Geronte di Ravoir says:

    Puritanism has returned! Don Giovanni, do not go to the land of the Anglo-Saxons! What kind of hysterical women are in the entertainment world today? It was always a free world. Now its looks like a congregation of novices.

  • MARSHALL says:

    If this keeps on, we won’t need counter tenors. We will have good old-fashioned castrati.

  • Adam Stern says:

    From the Wikipedia article on Enrico Caruso (I’m not editorializing at all — just presenting a chunk of relevant history):

    >> In November 1906, Caruso was charged with an indecent act allegedly committed in the monkey house of New York’s Central Park Zoo. The police accused him of pinching the buttocks of a married woman. Caruso claimed a monkey did the bottom-pinching. He was found guilty and fined 10 dollars, although suspicions linger that he may have been entrapped by the victim and the arresting officer. The leaders of New York’s opera-going high society were outraged initially by the incident, which received widespread newspaper coverage, but they soon forgot about it and continued to attend Caruso’s Met performances.

    • V.Lind says:

      I was raised in the UK and was always warned that if I went to Italy I could expect my bottom to be pinched. It was taken as read. (And this was a LONG time after Caruso!). Every young adult woman I knew who had been to Italy said she had been pinched.

      I do not know if the habit is still prevalent in Italy. But I lived in an Italian quarter in Canada for a time, and the habit had not crossed the ocean, suggesting Italian men were as able to control their impulses as most normal men.

      It remains to be seen how Domingo’s scheduled dates in these countries play out.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    At least not one of the great names. An overrated singer.

  • Qi'ra says:

    I think if VG did make a single mistake, in the moment, then he should he just publicly apologise to the woman for not maintaining professional boundaries and show he has reflected on the impact of his over exuberance and will not do it again. End of story. I really don’t believe he did something with any intent to cause distress/harm or as a deliberate abuse of power. I hope ROH will deal with this proportionately / non hysterically and we will hear him sing at Covent Garden again soon.

  • JH says:

    Having worked with him several times I can say his behaviour is pretty poor in this regard and he has quite a reputation. I think opera house managements have turned a blind eye too long and a reckoning is overdue. I doubt anyone who has worked with Grigolo will be too surprised to find him in this position – but this has gone on unchecked by management for a long time. Obviously the current climate no longer allows opera houses to bury their heads in the sand and that is a good thing. Why should people have to put up with being groped just because the perpetrator is talented? And why should a culture exist where we accept it as part of the artistic environment or nature? It isn’t and its good to see action taken. There are many gentlemen in the world of opera with a decent understanding that someone else’s body is not their plaything when they fancy it, the lack of that understanding in some is in no way linked to their artistic ability and should no longer be excused.

  • Dick Hertz says:

    Apparently only fruits will be singing as heroic Leading Men at the Met from now on

  • meros says:

    I believe the problem is attitude: if you are powerful you think you get away with anything. Unacceptable! What goes on then in private? Respect is important for talent to be regarded and rewarded as such, not for favor.

  • Fred Keller says:

    the united states on the way of an new mccarthysism aera!

  • Lisa says:

    Shame on the Met to just cut off Grigolo without even knowing the truth