What Peter Gelb told staff about Domingo and Grigolo

What Peter Gelb told staff about Domingo and Grigolo


norman lebrecht

September 26, 2019

We have been leaked the general manager’s internal message about the suspension of two singers. Many feel it was inappropriate on Gelb’s part to juxtapose the momentous departure of Domingo, with 51 years of service, with that of the less constant Grigolo.

Here’s the message.

Dear Members of the Company

Placido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all performances at the Met, with immediate effect. We are grateful to him for recognising that he needed to step down. Placido made the following statement today:

“I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 27 and have sung at this magnificent theater for 51 consecutive, glorious years.  While I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due  process, upon reflection, I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes. As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request. I am happy that, at the age of 78, I was able to sing the wonderful title role in the dress rehearsal of Macbeth, which I consider my last performance on the Met stage. I am grateful to God and the public for what they have allowed me to accomplish here at The Metropolitan Opera.”

I also wanted to inform you that following an alleged incident of misconduct reported by the Royal Opera House concerning Vittorio Grigolo we will be suspending him with immediate effect from all future performances at the Met, pending the outcome of the ROH investigation.

If you receive any queries from the media, please direct them to the Met press department.

With many thanks for your understanding though what I appreciate has been a very difficult time for the Company. Best wishes, Peter Gelb

The message is barely punctuated and the pay-off line is semi-coherent: With many thanks for your understanding though what I appreciate has been a very difficult time for the Company.

This is a man with his back to the safety curtain and a ticking in his ears.


  • AllFemaleOperas says:

    The opera world better prepare for all female casting.

    • Musician says:

      That’s silly. The vast majority of men know how to behave professionally and treat others with respect.

    • christopher storey says:

      Really ? And you think that that would stop spurious allegations being made ?

      [Answers on not more than one half sheet of foolscap]

  • Save The Met says:

    This is a man without higher education who was pushed into jobs with promises of editorial assistance from his Father. As school was not a priority for him, it stands to reason the written word is not important to him. Just another reason he has been in over his head for years. Keep in mind every other executive, the chorus, musicians and singing talent have vast years of schooling, expertise and degrees on their walls. By the way, he’s no Bill Gates, he’s devoid of special talent.

  • Peter says:

    The “pay-off” line becomes a lot more coherent if you recognise the minor typo of a missing r in “through”.

    Given the number of typos on Slipped Disc, it seems strange to turn this into an accusation of semi-coherence.
    Surely there are bigger issues to address

  • Kay Langford says:

    There’s nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone.