Divas rally to support Vittorio Grigolo

Divas rally to support Vittorio Grigolo


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2019

The sacked tenor is not short of friends.

Angela Gheorghiu: Vittorio my dear, your exuberance and your explosive character rare truly misjudged. You are a great artist and nothing else matters! Your debut was with me and until this year we have sung together all over the world with fulminant success! Always with a relationship of friendship and great respect. Artists always make jokes and play, and perhaps at one moment someone has not understood you. Sin! Worse for them and I’m sorry if anyone can hurt your career as a result of your exuberance. I hope they repent and they will leave you forever in Holy Peace to perform this splendid and very difficult job! You are a great and true artist and I love you so much!

Vittorio mio caro, la tua esuberanza e il tuo caratere esplosivo e veramente mal giudicato. Sei un grande artista e niente altro non conta! Il tuo debuto e stato con me e fino quest anno abbiamo cantato insieme in tutto il mondo con fulminanti successi! Sempre con una relazione di amicizia e grande rispetto. Gli artisti scherzano e giocano sempre, e forse a un momento qualcuno non ti ha capito. Peccato! Peggio per loro e mi dispiace se qualcununo ti possa fare del male per la carriera per la tua esuberanza. Spero che si pentano e ti lasceranno per sempre in Santa Pace per farti questo splendido e dificilissimo mestiere che e la lirica! Sei un Grande e vero artista e ti voglio tanto bene!

Sonya Yoncheva: More exuberant sincerity is needed to this world!



  • sycorax says:

    If “exuberant sincerity” means touching women without their consent and even against their explizit saying, then no, we don’t more of that.

  • Anon says:

    Sorry, but it is never an appropriate excuse for anyone to say that they were treated fine and therefore we should ignore how another person may have been treated.

    The problem here is not that a star was being exuberant with an explosive character. The problem was that a leading singer was treating a lower-ranked cast member in an inappropriate manner and continued to do so aggressively after being asked to stop (according to a published report).

    No amount of character witnesses can defend an action someone may have perpetrated against someone else.

    Naturally, people treat some or even most people with respect and dignity, but in all of these #metoo cases what we find out is that other people are being treated inappropriately and this is often merely because those in power (or even merely in higher social ranking) assume that they can get away with it.

    I was once a victim, and I am sure that the abuser treated most other people professionally. Think about it.

    Angela and Sonya’s comments mean absolutely nothing.

    • Karl says:

      This means a lot: “Artists always make jokes and play, and perhaps at one moment someone has not understood you.”

      It means his intent was not be to aggressive. IF the story is true – and it still might not be – he should be given the opportunity to receive sensitivity training before being fired.

      • Yes Addison says:

        I don’t see why Angela Gheorghiu’s thoughts on Grigolo’s intent are worth more than anyone else’s, or worth as much as those of the people who were involved in the production or did the investigation. For singers I’d take seriously on the subject of professional behavior as a visiting soloist to opera houses, she would not even be at the top of the list of the ones with the first name “Angela” or the last name “Gheorghiu.”

        Even setting aside Grigolo’s groping, cursing someone out and saying you’ll see them outside is aggressive. What’s funny or difficult to understand about that?

        Anyway, he’s done in London and New York for the time being. His best bet now is be on good behavior at the venues that will still have him.

  • Edgar says:

    Angela Gheorghiu of all people. She may be a fine singer, but appears otherwise clueless.

  • OM says:

    It’s very decent of them. I am looking forward to see how the Met and ROH attempt to blacklist the unruly divas, especially Yoncheva.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Lets hope he really did learn some lessons from this experience.

  • V. Lind says:

    The most cursory glance at that illiterate scrawl of Gheorghiu (presumably Google translate) would make it clear it has been mistranslated in at least two instances.

    Presumably Yoncheva’s sentence only marks her own lack of comfort with written English.

  • Robert Levin says:

    Angela Gheorghiu sounds like a nincompoop when she writes, “you are a great artist and nothing else matters.” Evidently, Ms. Gheorghiu believes that one’s behavior, no matter how egregious, can be excused or dismissed if he or she is a great artist. Really?? Fulminant is an adjective that generally relates to a disease or symptom – it means a severe and sudden onset. Is she suggesting that Mr. Grigolo’s alleged behavior was possibly due to a sudden onset of some disease? Incidentally, I am not passing judgment on Mr. Grigolo as I do not have first hand information as to what it is that he allegedly did. I am, however, passing judgment on Ms. Gheorghiu’s powers of reasoning.

  • Guest says:

    Good for the divas. I’m so tired of these women who go into anaphylactic shock at the slightest provocation.

  • Tamino says:

    It’s a difficult job, but so many jobs out there are as or more difficult, and not paid even a single digit percentage of what though Holy Artist makes.
    Get some grasp on reality, you pampered babies. A majority of great artists manages to behave decently. No reason to blame obnoxious behaviour on some constructed exceptionalism.

  • Marj says:

    Here we go again …..

  • Emil says:

    This is just sad. As if Yoncheva and Gheorghiu simply don’t care about their colleagues throughout the companies.

  • Bow Man says:

    It seems the ROH are in a sacking mood. The lead of Death in Venice wasn’t seen after the first night. It’s reported a behind the scenes indiscretion. Great opportunity for Randall Scotting who took over all performances. Will we get the full story?

  • may says:

    Is Angela Gheorghiu retired (or should be)?

    Well, at least she got us talking about her for 15 seconds (until SD posts something new).

  • Charles says:

    Isn’t this about power though? Both Gheorghiu and Yoncheva have clout in the opera world, while if you are one of the chorus or a stage actor, especially if you are hired freelance for productions, making an allegation is much harder. If you have to weigh up whether this might affect your standing with the company and affect your livelihood, it is obvious that many will simply shrug it off. Luckily it was seen by others and she reacted immediately to be manhandled.

    And just because somebody is a great colleague to you, does in no way excuse their behaviour to others. No wonder people/ men are allowed to get away with these sort of things.

  • Walkyrie says:

    Nonsens!!!!! On ne casse pas une carrière pour avoir touché un FAUX ventre!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Clearly, this is an Anglo-American thing.

    • Tamino says:

      You missed the point. Not the touching, but after being challenged replying in “best” macho/ape manner, that it’s his damn right to touch her as he pleases, has caused the storm (in the opera tea pot).

  • Hypocrisy says:

    How can Ms. Gheorghiu defend this behavior when she claimed that Alagna hit her several years ago. She seems to only care about abuse of women when it allegedly happens to her. When it allegedly happens to other women, she throws them under the bus. What a self-centered hypocrite!

  • Luigi says:

    All these MeToo trolls don’t give a damn about opera or culture; their only obsession is this pathetic inquisition against men, how sad!

  • sam says:

    Stockholm Syndrome: a condition where the abused develops a psychological alliance with their abusers in a state of captivity.

    Instead of denouncing Angela and Sonya, we should be helping them escape their psychological prison.

  • Nijinsky says:

    Is Gheorghiu really trying to imply that it’s sinful to make statements against her beloved tenor’s Holy mission, and they should “repent!?”

    Does she know that he invited someone to see him outside afterwards, as if there was some appropriate violent encounter needed? I don’t think that’s the way to respond to ANYTHING. I don’t even think that firing him is the way to respond to such a sad macho statement. And I DON’T think such behavior expresses “exuberance,” nor that defining it in such a manner helps him.

    And the poor woman has been all over the place. She says that Alagna hit her, he denies it. She says she doesn’t lie. Before all of that, after they had broken up and got together again, she said that it was “stupid” of her to separate from him. Added to that, after her statements that she was physically abused by him, in an interview years later she stated that she needed to be with him to promote her career.


    Those are very sad calculations.
    Making them out to be some holy glory doesn’t change that.

    And I think that Alagna was inappropriately rough with her, and she should be able to report that without it hurting HER career.

    And I don’t know even what to say about this anymore. It’s like some sordid detective story just trying to be clear about all of it that’s thrust into the limelight.

  • Nijinsky says:

    Gheorghiu also has said nothing about Placido Domingo recently, although there’s this famous story she put out that when he and her second ex-husband, then to be, met for the first time that there was a fight. What the fight was about we’re not told.

    Proceeds the whole finagling with how we are to see things dependent on the game theory of loss regarding image and how you promote a career. As if that is what a career is would it involve the blossoming of what it is to be human, or who a person is, would that have anything to do with image.

    What I think is the worst part of it is that the honesty of feeling and emotion that allows the very music that’s exploited to exist seems instead so often to exist in contrast to what’s made out to be the holy process that maintains it. Quite the same as the Christian church so often accomplishes.

  • Hg says:

    Honestly, a character reference from Angela Gheorghiu?! Oh please…