Grigolo’s victim: She was not in the ROH chorus

Grigolo’s victim: She was not in the ROH chorus


norman lebrecht

December 07, 2019

The Times has an interview with an anonymous performer about the groping incident involving Vittorio Grigolo in Tokyo which resulted in the tenor’s dismissal by Covent Garden and the Met.

The performer was not a chorus singer, as originally reported, but a dancer.

Her colleague supplied some additional detail:

 After he grabbed her fake belly during the curtain call, “her immediate physical response was to push him away”, she says. She says a (male) chorus member then intervened to reprimand Grigolo. “But instead of just turning around and carrying on bowing, he grabbed her again and shook the belly, saying, ‘I can touch her like this if I want to.’” She claims Grigolo then tried to square up to the chorus member off stage and said: “I’ll meet you outside.” “It was all very confrontational.”

She describes [] a repeated pattern of unpleasant behaviour in Grigolo’s interaction with company members. “There had been another incident in rehearsal with a different female member of the cast, an actress feeling uncomfortable with a touch and a comment that was made,” she says. “It was that same sentiment of, ‘I can touch her however I want to.’ He knew that his place as a poster boy meant that it didn’t really matter what he did — until it did matter, because it was on stage.”

Full report here.  



  • Qi'ra says:

    So, not satisfied with depriving live audiences and cinema goers in over 70 countries of the joy of hearing Vittorio perform, she now wants to further besmirch his reputation with more unsubstantiated allegations. I’m so disgusted with this “artist”.

    • Tamino says:

      Get a grip. The one who acted disgusting was Grigolo.

    • Emil says:

      If for you, facts confirmed that literally happen on stage, are confirmed by multiple eyewitnesses other than the victim, and are confirmed after a three-month investigation are “unsubstantiated”, what you’re saying is that you will excuse sexual harassment, no matter what.

  • David b says:

    So all those excusing Vittorio’s behavior and commenting the ROH overreacted because Vittorio only “patted a fake belly” were predictably incorrect. How utterly non-shocking.

    Did you really think the RoH and Met would jettison a big star for something so trivial?

    Feel free to leave your apologies for being so very very wrong here.

  • Allen says:

    maybe someone should produce Mozart’s opera with Grigolo and Domingo and conducted by Gatti or Dutoit and call it “Cosi fan tutti” (i not e)

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    His overall behaviour explains why ROH dismissed him. They were justified in this occasion. This is not the same thing as sexual harassment, and other companies have no justification in excluding him.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    He sounds like something of a ****###.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    So, he repeatedly touched her fake (foam rubber) belly? The horror! The horror!

    • sycorax says:

      The touching wasn’t the real horror. The horror was him not stopping his behaviour her telling him that she didn’t want him to touch her! That’s the point! He obviously thought it’s his “right” to touch a woman – even if she doesn’t want it.

      • Mick the Knife says:

        Big deal. If his hand was on her breasts, ok. but a fake tummy. Its actually quite funny.

        • Simone says:

          Hope you never have a daughter that goes through that situation, you are a horrible role model!

          • Mick the Knife says:

            My daughter would laugh if a singer rubbed her fake belly. She is way too smart for bullshit and way too talented to crave attention through false claims like your kind.

  • frank says:

    It is impossible to evaluate this matter without knowing what Grigolo is alleged to have said and done. The fact that something he did made someone uncomfortable may be true, but the inquiry does not end there. In order to find sexual harassment, one must next determine whether a reasonable person would have felt uncomfortable in this situation. There is both a subjective test ( did the accuser in fact feel uncomfortable,) and an objective test ( would a reasonable person have felt uncomfortable.) Feelings are not facts.

    • Yes Addison says:

      The inquiry did not end there. The incident was in September, and there was an investigation, which obviously was involved enough to take more than two months to complete. The ROH doesn’t need to provide a full report with transcripts of interviews so that you can decide whether the complainant is a reasonable person. They just needed to come to their own decision on whether they wanted Grigolo back, and they don’t.

  • The headlines always make it seem like someone got fired after one little mistake and their supporters pretend that’s the case.

    But here again we see that it was part of a recurring behavior that could no longer be overlooked.

    Is there really a shortage of Italian tenors? I’m sure he can be replaced.

    • Patrick Gillot says:

      According to Angela Georghiu , it may not be so simple to replace him. Moreover this open behaviour in public may seem to be a nuisance but not necessarily contravening the law…..

      • Bruce says:

        Doesn’t need to be illegal in order to qualify as harassment or to break company rules.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Er…you are confused. Grigolo has not been arrested for assault (even though he could probably be prosecuted for assault, a criminal offense). But the ROH has a legal obligation in civil law to provide a safe-working-environment. Grigolo’s actions were against the law, that is why he got fired for behaviour which amounted to gross mis-conduct.

  • BrianB says:

    It’s not in his repertoire but perhaps Grigolo might have avoided some of this grief if he had been familiar with Peter Grimes” “We live and let live and, look, we keep our hands to ourselves.” (Despite the irony of the particular dramatic situation in the Britten).

  • Patrick Gillot says:

    Grabbing her “fake belly” ? If it is all what is set against Grigolo, it appears that the “victim” did not suffer much and the Met as well as Covent Garden look like a bunch of fools.

  • Nik says:

    Next paragraph:
    “And she says that other instances of inappropriate behaviour involving Grigolo and the Royal Opera go back ‘at least five years”, to when she claims Grigolo assaulted a make-up artist in his dressing room in Covent Garden, biting her arm. ‘It’s common knowledge in the changing rooms,’ she says.”

  • Karl says:

    “an interview with an anonymous performer” It could all be BS then. We haven’t heard Grigio’s version of events. It’s not fair to judge without hearing both sides of the story.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      We don’t need to hear Grigolo’s explanation. The ROH, his employer, investigated (and allowed him to provide an explanation) and found his behaviour warranted being fired.

  • Niles says:

    Perhaps the real reason she complained was that it wasn’t foam rubber after all.