The media in Las Palmas are alive with reports that two employees of the Grand Canaria Philharmonic have filed legal action for workplace harrassment against the chief conductor Karel Mark Chichon.

The complainants are production chief Isabel Turienzo Fraile and general manager Christian Roig.

Details here.

Chichon is married to the international mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca. A local group has accused him of nepotism in hiring her for concerts.


Tributes are pouring in for Arthur Woodley, a fine operatic bass who died today.

A New Yorker who grew up in the Virgin Isles, he sang in an Italian rock band to get him through his studies in Bologna and made his debut in October 1979 in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Carnegie Hall.

He sang at the Met and many other US houses, latterly in Porgy and Bess. He appeared in 12 productions at Seattle Opera. His last major appearance was as Rocco in Atlanta’s Fidelio.

Here are some early condolences:
Angela Brown: I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Arthur Woodley. We worked together early in my career doing Porgy’s. He always had a smile, kind words and helpful advice. You will always be remembered for your warm voice and generous spirit. Rest well, my mentor and friend. See you on the other side…

Morris Robinson: When I started studying Opera, Stephen Lord @stephenlordgardener was conducting Magic Flute at Boston Lyric Opera @bostonlyricopera. He told me that there was a Black Man singing Sarastro, and I should get to know him. I set up a coffee, we met and talked for a few hours. He was warm, giving, kept it 100, gave me pointers, gave me advice, encouraged me, and made me promise to keep in touch! Last year (2019), we sang Fidelio together at The Atlanta Symphony @atlantasymphony. It was our 1st time performing together … but I never imagined it would be our LAST!

God rest your soul gentle man! You were already a living legend … and now, your legacy of excellence will continue to live with all of us who were blessed to know and hear you and your magnificent gift!!!

My heart is BROKEN. I don’t often cry … but this time, I did!

Tomer Zvulun: Rest In Peace kind man. You were one of the best people I have ever met. We will miss you Arthur.

Renecito Barberote: Just heard of the passing of Arthur Woodley. I only worked with him one in La Cenerentola. We have a lovely man. My heart goes out to his family and to those with whom he was close. 2020 is terrible.

Theo Hoffman: Gutted to hear about the passing of Arthur Woodley, an inspiration to me for years, and one of the greats. I remember this year sitting for Porgy at the Met. Someone started singing and I sat straight up in my seat and said “WHO IS THAT— oh it’s Arthur, of course it’s Arthur.”

Mary Pinto: I am beyond destroyed at the loss of this giant of a man Arthur Woodley . I had him in my living room for 5 months getting ready for his Met debut last season , and he enriched my living room and my soul every time we met and to hear that man sing live was a priveledge . I am grateful to Karen Driscoll for connecting us . I am so sorry for Maria and his girls and am so sorry for those I love that loved and knew him for a lot longer than I did . Those who knew him were fortunate

Howard Haskin Jr: I’ve just found out that my dear friend and colleague Arthur Woodley has passed away. He was a master musician with a commanding voice and a regal bearing onstage and off. Having worked with him several times, I will miss his camaraderie, his easy smile his gentle nature and quiet power. My heart is broken. All who knew him could not help but love him because he’d love you first!

May perpetual light shine upon him and may his family know the peace that surpasses all understanding.


Not much now for an MD to do, so they’re ‘restructuring’.

Houston Grand Opera Board Chairman Allyn Risley announced today that Managing Director Perryn Leech is leaving the organization effective December 31, 2020. He will continue to serve as a consultant during the leadership transition. Leech has been with HGO for nearly 14 years and has been managing director for 9 years.

With Leech’s departure the HGO Board of Directors is changing the company’s leadership structure. Currently, leadership responsibilities are divided between Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director, and Perryn Leech, Managing Director, with both reporting to the Board of Directors. A search committee will be organized to pursue the recruitment of a General Director, a single leader of the Company. Patrick Summers will remain with HGO as Artistic and Music Director, ultimately reporting to the General Director.

pic from Perryn’s social media


Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra who have not been paid since March in a strongarm tactic by their general manager Peter Gelb have received an unexpected $150,000 gift from a finance house, Spring Point Partners.

C. Graham Berwind III, a Director of Spring Point Partners said: ‘As a board member of three arts organizations – The Metropolitan Opera, Dramatists Guild Foundation, and Opera America – I’m acutely aware what effect the total shut down of the performing arts is having on people who bring the arts to life. While we all wait for the day it is safe for performers and audiences to return to theaters, many performers are experiencing financial hardship as major arts organizations announce the cancellation of their seasons.

‘I felt it was important not only to support these organizations to help sustain them, but also to provide assistance directly to campaigns established to make emergency grants to artists in need – such as the ones started by the MET Orchestra Musicians, the Met Chorus Artists, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation.’


The German baroque flute virtuoso Konrad Hünteler has died in Münster on November 13 after prolonged ill-health.

He was solo flutist with the Collegium Aureum, the Cappella Coloniensis,the London Classical Players and the Orchestra of the 18th century and professor of flute instruments at the Musikhochschule in Münster. When Frans Brüggen once told him in rehearsal that his pitch was too high, Konrad replied, ‘no it’s your orchestra that’s low.’

In 1991 he became artistic director of the Camerata of the 18th century .

It has been disclosed that the winning bidder for David Hockney’s portrait of David Webster is a third David…  David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and the recently appointed chair of the Royal Opera House board of trustees.

There was considerable outrage when the painting of the ROH’s founding general manager was put up for sale.

Ross is said to have put in a last-minute phone bid for the painting, apparently to stop it leaving the country.

All’s well that ends well?


The Irish violinist Patricia Treacy has been invited by the Biden family to play at the presidential inauguration in January.

There’s a lot of Irish eyes a-smiling.

The Bidens have already invited the Chieftains.

More Irish than the Kennedys?

The capable Richard Cisek, who was president of the Minnesota up to 1992, has died at the age of 92.

He joined the orchestra in 1958 as publicity director. In 1960, he became assistant manager, and in 1964 general manager. In 1978, he was named president and chief executive officer.




Bielefeld Theater has commissioned a full-length opera on Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, with a premiere planned for next season.

The composers are two brothers, Vivan and Ketan Bhatti.

Döblin’s son Stephan Döblin said, ‘My father and I shared a love of music. We could sit together for many hours in the evening to listen to a concert recording.

The novel has given rise to several films but has never been set to music.