Garanca’s husband faces two harrassment lawsuits

Garanca’s husband faces two harrassment lawsuits


norman lebrecht

November 21, 2020

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.



  • A.L. says:

    LOL. On another note, how are Eyvazov and wife these days, given his cheerleading on behalf of his people?

  • sam says:

    Nepotism, in classical music? Nah.

    It’s either genetics (brilliant parents just happen to give birth to brilliant children, it can’t be helped),

    or social clustering (brilliant husbands are naturally drawn to brilliant wives, it can’t be helped),

    or meritocracy (brilliant professors attract brilliant students who can’t help but perform brilliantly in competitions chaired by them).

  • Phillip says:

    Irrelevant orchestra. They should be grateful to Chichon for hiring his wonderful wife. It goes something like this: “Hire a standard conductor and earn a star mezzo”.

  • Gregory Mowery says:

    It’s insanity to accuse the conductor of nepotism. When Andris Nelsons, conductor of the Boston Symphony, was married to the soprano, Kristine Opalais, he often featured her art in solo appearances and with other singers. You didn’t hear anyone complain of nepotism. Klaus Donath has conducted his famous wife, Helen Donath, in hundreds of concerts over their long and fruitful collaboratoin and nobody hollered nepotism. The Romanian soprano Viorica Ursuleac was married to the excellent conductor Clemons Krauss–same situation. Why wouldn’t a conductor married to a singer of the quality of Elina Garanca hire his spouse to sing with him and his orchestra? Find something legitimate to complain about. This is petty and dumb and bad box office.

  • henry williams says:

    i have worked for 3 different companies and every one
    of them i have witnessed verbal violence. racism. and
    nepotism. it is nothing new

  • Rodrigo says:

    As an aside, this is the same orchestra that abruptly broke their contract with Charles Dutoit right before he was supposed to guest conduct there earlier this year. The circumstances were odd.

    Dutoit’s personal history was known when they hired him but the head of the local govt. broke the contract at the last minute because she got a bunch of Whatsapp messages from her constitituents saying they wanted a women to conduct instead. So just like that they told Dutoit not to come. His manager was like “What? We have a contract!” Chichon, as MD, said he was never notified about any of this.

    So then they contracted a woman guest conductor, who then cancelled. As I recall they ended up with another male conductor. Not sure what happened with Dutoit and his manager, but the whole thing sounded very banana republic. As does this current situation with Chichon.

  • Battistini says:

    This sounds petty and petulant to me. Could a similar claim have been made against Bonynge/Sutherland? Perhaps Garanca was hired because she’s simply one of the best singers in the world?

  • Dave says:

    If I was there Conductor I would hire her in an instant, she is wonderful.

  • John Cavanagh says:

    How could you not hire her. She is the best in the world.

  • Luis Abad says:

    Nepotism? That is crazy. It applies to hiring family relatives who are not competent for the jobs. In this case, Garanga is supremely qualified. Karel and Elina produce some of the best music in the world today.