Garanca’s husband faces two harrassment lawsuits

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.


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  • 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).

  • 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”.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

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