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NEWS: Fallout from Classical Music’s Sexual Misconduct Disclosures

The Covent Garden Theatre in London burns in 1856.

The day after the Arts Reader ran its feature on sexual misconduct in opera, the Star Tribune ran its own feature on lapses in sexual assault and rape investigations in the State of Minnesota. Four days later, the Washington Post published the results of its own investigation into sexual harassment and assault in the classical music world. Here are some of the things that have happened since:

  • Matthew Stump was dropped by his artist agency, Piper Anselmi Artists Management.
  • The Cleveland Orchestra suspended concertmaster William Preucil on Friday, just one day after the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct reported in the Washington Post.
  • Preucil resigned from the Cleveland Institute of Music on Saturday.
  • The Grand Teton Music Festival and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival have uninvited Preucil from performing engagements.
  • Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan, the co-artistic directors of Florida Grand Opera’s Studio Artist Program, resigned today. Uzan was accused of sexual assault and harassment by four women in the Washington Post‘s exposé. Soviero, an internationally renown soprano, is also Uzan’s wife.

There are two general fears involved in reporting sexual misconduct: that nothing will be done, and that the act of reporting will have long-lasting repercussions. While the latter remains to be seen, those considering reporting misconduct should take heart from the swiftness of recent events.

As of press time, Uzan was still listed as the director for Florida Grand Opera’s April-May 2019 production of Werther.

Basil Considine

Basil Considine is the Performing Arts Editor and Senior Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Arts Reader. He was previously the Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Daily Planet and remains an occasional contributing writer for The Boston Musical Intelligencer and The Chattanoogan. He holds a PhD in Music and Drama from Boston University, an MTS in Sacred Music from the BU School of Theology, and a BA in Music and Theatre from the University of San Diego.

Basil was named one of Musical America's 30 Professionals of the Year in 2017. He was previously the Regional Governor for the National Opera Association's North Central Region.