Now it's Copley

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lennygoran
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Now it's Copley

Post by lennygoran » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:03 pm

We have en joyed his productions and will be at the Semiramide no matter what. Regards, Len

Met Opera Fires Stage Director, Citing ‘Inappropriate Behavior’

By MICHAEL COOPER JAN. 31, 2018


The Metropolitan Opera fired the veteran British stage director John Copley this week after receiving a complaint about what the company described as “inappropriate behavior in the rehearsal room.”

Mr. Copley, 84, has been one of the opera world’s foremost directors for decades. He was at the Met directing a revival of his 1990 production of Rossini’s “Semiramide” when a member of the chorus reported that Mr. Copley had made him uncomfortable at a rehearsal on Monday with a sexually charged remark, according to two people familiar with the complaint.

The Met said in a statement that “following a complaint from a chorister about inappropriate behavior in the rehearsal room that was received on Monday, Jan. 29, John Copley is no longer directing the revival of ‘Semiramide’ that will open on Feb. 19.”

William Guerri, Mr. Copley’s manager at Columbia Artists, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The news of the firing stunned the opera world, and a number of prominent British critics and singers who have worked with him complained on social media that it seemed like an overreaction.

Mr. Copley’s dismissal came as the Met has been investigating accusations against its former music director, James Levine, whom it suspended in December after The New York Times reported the accounts of four men who said that he had sexually abused them decades ago, when the men were teenagers or his students. Mr. Levine has denied the accusations.

Questions have been raised about what Met officials knew about Mr. Levine’s suspected behavior, given that he had been with the company for more than four decades and that rumors about his private life had swirled for nearly that long. In the case of Mr. Copley, the company acted swiftly after receiving a complaint.


Mr. Copley has long been a mainstay at both the Royal Opera House and the English National Opera in London and has also had a prominent international career. At the Royal Opera, where he was the former principal resident director, he created productions that stayed in its repertory for years. His staging of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” held the stage for 21 years, his “Così Fan Tutte” for 24, and his “La Bohème” for 41, before it was finally replaced this season. At the Met, in addition to “Semiramide,” a rarely staged bel canto gem, his work has included stagings of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare,” Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” and two Bellini operas, “Norma” and “Il Pirata.”




https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/arts ... collection

jbuck919
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:18 pm

Copley? Well, he was square anyway.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by John F » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:28 am

I have to wonder about this. One member of the chorus took amiss something Copley allegedly said during a rehearsal. What was it, and what did the rest of the chorus think? The Met's announcement says nothing about investigating the complaint or whether it was confirmed by the witnesses present. Copley is 84 and as far as I can find out, there's never been such a complaint about him in a very long and busy career. Something in how this has been reported makes me think that Peter Gelb may have panicked and acted too soon.

So far I haven't found any reliable sources on the Web with more information about this. Yes, there is another source, but it's Norman Lebrecht in his column slippedisc.com and therefore not reliable. Maybe the NY Times will follow up on this story.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:53 am

John F wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:28 am
Maybe the NY Times will follow up on this story.
John thanks-sure hope so. Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:37 pm

John F wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:28 am
I have to wonder about this. One member of the chorus took amiss something Copley allegedly said during a rehearsal. What was it, and what did the rest of the chorus think? The Met's announcement says nothing about investigating the complaint or whether it was confirmed by the witnesses present. Copley is 84 and as far as I can find out, there's never been such a complaint about him in a very long and busy career. Something in how this has been reported makes me think that Peter Gelb may have panicked and acted too soon.

So far I haven't found any reliable sources on the Web with more information about this. Yes, there is another source, but it's Norman Lebrecht in his column slippedisc.com and therefore not reliable. Maybe the NY Times will follow up on this story.
You have to be so careful these days. Back at my church in Maryland, where I was only second in command, the excellent (female) choir director, and I was singing rather than accompanying at the time, once complimented the women singers on their nice "t" enunciation. "Great tees" she said. I wanted to add "and some nice a's too," which would have cause hilarity among the male singers, but fortunately I restrained myself.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by Belle » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:09 pm

Really? Has it come to this now? Soon male sexuality will be regulated by the state. They already do this in many muslim countries where women are forced to hide in suffocating desert tarps. Then sexual abuse of young boys becomes the order of business. Be careful what you wish for.

lennygoran
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:59 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:37 pm
once complimented the women singers on their nice "t" enunciation. "Great tees" she said. I wanted to add "and some nice a's too," which would have cause hilarity among the male singers, but fortunately I restrained myself.
Would that have led to breaking out into the famous Broadway play Chorus Line song? Regards, Len [fleeing]

9j5jvM8GLd8/youtube]

John F
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by John F » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:09 pm

Belle wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:09 pm
Soon male sexuality will be regulated by the state.
Really, that has zero to do with this topic.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by Belle » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:36 am

As ever, I leave it to the third party to decide for him or herself upon reading this.

lennygoran
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by lennygoran » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:17 am

Here's more from the NY Times-the followup I think John and I were looking for. Regards, Len


Union Questions Met’s Firing of Director for Remark to Chorister

By MICHAEL COOPER FEB. 2, 2018


When the Metropolitan Opera was told this week that a veteran British stage director had made a sexually charged remark to a member of the chorus, it acted swiftly and fired the director, stunning the opera world. On Friday, the union representing both the chorister and the director said it believed the incident could have been resolved to the satisfaction of both sides without dismissing the director.

It all began on Jan. 26, when John Copley, 84, a distinguished opera director, addressed a member of the Met’s chorus during a rehearsal of Rossini’s “Semiramide.” Mr. Copley was accused of telling the chorister: “I’m thinking of you in my bed with your clothes off,” the Met said in a statement. The Met said that the chorus member was left feeling “extremely ill at ease due to this sexually demeaning remark,” and that he “requested to leave the evening performance of ‘Il Trovatore’ in which he was performing because he felt upset and distressed.”

After the chorus member complained to the Met’s human resources department on Monday, the company said, he and a fellow chorus member who had witnessed the encounter were interviewed. The company said that Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, then spoke with Mr. Copley, who “did not deny the incident.” It said that the chorus member “felt unable to continue working with Mr. Copley because of the hostile, sexually charged environment that had been created,” so “Mr. Copley was asked to leave the production.”

But officials at the union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, said there appeared to have been a miscommunication, and that they believed the episode could have been resolved amicably without firing Mr. Copley.

Leonard Egert, the national executive director of the union, said in an interview, “It’s our understanding that a written apology to the chorister involved and a slight modification of the rehearsal schedule would have been sufficient to resolve this.”


A Met official disputed that characterization. The official, who was granted anonymity to speak about an ongoing dispute, said that while the chorister had indicated that he would accept a written apology, he had also communicated to Met officials that he did not want to see Mr. Copley either in the underground rehearsal rooms or on its stage, and threatened to consult a lawyer if he did.

Mr. Egert said that while the chorister said he did not want to work with Mr. Copley in the rehearsal room, the union believes that he was — and still is — willing to work with Mr. Copley in stage rehearsals provided that their interactions are “limited.” But the Met official said that it would be impractical, and unworkable, to try to limit interactions between any director and performer.

William Guerri, Mr. Copley’s manager at Columbia Artists, declined to comment on the accusation.

Union officials asked to meet with Mr. Gelb to discuss the situation, and see if Mr. Copley could return.

After the Met dismissed Mr. Copley, a revered director who has worked at leading international opera houses, a heated debate erupted on social media about whether it was an overreaction.

A number of British critics — and friends and admirers of Mr. Copley’s, including singers who have worked with him — rushed to his defense, suggesting that any remark he had made must have been meant as a joke, or misunderstood.

In taking the unusual step of releasing a more detailed statement on Friday — making it clear that the remark had been directed toward the chorister, and noting the distress that the episode caused him — the Met seemed determined to put those theories to rest.

Mr. Copley’s dismissal came as the Met investigates accusations of sexual misconduct against its former music director, James Levine. The Met suspended Mr. Levine in December after The New York Times reported the on-the-record accounts of four men who said that he had sexually abused them decades ago, when they were teenagers or his students. Mr. Levine has denied the accusations. But the episode left some questioning what the Met knew about Mr. Levine’s suspected behavior, given that rumors about his private life had circulated for decades.

Faced with a complaint against Mr. Copley, though, the company acted swiftly. “The Met has strong policies in place relating to workplace behavior and puts paramount importance on the welfare of its artists and staff,” it said in the statement.

Mr. Copley, the former principal resident director at the Royal Opera House in London, has created a number of enduring productions for leading opera companies around the world. He has come to the Met to remount his 1990 production of Rossini’s “Semiramide,” which is something of a rarity. A number of his other productions have been seen at the Met, including stagings of Bellini’s “Norma” and “Il Pirata,” Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” and Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/arts ... collection

lennygoran
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by lennygoran » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:43 pm

Someone I know in London sent me this article. Regards, Len

Opera singers have rallied behind an eminent British director dismissed by the New York Met for alleged “inappropriate behaviour”.

John Copley, 84, was fired less than three weeks before the opening of a revival of his 1990 production of Rossini’s Semiramide.

The New York Metropolitan Opera said there had been “a complaint from a chorister about inappropriate behaviour”. Mr Copley was said to have been dismissed the following day by Peter Gelb, the opera’s general manager. The director would not comment on the reasons for his dismissal.

Norman Lebrecht, the music commentator and author, reported details of background yesterday of Mr Copley’s dismissal on his Slipped Disc blog.

While encouraging the male chorus to appear shocked when the ghost of the character Nino entered the stage, Mr Copley allegedly suggested that they imagine the actor naked. One of the singers was reported to have misunderstood the direction and assumed it was a sexual comment. Although there was widespread support for the director there was some anonymous criticism. One poster who claimed to have been at the rehearsal wrote: “In no way is a sexual comment appropriate to the action in that scene.”

The Met said last night that Mr Copley allegedly told a chorus member: “I’m thinking of you in my bed with your clothes off,” which left the singer feeling “extremely ill at ease due to this sexually demeaning remark”.

The spokesman said the comment, which was overheard by other singers, led to the chorus member being unable to appear in that evening’s performance of Il Trovatore because he felt upset and distressed. “Peter Gelb spoke to Mr Copley, who did not deny the incident,” he added. “After further discussions with the chorus member, who felt unable to continue working with Mr Copley because of the hostile, sexually charged environment that had been created, Mr Copley was asked to leave the production.”

Richard Morrison, chief music critic of The Times, questioned the “humourless, vindictive, insecure” decision to sack Mr Copley for “making a harmless joke in rehearsal”.

Helena Westwood Dix, an Australian soprano, said: “Having been in the rehearsal room of Semiramide for the last few weeks I can only echo the dismay and outrage that so many of you have in relation to our incredible director.” She suggested that Mr Copley’s comment was meant as humour.

The revelation led to messages of support for Mr Copley from some of the biggest names in opera on Slipped Disc. Dame Sarah Connolly, a mezzo- soprano, wrote: “The person who reported the comment was not a native English speaker and now realises what he has done. I urge him to . . . announce he made a mistake.”

barney
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by barney » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:45 pm

Well, it was a silly and offensive thing to say, and if the chorister was as offended as he says he was then I can't argue - one's own emotions are incorrigible, as the philosophers say - but I agree that it is a huge over-reaction. The only thing that justifies disciplining Copley, to my mind, is the potential power imbalance between him and a chorister. But it wasn't even a proposition.

barney
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Re: Now it's Copley

Post by barney » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:49 pm

Sorry, I should explain incorrigible in that setting means unable to be corrected by others.

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