Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Met Opera fires John Copley for ‘inappropriate behaviour’

12:44, 1st February 2018

The Metropolitan Opera has fired British director John Copley following a complaint about ‘inappropriate behaviour in the rehearsal room’, according to the New York Times.

The 84-year-old was directing a revival of his 1990 production of Rossini’s Semiramide. A chorus member reported that Copley had made a sexually charged remark at a rehearsal on 29 January, according to two individuals 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.’

Over the course of his six-decade career, Copley has worked at many of the world’s leading opera houses, including including English National Opera, the Met, Australian Opera and the Royal Opera House (where he was once principal resident director). His most acclaimed productions include Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte and La bohème, which ran for 21, 24 and 41 years respectively.

Copley’s dismissal comes as the Met investigates accusations against its former music director, James Levine, who was suspended in December following accusations of sexual abuse.

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