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Subject: Charles Dutoit
From: Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 4 Jan 2018 09:45:02 -0500

text/plain (100 lines)

This is a Google translation of an article that appeared yesterday in the Strasbourg 
newspaper "'Alsace" yesterday:

Dutoit case: an Alsatian soprano speaks
The Strasbourg soprano Anne-Sophie Schmidt has made the step: on her Facebook 
page, she says she was harassed by the conductor Charles Dutoit, already targeted 
by the complaint of four other musicians. She was also contacted by the American 
AP news agency reporter who launched the case and collected new testimonials.
(Yesterday 05:00 by Interviewed by Annick Woehl, updated Today at 07:09 Viewed 
7905 times)
On December 22nd, the American news agency AP published the testimony of four 
female musicians denouncing acts of sexual harassment between 1985 and 2010 
by the great Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. The 81-year-old challenged the 
accusations by saying that "informal physical contact as a gesture of friendship is 
common in the arts community". Several orchestras (San Francisco, Chicago, 
Cleveland) have suspended their collaboration with him; that of Montreal (of which 
Charles Dutoit was the artistic director from 1977 to 2002) opened an internal 
investigation. Two days after these revelations across the Atlantic, a former French 
soprano, born in Alsace, published her story on her Facebook page. Anne-Sophie 
Schmidt agreed to answer our questions.
What happened to you with Charles Dutoit?
That goes back to March 1995. He had engaged me on hearing as musical director 
of the National orchestra of France to interpret Mélisande (in Pelléas et Mélisande 
of Debussy, NDLR), with the theater of the Champs-Élysées. From the first 
rehearsals at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, he began to be very heavy. Strong 
allusions, proposals to go to see his Japanese prints, insistent messages on my 
answering machine. After a while, he was exasperated to see that I pretended not 
to understand. From there, he began to humiliate me in front of the orchestra, 
questioning my artistic abilities. He was trying to destabilize me. Until the day we 
crossed in a corridor. There he pressed me against the wall, he groped me and 
kissed me by force. I struggled and managed to save myself.
What did you do next?
I asked my companion to come to Paris. He canceled his consultations as a doctor 
and never let go of a sole, from the box to the stage, from the stage to the box. I 
was really scared. Charles Dutoit was mad with rage, in a foul mood, he did not 
speak to me except to tell me unpleasant things. Then my agent, who was aware 
of the story, told me that Dutoit had canceled all future concerts because, soon 
after my audition, I signed for other projects with him. It was a lot of dates, it was 
a huge hole in my calendar for a year. The slope was quite difficult to climb. All 
because I had rejected his advances, my agent confirmed it to me.
Have you thought of withdrawing from production?
Singing a first role with the French orchestra at the Champs-Élysées theater is 
enormous, one of the most prestigious engagements in Paris. To give up on that 
was impossible for the young singer I was. Moreover, it would not have been 
possible contractually. The episode of the corridor took place the day before the 
first performance. It would have been necessary to file a complaint, to justify me. 
My career would have been over.
"To support my artist friends"
And to complain exactly, you have not thought?
I asked myself the question. But my agent told me, "Miss, it would be better not to 
make waves, it would not be good for your career." And it was true. What can we 
do ? Nothing, except to be protected, do your job and shut up.
Did you try to talk to Charles Dutoit?
Talk with this madman, it was not possible! He was a mega star, he was at the top 
of his career and I was a young singer who started and for him a small prey of 
fresh flesh.
What prompted you to communicate today?
My friend artists who spoke to the foreign press. It seemed logical to support them 
since I have the same testimony to bring on this dirty guy. And also because of 
this free speech movement after the Weinstein affair. Things are moving. Except in 
France, where it is still the total omerta! I am the first artist in France to open the 
What do you mean ?
France is a macho country. Here, guys do not realize. This is the French lover side, 
where nagging becomes almost a pride. And in the world of music, nobody 
communicates. In France, we have not started washing our dirty laundry yet. But it 
will come, inevitably. The liberated speech frees the word.
Is the music community very much affected by this problem of sexual harassment?
Yes, but not more than elsewhere. In twenty years of career, it is the only problem 
that I knew. I met extraordinary leaders, like Serge Baudo; exceptional men of 
correction. It is to them that I think today. We must not cast stigma on everyone.
And today, do you plan to file a complaint?
Yes, if you have to go through it. It will also depend on his attitude. Because what 
really pushed me to testify openly in the press is his answer. It's anything! But if I 
sang again, I do not know if I would have spoken. I think not. One is always 
suspected of having teased the person, accused of being responsible. It really has 
to stop, it's unbearable! I have a singer friend who complained in another case but 
on condition of anonymity. If we know she swayed, she will not be engaged.
What is your goal?
I want Charles Dutoit to be put out of harm's way, to know what he did to a bunch 
of artists. AP continues the investigation and this should not stop at five 
testimonies ... In 1995, the whole community knew for him. It is characteristic of 
this environment. Today, institutions cancel their contracts with him without 
waiting for evidence, for trial; it was enough for four girls to denounce the facts in 
the United States. That means they knew, but they covered. As long as there are 
no waves ...

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