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Subject: Re: Charles Dutoit
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 4 Jan 2018 12:08:23 -0500

text/plain (172 lines)

Thank you very much, Frank, for taking the time and trouble to translate the
long article in “L’Alsace” regarding soprano Anne-Sophie Schmidt’s
harassment by Charles Dutoit (please note: “L’Alsace” is published in
Mulhouse, not Strasbourg; the Strasbourg newspaper is “Dernières Nouvelles
d’Alsace” [familiarly referred to as the DNA]).

The full article can be read in French at

I had to laugh when I read the part about Dutoit offering to take Ms.
Schmidt to his home to see his Japanese prints.  As you may be aware, an
invitation to to “come and see my Japanese prints” (“venez chez moi voir mes
estampes japonaises”) is code in France for “come to my place and let’s have
sex there.”  In fact, that phrase has become so trite and hackneyed
(countless stand-up comedians have made fun of it) that practically nobody
uses it any more.  I am amazed that Dutoit would use such a primitive
pick-up technique.  It might have been sophisticated in 1956 but not in this
day and age.

Cheers and all the best,


Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheurs Höhle

On Thu, 4 Jan 2018 09:45:02 -0500, Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>This is a Google translation of an article that appeared yesterday in the
>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
>by the complaint of four other musicians. She was also contacted by the
>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
>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.
>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
>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
>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,
>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
>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
>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
>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
>no waves ...

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