ROME – The Rome Opera on Friday defended the hiring boss Daniele Gatti, who was dismissed by an orchestra based in Amsterdam last summer following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The spokesman of the Teatro dell & # 39; Opera di Roma, Renato Bossa, said that the theater had signed in Gatti this week a contract as musical director in December 2021 because, in a country endowed with a " Rule of law, one is innocent until a trial proves the opposite ". Bossa called the allegations "certainly very serious".
Gatti denied the accusations at the origin of his dismissal by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
He directed the premiere of the season of the Rome Opera, "Rigoletto", earlier this week, for the third consecutive year, at the opening of the theater season in the Italian capital.
Gatti said about his new role in Rome's opera theater: "I am particularly pleased to be able to step up my work here and connect with a theater that has recently distinguished itself for exceptional quality. of his projects and the work of all artists. people involved in their realization. "
But the theater announced that the 57-year-old maestro would miss Thursday's performance due to a cardiac arrhythmia. Playing a role in the backlash could also have been "the strong emotions" that Gatti felt when the theater announced the signing of the signature on Tuesday, said Bossa.
He added that Gatti felt better and would lead the orchestra on Sunday in the same work of Giuseppe Verdi.
For several years, the institution of Rome intends to improve its image in a country where the Scala of Milan reigns supreme in the world of opera. A few years ago, maestro Riccardo Muti, weary of trade union disputes, abruptly ended his collaboration with the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
Carlo Fuortes, theater executive, said the recruitment of Gatti "will complete our plan to revive the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma".
Fuortes praised Gatti's "extraordinary artistic career" as well as "the establishment of mutual trust that he nurtured with the orchestra and the choir".
Earlier this year, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra said it ended its affiliation with Gatti as chief conductor following an article in the Washington Post in which the leader was "accused of inappropriate behavior." publication of the article. The orchestra stated that the developments "irreparably damaged the relationship of trust between the orchestra and the conductor".
Gatti's lawyer called the allegations a "smear campaign" and said the maestro had asked his lawyers to "protect his reputation". Gatti had become the Dutch orchestra leader at the start of the 2016-2017 season.
Gatti, originally from Milan, was principal conductor of the Rome Orchester d 'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and conductor of the Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gatti has been the third major orchestral conductor in recent years to lose his job due to allegations of inappropriate behavior.
Charles Dutoit resigned as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra after the Associated Press reported allegations of sexual assault against him at the end of last year. James Levine, musical director emeritus of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, was fired after the company said an investigation revealed evidence of sexual violence and harassment. Both men denied any inappropriate behavior.
Frances D'Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio
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