We have a collective responsibility to speak out, to preserve the art we love

The New York Times story about conductor James Levine, and the ISM report that six 10 classical musicians in the UK suffer harassment, demands a post.

The allegations in the story are saddening, but not especially surprising. Saville, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris, Weinstein, Spacey, and now Levine.

Some of these details, like those where the allegations have subsequently been proven, highlight the assumptions commonly held about classical music and opera: aloof worlds held in aspic aren’t immune to the hideousness of the everyday.

Not so. More the fool you if that’s what you thought. Histories revel in the blurred lines that artist cross. Why would classical music or opera be any different from Hollywood, TV, or education?

Just because musicians play old music doesn’t mean that they’re somehow different from the rest of the world.

It’s not about sex. It’s about domination. None of us should be surprised about that.

But what these people do risks undermining the art we love.

We need to make clear to all what the boundaries are.

Until then, anything that speaks to us risks being tarnished by shabby truths revealed way too late.

 

 

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