Royal Opera House and Met drop Vittorio Grigolo over ‘aggressive behaviour’

Vittorio Grigolo
Grigolo admitted his personality could be “very exuberant at times”

The Royal Opera House and New York’s Metropolitan Opera have dropped tenor Vittorio Grigolo over “inappropriate and aggressive behaviour” on tour.

The London venue said the behaviour occurred “at a curtain call and afterwards” in Tokyo in September.

Grigolo posted an apology, saying “the situation deteriorated unexpectedly due to a brawl between colleagues”.

He will no longer star in the ROH’s Lucia Di Lammermoor next summer or appear in the Met’s current season.

The ROH had suspended him following the incident, which happened after a performance of Faust in Japan.

The company said: “Following an independent investigation into an incident involving Vittorio Grigolo in Tokyo in September, the ROH has concluded that his inappropriate and aggressive behaviour at a curtain call and afterwards fell below the standards we expect of our staff and performers.

“We have therefore concluded that he will not return to perform in Lucia Di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House in 2020. We will announce new casting for this role in due course.”

The Italian tenor has been one of the stars of opera over the past decade, and was described by The New York Times in February as “perhaps the most dependably exciting singer in opera”.

‘I’m truly saddened’

He appeared alongside Sir Bryn Terfel in Tosca at the ROH earlier this year and has appeared at the London venue in La Traviata, Rigoletto and La Boheme.

On Instagram, Grigolo said he was sorry “that this episode clouded the effort, passion and love of art that every single one of my colleagues in this production”.

He continued: “Even though it was never my attention to offend anyone, the situation deteriorated unexpectedly due to a brawl between colleagues.

“I’m truly saddened that my behaviour towards everyone in the cast, people whom I have always respected and continue to respect from the bottom of my heart, was perceived to be below Royal Opera House standards.”

He admitted his personality could be “very exuberant at times”, promising that “what happened will not happen again in the future”.

The episode “allowed me to learn a precious life lesson”, he added.

A statement from the Met said: “Following the Royal Opera House investigation into misconduct concerning Vittorio Grigolo and his subsequent suspension from performances there this season, the Metropolitan Opera confirms that he will not be singing at the Met this season.”

He had been scheduled to sing Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata there this winter, according to The New York Times.

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