Sexual assault: six other musicians to denounce the conductor Charles Dutoit

Photo: Jacques Grenier On Duty
Challenged by six other musicians, Charles Dutoit has denied the charges.

Six other women claim to have been sexually assaulted, including two in Montreal, conductor Charles Dutoit in a survey published Thursday by the Associated Press (AP).


These new allegations are in addition to those revealed by the news agency last December.


The new evidence collected by the journalists Jocelyn Gecker and Janie Har relate to sexual assault, including rape, perpetrated over a period of four decades, from the late 1970s, in Canada, the United States and in France.


Two of the assaults reportedly took place in Montreal, while Mr. Dutoit led the Montreal symphony Orchestra (OSM). The Duty has not been able to confirm these allegations independently.


Through his lawyer, Charles Dutoit has denied “categorically and completely” these new allegations, and he said he was particularly horrified that someone accused of rape.


The direction of the OSM, which was confirmed on the 23rd of last December it had received a complaint of sexual harassment against her former artistic director, said it was shocked by the new revelations. She recalled that an investigator external has been mandated to pass under the magnifying glass the years Dutoit, who has been the artistic director of the OSM from 1977 to 2002. He resigned in the midst of a conflict with the musicians, who openly accused of psychological harassment.


“The investigator will meet with persons wishing to bring to its attention matters relating to sexual harassment of which they have been directly affected, as they are part of the orchestra, whether they are contractual or administrative staff members “, said in an e-mail Pascale Ouimet, public relations officer of the OSM.


Assaults in Montreal


Among the women who have agreed to tell their story face to face, we find the singer and actress Mary Lou Basaraba. She confided to AP to have been assaulted by Mr. Dutoit when she was a journalist and in her twenties.


The incident would have occurred in the winter of 1977-1978. The OSM had asked him to conduct an interview with Mr. Dutoit for its home magazine, she argues. Ms. Basaraba, told AP that he then said that Mr. Dutoit was specifically asked whether this young journalist who conducts the interview, at his home.


Just a few minutes after his arrival, Mr. Dutoit would have thrown at her, kissing her and touching her on the breasts and crotch.


“It was totally unsolicited, so coarse,” said Ms. Basaraba, today choral conductor for the Philharmonic orchestra of California, and to the Orchestra, Golden State Pops.


In an interview with AP, she explained that she had rebuffed Mr. Dutoit and reminded him that she was there to work. The head would then be escorted to a taxi and allegedly told him : “I find you very charming. I would like you to become the woman of my life during my stay in Montreal. “


The ex-husband of Mrs. Basaraba, the conductor Clyde Mitchell, played the French horn under the direction of Charles Dutoit in the OSM. He remembers that Mary Lou Basaraba has already told the conductor ” had assaulted her on the couch of her apartment.


A friend, Nancy Newman, also testified to AP that Ms. Basaraba told him, years ago, that Charles Dutoit “he was running after in the room” and ” had asked her to become his mistress “.


Years later, in 1991, when Mr. Dutoit led the orchestra of the Opera of Los Angeles, he would have called Ms. Basaraba two times a day together, asking him to come to his hotel room after the show. Mrs. Basaraba is never gone, she assured the AP.


Another Quebec, the soprano Pauline Vaillancourt, told AP that Mr. Dutoit would have tried to jump on it in march 1981 after being invited to a meal to “discuss work” following a performance as a soloist with the MSO.


Then he brought her home, she argues, he parked the car in a dark place, would have touched her breasts and her thighs and would have asked her to accompany him in his room. She said to AP that she rejected it and insisted that he brings it back home.


“When I opened the car door to go back home, he told me : “I need this after a concert. I need a woman to come back home with me.” He said it as if he was furious that I refused something that he had need “, she says.


The brother of Ms. Vaillancourt says that his sister spoke to him about the incident the following day. Mr. Dutoit had ” touched her breasts and had made it clear that if she wanted to continue her career, it would help to be more cooperative with him, which she declined “, said to AP, Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt, pianist, conductor and teacher of classical music at the University of Montreal.


In the light of the multiplication of the allegations against Mr. Dutoit, AP reports that Pauline Vaillancourt, who is now 72 years of age, asked : “Is it trying to say that he has done this to someone after each concert ? “


Offended by the rebuttal


The new alleged victims say they have been offended when Mr. Dutoit has denied the allegations of three female singers of the opera and a musician, who argue that he has sexually assaulted, from 1985 to 2010, in an article published by AP in December.


Mr. Dutoit had rubbished the allegations. The six women say they want to show the extent of the inappropriate behavior of the conductor throughout his international career.


Soprano French Anne-Sophie Schmidt, the pianist Jenny Q. Chai and Fiona Allan, director of the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, in England, are the three other women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Mr. Dutoit.


The woman who accused the conductor of having raped said that the actions were committed at a time when she was working with Mr. Dutoit in an orchestra on the east coast of the United States. The musician did not want to be named, according to AP. Three of his colleagues within the same orchestra, said to AP that the woman had confided in them, following the alleged assault.


Recall that eight orchestras of scale have cut their ties with him, and that at least two have launched their own investigation since the allegations of December.

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