Renowned conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner is facing allegations of physically striking a singer following a performance at the Berlioz Festival in La Cóte-Saint-André, France.
The incident occurred on Tuesday after a performance of Les Troyens, during which Gardiner allegedly hit singer William Thomas.
The conductor reportedly expressed annoyance as the singer had left the podium on the wrong side and used derogatory language to address him.
Gardiner’s representatives have issued a statement indicating that the incident might have been influenced by a recent change in medication and attributed to the extreme heat in France.
The region where the festival took place is currently experiencing a heatwave. The alleged backstage assault reportedly occurred in front of other performers but remained unseen by the audience.
Subsequent to the incident, Sir John Eliot Gardiner has returned to the UK, with an assistant assuming his responsibilities.
Despite this controversy, the 80-year-old conductor is scheduled to appear at the upcoming Proms next month.
The BBC, responsible for organizing the Proms, has expressed its commitment to investigating the incident and obtaining accurate information.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner boasts a lengthy and distinguished career in the music industry.
He made his London debut at Wigmore Hall in 1966 and has since performed worldwide.
He is the founder of the Monteverdi Orchestra and has collaborated with prominent ensembles such as the English National Opera, Berlin Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Notably, he conducted the music welcoming guests at Westminster Abbey during the King’s coronation earlier this year.
William Thomas, the alleged target of Gardiner’s actions, is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and is recognized as one of Britain’s most promising young singers.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn