Stephen Lord

Conductor Stephen Lord's official publicity photo. Photo by Christian Steiner.

Michigan Opera Theatre Conductor Stephen Lord Resigns Amid Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

June 19, 2019 - 4:06 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - The principal conductor of the Michigan Opera Theatre has stepped down over sexual harassment allegations at opera companies across the U.S.

Lord resigned following Tuesday's publication of a scathing article in the Twin Cities Arts Reader, accusing him of sexually harassing singers, musicians and conductors over the past decade, purportedly using his power and prestige to silence victims.

The Reader story alleges threats, obscene messages and quid pro quo (or something for something) harassment by Lord, citing "actual statements" he made including: “If you sleep with me, you would have so many jobs," and “I could make or break your career.”

MOT officials are not releasing any details at this time, saying in a statement only that Lord's resignation follows  "public allegations of past behavior, which do not align with the Company’s values and standards."

Lord is also accused of victim shaming in sexual assault accusations against opera signer Matthew Stump.

He was cast in Michigan Opera Theatre's upcoming fall production of Don Giovanni, until a storm of criticism led to a casting change.

No replacement for Lord has been announced, ahead of the new opera season in October.