"A well-known older male singer in the cast, with whom I had never spoken, walked past me. As he did, he placed the flat of his hand on the small of my back, just above my bum. I was taken aback that a professional singer, who I thought was an amazing musician, would randomly touch me in such an intimate way, a young woman he had never met."
"The one thing she said that never left me was the virgin-shaming. She said that maybe if I had sex or got a boyfriend, that it would relax me and make me a better singer. These insinuations or outright comments went on for the three years I studied with her."
"It's sad to say that I feel lucky that this is the worst thing that has happened to me in this business. I wish I had done more at the time."
"Later that day, he sent me an email, in which he again referenced my 'innocence and negativity', and once again attempted to coerce me to meet with him alone at his home. I responded to this email with a reply, in which I clearly laid out my boundaries, and made requests for the parameters of our professional relationship going forward."
"It wasn't long after that I received a few emails from an anonymous email address, the first of which simply read, "I know I am your fantasy." I wouldn't admit it at the time, but Greg was at the top of the list of suspects."
"Finally, the evening was over and he offered to take me home in a cab. When we arrived at my apartment, he reached over and attempted to kiss me, pressing his body against me. I brushed him off and pushed him away, saying I didn’t want that and that I was in a relationship. He backed off and he drove away."
"After the incident, I was cold and distant toward him for the rest of the program, and I believe that affected my chances of getting cast in any of the school's opera productions. I also decided to avoid summer programs for almost 10 years after this, and only really felt comfortable with female teachers."
"This isn't my only story of being on the other side of predatory behavior in professional settings, but it is an experience I think of regularly and one which has had a profound negative impact on my life."
Honestly, I wasn't even sure what I meant to do with these stories even as I was receiving them by the hour. What was to be gained by telling more stories of horrid behaviour? More cynicism? Even a boycott of opera?
In 15 cities across Canada, roughly 400 musicians are offering free live concerts, "for the purpose of providing healing and connection to those who are affected by suicide, either in surviving a loss or in dealing with their own mental health issues."