Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

"moral harrassment" at the Paris Opera


  • Please log in to reply
55 replies to this topic

#46 Viviane

Viviane

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 23 December 2002 - 04:59 AM

Grace, the only emailaddress I could find (at your website) seems not to work ?

#47 katharine kanter

katharine kanter

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 23 December 2002 - 08:48 AM

Claude Bessy has announced that she is suing Le Monde for libel. As the rest of the press, as well as the Observer, the Guardian, national television and so forth, have all raised the issue, Le Monde may have been singled out for attention because it is the newspaper of record.

So far as I can see, Le Monde appears to have done little more than relate an outline of the Socialconseil Audit.

#48 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 23 December 2002 - 04:16 PM

I know virtually nothing about French law, but in English and American law, it is axiomatic that "the truth is proof absolute against a charge of libel, civil or criminal". If all that was done was reportage of an official document from government or a quasi-governmental institution, then they're in the clear, but if they indulged in any interpretation or editorializing, then they could have trouble. I don't know if there's any legal precedent like Times v. Sullivan in France.

#49 katharine kanter

katharine kanter

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 24 December 2002 - 06:25 AM

What was that case ?

In France, when a Court considers a case, they judge - and this is NOT a joke, that is how it stands on the statute book - on what they consider to be "intime conviction", in other words, what they FEEL in their heart and soul.

As a person trained in quite another legal system, I would hesitate to call that a standard of proof. In other words, the issue of evidence, in French law, is secondary, to say the least.

#50 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 24 December 2002 - 01:01 PM

Times v. Sullivan is a U.S. precedent-setting case which found, among many other things, that a journal is not responsible for civil or criminal liabilities if there is no "malice" present in the management or editorial of the said organ toward the party claiming injury, and also that the material published be the truth. This, mind, is a gross oversimplification of the issue, but the one the papers like to trumpet about to the point where at least I am getting pretty fed up with them.

#51 grace

grace

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts

Posted 26 December 2002 - 01:26 AM

viviane - sorry about the email address - i was thinking it was available in one's profile, but it's not. you are right about the website being full of out-of-date info! my fault. :)
you could try private messaging - until i sort out that website!

katherine - i find that expression rather lovely: "intime conviction". in a sense, even the judgement one makes on acceptance and analysis of 'evidence' comes down to one's resulting intimate conviction...

#52 katharine kanter

katharine kanter

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 13 January 2003 - 03:13 AM

[Comments on the French legal system drew complaints and have been deleted. A.T.]

Colleagues rang me and said that French national television last night (on TF1, in the programme known as 7 à 8) interviewed a lady whose stage name was Marie-Elise Chalumeau, her real name being Marie-Elise Roper. I do not have televison, so this is hearsay.

The subject: the on-going dispute over the Opera School. Mlle. Roper has just resigned from the corps de ballet, after twenty years, and she attended the School from the age of nine. According to colleagues, the allegations she made were, shall we say, serious. I shall refrain from repeating them here, as I did not see the programme myself, but would be grateful for a report from those who did.

#53 cygneblanc

cygneblanc

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 450 posts

Posted 13 January 2003 - 08:28 AM

I saw it Katharine, but since I don't have a lot time today, my summary will be short.
She said she had always been told being too fat, that her teacher had the students being corrected with a wand, not with her hands, that some girls had performed while being injured, especially with some stress fractures, that once a girl during a rehearsal had fainted and nobody had reacted, that when Mrs Bessy was hating you it wasn't good at all for you.
She also said that nobody spoke because everyone was afraid.
They showed a part of a rehearsal of La fille Mal Gardée (students performed this piece during their annual performance last year). Marie-Laetitia Diederichs was playing la fille, and they showed Mrs Bessy while telling to a boy (maybe Jossua Hoffalt, I'm not sure) with sticked out ears to put his ears under his hat, because ears out the the hat weren't looking nice and she made a gesture with her hands to show how the sticked out ears outside the hat were looking bad.
Finally, Miss Roppers said she wouldn't do that again, and she had suffered during all her childhood.
For those of you who live in the USA, you may be interested in reading a book called Little Girls in pretty Boxes by Joan Ryan. It is about gymnastics and figure skating, but it is speaking about exactly the same problems than the ones pointed in the report about the POB school.

#54 Françoise

Françoise

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts

Posted 14 January 2003 - 06:45 AM

I just make a precision, it's Mrs Ropers and not Miss Ropers, she is one of the lonely artist who take her wife name as stage name. Her birthname was Chalumeau it was Miss Chalumeau who became Mrs Ropers :P She entered in POB in 1985 or 1986.

#55 Estelle

Estelle

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,706 posts

Posted 26 January 2003 - 09:44 AM

Françoise, thanks for the explanation- I remember wondering where Marie-Elise Chalumeau had gone, and also who was this Marie-Elise Ropers? ;)

A link to an article about that topic in "Le Nouvel Observateur" by Raphaël de Gubernatis:

http://www.nouvelobs...994/a88787.html

The title is "Des petits rats pris au piège", something like "The "little rats" are caught in a trap". De Gubernatis clearly doesn't like much Claude Bessy's policy, and also criticizes the attitude of the direction of the POB and of the ministery of culture. He mentions some harsh criticisms by
unnamed male POB etoile, and also from the director of a big company (but well, that director seems to think that the only future of the POB is Pina Bausch or Merce Cunningham, so personally I'm a bit cautious about what such people have to say...)

#56 Estelle

Estelle

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,706 posts

Posted 07 February 2003 - 03:39 PM

Two more articles about that topic, in "Le Monde":

http://www.lemonde.f...308435-,00.html

http://www.lemonde.f...308436-,00.html

But those ones deal not with the POB school, but with other problems mentioned in the initial report by Socialconseil (moral harrassment in some departments of the Paris Opera), and also with some serious security problems.

A brief summary:
It seems that the relationship between the direction of the opera and the unions are getting worse and worse. The union complain about several problems, some cases of moral harrassment (seven cases are being studied), and also some security problems (potential problems of fire, of dangerous chemical substances...
And also both articles mention a very serious accident which happened in may 2002 at the Opera Bastille: a "pont lumière" (I don't know the technical term- well, a bit piece of metal with some lights on, which was above the stage) which suddenly fell on the stage. Fortunately there was no one then, but it seems that there have been some heated debates about it, and about the security of Bastille in general. An expertise (is it the right word?) was done in july and august 2002, and said some emergency repairing was needed, but it would mean that Bastille would need to close because of that. It seems that in fact, some technical parts of Bastille have been dysfunctional since its opening (actually I remember reading that when it was built, many stagehands who had worked in Garnier for decades complained about what was done and said it wouldn't work correctly, nobody listened to them and in fact they often were right...) Hugues Gall doesn't want Bastille to close, and there are disagreements between the ministery of work (which wants
it to close) and the ministery of culture (which doesn't). Now it depends on a decision of the minister of culture- or perhaps of the "inspection du travail" which might force it to close.

Well, it's surprising to learn about all that- and closing Bastille wouldn't be a small thing, as most operas are performed there! But using unsafe material could be very dangerous (the Paris Opera already was condamned a few years ago because some chorists died during a tour a few years ago, because of badly made sets which collapsed
during a rehearsal)...


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):