Low Note

Austin Opera fires artistic director for alleged inappropriate behavior

Austin Opera fires conductor for alleged inappropriate behavior

Arts_Richard_Buckley_Cindy_October_2013
Richard Buckley's contract with the Austin Opera has been terminated.  Photo courtesy of Austin Lyric Opera

Richard Buckley, Austin Opera's longstanding artistic director, has been fired for alleged inappropriate behavior. In a very brief statement, the organization announced that it has terminated Buckley's contract, effective immediately. Buckley, who also served as principal conductor, spent 13 seasons with the Austin Opera. 

According to the statement, Buckley's termination was due to "inappropriate behavior" on the part of the conductor. "Following an investigation conducted by Austin Opera and outside counsel, it was determined that inappropriate behavior in violation of the company’s policy on harassment had occurred that was not consistent with the values and standards of Austin Opera."

The organization has said that it will not elaborate on the events that led to Buckley's firing. His biography has been removed from the Austin Opera website. 

Prior to Austin, Buckley performed with such companies as the New York City Opera, the Houston Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera. 

Read the full statement from the Austin Opera below:

Austin Opera has terminated the employment contract of Principal Conductor & Artistic Director Richard Buckley, effective immediately. Following an investigation conducted by Austin Opera and outside counsel, it was determined that inappropriate behavior in violation of the company’s policy on harassment had occurred that was not consistent with the values and standards of Austin Opera.

Austin Opera will take steps to ensure that those impacted by this conduct have access to any support they may need. Out of respect for those affected by this conduct, Austin Opera trustees and staff will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents that occurred.

The performances of Ariadne auf Naxos on Thursday, February 1 and Sunday, February 4 will go on as scheduled with conductor Robert Mollicone.