#MeToo breaks into the opera world

Published on January 31, 2019

David Daniels — the international opera singer and professor at the University of Michigan –together with his husband Scott Walters, were charged with sexual assault on Tuesday night in the university town of Ann Arbor.

Both are held at the Washtenaw County Michigan jail where they are waiting for extradition to

Scott Walters, left. David Daniels, right.

Texas where they will face the court for allegedly raping singer Samuel Schultz nearly ten years ago.

Samuel Shultz, a 32-year old baritone and a former Rice University Shepherd School of Music graduate wrote an official statement with the accusation on his website. He also gave an interview with New York Daily News that, essentially, went viral.

Shultz  filed a complaint to with the University of Michigan police department back in July. The San Francisco Opera, where Daniels announced that it is “removing countertenor David Daniels from the role of Medoro in the company’s June 2019 presentation of Handel’s Orlando.”

Daniels is also on temporary leave at the University of Michigan where he was teaching since 2015. The University told NPR that “Professor Daniels has been on leave, and off campus, since August 2018. We will continue to closely monitor the situation as we determine the appropriate next steps.”

As Shultz told in the interview, he admired Daniels for his voice and artistry and was thrilled to meet him through a friend on the afterparty for the opera hit, Xerses. At the end of the night Shultz was privately asked for a drink at Daniels apartment. At the apartment, Daniel and Scott offered him a drink, but only after a few sips Samuel blacked out and the next thing he woke up “in a bed alone, and completely naked.”

His account went on in his police complaint:

“I was sore and I didn’t know why. I made my way to the bathroom to figure out why I hurt. I was bleeding from the rectum. I became numb. I was paralyzed with fear. What had happened? How could I escape? How would I get out? Where were my clothes?”

Shultz confided in his closest acquaintances but was afraid to come out with accusation as at that time he just started his career at Washington National Opera, Huston Grand Opera, and other places. Shultz said in an interview:

“I had so much fear about being excluded from this industry I was just starting out in.”

The case is under the investigation with a potential sentence for Daniels that could reach up to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of $10,000.

Daniels’ and Walters’ lawyer, Matt Hennessy, responded to media, saying “David and Scott are innocent of any wrongdoing. Sam Schultz is not a victim. He never would have gotten this much attention from his singing, and he knows and resents that fact.”

“He waited eight years to complain about adult, consensual sex to ride the #MeToo movement to unearned celebrity. We will fight this,” Hennessy added.

Not the first accusation against Daniels, the singer was accused by astudent who claimed the professor was willing to pay him for sex back in 2018, according to MLive.


Mari Paliienko is a Contributor at Grit Daily. Covering events and brands, she is based in New York.

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