#TheStories, part 7

#TheStories, part 7

Jenna Simeonov
This is one part in a series of personal accounts of harassment, abuse, and assault in the opera and classical music industries. These stories are published as told to me, with some names and details withheld at the author’s request.

Around eight years ago, I had a teacher in my undergraduate degree who was emotionally abusive. I have to really sit down and think about the things she said to me, because I have blocked out so much.

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.

The only reason I didn’t leave her studio was because I knew I wouldn’t get any leads if I left. I got lead roles over better singers just because I was in her studio. Weird power dynamics.

If you have a true story of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault in the opera and classical music industries, you can send it to me at [email protected].

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