In May, a woman filed a Title IX complaint against Siciliani, current music director for Opera Project Columbus, leading OPC to launch an internal investigation.

In the weeks leading up to the Opera Project Columbus (OPC) production of “Rigoletto” in June, Music Director Alessandro Siciliani’s behavior became increasingly unpredictable.

Five sources said there were occasional temperamental outbursts, including one that caused longtime Chorus Master Christopher Dent to file a formal complaint with the OPC board. “This was based on an anger issue,” Dent said of the complaint. “And because of that there was a level of fear among the cast members, and in this instance I was looking out for them.”

A female cast member also lodged a second, independent complaint, alleging that following a May 28 rehearsal for “Rigoletto,” Siciliani lifted the skirt of her dress and made a remark that the garment needed to be shorter to better suit the character she was portraying. The woman filed a Title IX complaint with Ohio State University on May 29, a copy of which was obtained from school officials by Alive. (Though OPC has no official connection to the university, the rehearsal took place in OSU’s Hughes Hall Auditorium, leading to the Title IX filing, which is meant to address sexual harassment or any gender-based discrimination that might deny someone access to education opportunities.)

“I got offstage, and was sitting down and taking my notes. Somebody was doing something to my right, and so I looked over, and that’s when I felt [Siciliani] grab my skirt and try to lift it up,” said the woman, who spoke with Aliveon the condition of anonymity, owing to a fear of professional repercussions (the woman’s account was independently confirmed by a cast member who witnessed the incident). ”[Siciliani] had tried to interact with me and grabbed my hand before that, and I had moved away because I wasn’t comfortable. ... When it happened, I was shocked. I slapped his hand and stared at him, but I didn’t say anything, and I should have said something.”

Continue reading at columbusalive.com.