From Development server
11 August 2020

Damon Bristo, Briefly Director of Artistic Administration at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Arrested on Charges of Sex-Trafficking

DAMON BRISTO, a former vice president and artist manager at Columbia Artists’ opera-vocal division who briefly served as the director of artistic administration of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, was arrested on July 23 on charges of sex-trafficking in the second degree involving a minor.

Bristo, 39, was reportedly detained in Missouri, though, according to an article published by NPR on Tuesday, the St. Louis Police Department reports that the arrest did not happen in its jurisdiction.

In a statement issued today on Twitter by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the company said: “We were shocked by the allegations of criminal activity, which have no link to his employment or role with us. Upon learning of the arrest, the employee was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave and later resigned. We have a strict code of ethics and strong values that we expect our employees to uphold inside and outside of the workplace.” 

In August 2019, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis announced that Bristo would become the company’s director of artistic administration, and that his tenure with the Missouri company would begin in the following month. At the time that his appointment was announced, Bristo’s responsibilities were to have included helping to plan, cast, and produce all artistic activities at the company, and the role reportedly would have involved working with artistic director James Robinson, resident conductor and head of music Roberto Kalb and general director Andrew Jorgensen in OTSL’s artistic planning. In April, OTSL announced that the company has been forced to cancel its 2020 festival season owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

As OTSL's director of artistic administration, Bristo succeeded Paul Kilmer, who continued at the company in an advisory role through this summer, when he was scheduled to retire. spacer 

More information can be found at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

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