John Elliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, which he founded. Gardiner, solo vocalists, and the choir and orchestra have been performing Berlioz’s Les Troyens across Europe this summer. Photo by Paul Marc Mitchell.

In Thursday’s (8/24) BBC News, Mark Savage writes, “Sir John Eliot Gardiner, one of the world’s most prominent conductors, has pulled out of the BBC Proms after being accused of assaulting a singer. He allegedly punched William Thomas, a bass, because he left the podium in the wrong direction at a concert [of Les Troyens at Festival Berlioz] in France. In a statement, Sir John said he ‘deeply regretted’ losing his ‘temper…. I make no excuses for my behavior and have apologized personally to Will Thomas … I do so again, and to the other artists …’ A spokesperson for Mr. Thomas had earlier confirmed the incident … saying: ‘All musicians deserve the right to practice their art in an environment free from abuse or physical harm.’ Sir John, 80, withdrew from his performance at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André, southeastern France, on Wednesday night…. Sir John’s assistant, Dinis Sousa, will take his place … at all remaining performances of The Trojans on the Monteverdi Choir’s European tour…. Mr. Thomas did not appear to be seriously injured, and took to the stage on Wednesday evening in France…. On Thursday, Sir John said: ‘I know that physical violence is never acceptable and that musicians should always feel safe.’ ”