In a rehearsal, male choristers they were told to show different reactions to the ‘ghost’ of Assur (sung by Ildar Abdrazakov, who was not present). They are for a range of ideas. John Copley jokingly said ‘if it were me I’d like to see him naked.’ One chorus member reported this joke upward. Peter Gelb fired John Copley. He caught the next plane home. The vast majority of the chorus, we are told, are horrified and upset at his dismissal. Other singers are posting sympathy messages and photographs of Uncle John.