Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Plácido Domingo, revered opera star, accused of sexual harassment

Plácido Domingo, revered opera star, accused of sexual harassment

Two music companies canceled appearances by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades.

The women - who said they were emboldened to speak out by the #MeToo movement - were mostly young and starting their careers at the time.

Opera singer Plácido Domingo speaking during event at Manhattan School of Music in NY on May 11, 2018.

Six other women allege that Domingo, 78, made them feel uncomfortable with his sexual propositions, and dozens of other people in the opera business claimed that they witnessed the multiple Grammy award victor being sexually inappropriate towards younger women.

Spanish-born Domingo was one of the most recognized opera stars of the 20th century, starring in the Three Tenors alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras. In accordance with those policies, LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Placido Domingo. The Philadelphia Orchestra revoked an invitation for Domingo to appear with several other musicians at its opening night on 18 September.

"The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate", Domingo said in a statement sent to AFP via his publicist.

Domingo added in his statement: "I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are and should be measured against today are very different than they were in the past".

One such woman who worked at the LA Opera told the AP that there was a whisper network about Domingo: "Avoid interaction with him at all costs".

"Nevertheless, we are committed to doing everything we can to foster a professional and collaborative environment where all our employees and artists feel equally comfortable, valued and respected".

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Six other women also claim the tenor made them feel uncomfortable by making "sexual overtures" towards them, AP reported. And a conductor who is friends with the dancer said he recalled after she "said no to Domingo, she had the rug pulled out for several years".

The San Francisco Opera also cancelled one of his concerts, on October 6. "I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards".

At the Salzburg Festival in Austria, where Domingo is scheduled to appear August 31 - his next scheduled performance - festival president Helga Rabl-Stadler said organizers agreed he should appear as planned. Three others said he forcefully kissed them.

Yes, yes. So, she was not the target of him herself, but she said that it was, you know, well-known.

Ms Wulf said he didn't physically touch her but would come up close to her every time she walked off stage and ask if she "had to go home tonight". Wulf sang with Domingo at the Washington National Opera, where he was the artistic director until 2011.

Wulf recalled the compassion of a male colleague who offered to stand up for her if she wanted to report him.

She pushed him away, she said, and insisted she had to get to rehearsal.

"I was totally intimidated and felt like saying no to him would be saying no to God".

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