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Concerts cancelled, investigation opened into Placido Domingo

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:25 AM
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 1994 file photo, Placido Domingo performs in the San Francisco Opera's production of "Herodiade" in San Francisco. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, the San Francisco Opera said it is canceling an October concert featuring Domingo after the publication of an Associated Press story that quoted numerous women as saying they were sexually harassed or subjected to inappropriate behavior by the superstar. (AP Photo/Dwayne Newton)
A cyclist passes by The Kimmel Center for the Performance Arts, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra rescinded an invitation for Placido Domingo appear at its opening night concert in September. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Two music companies cancelled appearances by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said yesterday that it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press (AP) story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour spanning decades.

Domingo has been general director of the LA Opera since 2003 and previously served as the company’s artistic director, jobs that gave him the power to cast roles and – his accusers say – make, or break, careers.

Some of the women told the AP that Domingo used his power at the LA company and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships, with several saying that he dangled jobs and then sometimes punished them professionally if they refused his advances.

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera announced that they would cancel upcoming performances featuring the star, regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of all time.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera said that it would await the results of LA Opera’s investigation “before making any final decisions about Mr Domingo’s future at the Met”, where he is scheduled to appear next month.

The 78-year-old Domingo is one of the industry’s most powerful figures, and more than three dozen people in the opera world told the AP that his behaviour has long been an open secret.

The accusers who spoke to the AP – all but one of whom requested anonymity – said they had feared that speaking out previously would kill their careers due to his immense standing.

Domingo issued a statement to the AP calling the allegations “deeply troubling and, as presented, inaccurate”, adding, “I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.”

The LA Opera said it would hire outside counsel to investigate the “concerning allegations” against Domingo.