Culture&Arts

Plácido Domingo: US opera houses respond to 'concerning' allegations

Plácido Domingo: US opera houses respond to 'concerning' allegations

'Every time I would walk off stage, he would be in the wings waiting for me, ' says Wulf, holding pictures of herself in costume for her role in The Magic Flute in 1998 at the Washington Opera.

Retired opera singer Patricia Wulf is the only accuser who agreed to disclose her name. It had been promoted as a "special one performance-only event" with "one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera".

In response, a slew of operatic companies have distanced themselves from Domingo and denounced sexual harassment. He is General Director of Los Angeles Opera and his worldwide Operaliacompetition has identified some of the world's finest opera singers. Meanwhile, orchestras in Philadelphia and San Francisco have cancelled upcoming appearances by Domingo.

Domingo has called the allegations "deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate", adding "I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual".

Opera singer Placido Domingo has been accused of sexually harassing nine women over thirty years, claims that he denies.

Domingo is the general director of the LA Opera and has held top managerial positions at the company since 2000. None of the women could offer documentation to back up their accusations, but the AP "independently verified that the women worked where they said they did and that Domingo overlapped with them at those locations".

The Salzburg Festival in Austria said it was going ahead as planned with a performance by Domingo in the opera "Luisa Miller" on August 31.

"Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of LA Opera and the artistic culture of Los Angeles for more than three decades", it added.

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Eight singers and a dancer told the AP that they were harassed by Domingo, whose attitude towards women was "an open secret" in the world of opera.

A spokeswoman for the Washington opera declined to answer specific questions from the AP about whether management was aware of any inappropriate behavior by Domingo and if any complaints ever had been made.

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Orchestra withdrew its invitation for the vocalist to appear with music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin in the season's gala opening concert September 18. "San Francisco Opera places a great priority on creating a safe and secure environment where everyone can focus on their work and art, and in which colleagues are treated with respect, dignity and collegiality".

Numerous accusers have alleged Spanish-born Domingo used his star power and influence to sexually harass and assault women, dangling the prospect of work in exchange for sex and sometimes professionally punishing women who refused his advances.

In a joint statement to AP, the institutions said the allegations against Domingo predated the merger.

This is the first organization to act against Domingo since the report came out Tuesday morning.

The Metropolitan Opera Guild, the non-profit organisation that publishes Opera News magazine and supports the Metropolitan Opera of New York City, said had no comment, although some reports say it is awaiting the results of the Los Angeles Opera's investigation.