Plácido Domingo sexual harassment allegations investigated

Brenda Watkins
August 14, 2019

Eight singers and a dancer have leveled accusations against Domingo, alleging that he tried to pressure them into sexual relationships.

"The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has withdrawn its invitation to Plácido Domingo to appear as part of its Opening Night concert on September 18, 2019", the orchestra said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the LA Opera announced it would investigate the complaints.

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

The others requested anonymity, saying they either still work in the business and feared reprisals or anxious they might be publicly humiliated and even harassed.

"The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate".

"I have known Placido Domingo for more than 25 years", Rabl-Stadler said in a statement. The singer and dancers met while rehearsing for Channel Thirteen's "Gala of Stars 1984".

Another woman said Domingo put his hand down her skirt on one occasion.

The sexual harassment allegedly spanned over three decades, beginning in the late 1980s at venues where Domingo held top managerial positions.

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

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The statement noted that Domingo has been "a dynamic creative force in the life of LA Opera" for more than three decades, adding: "We believe all employees and artists should be treated respectfully and feel safe and secure within their work environment".

The Oct. 6 show in San Francisco had been scheduled to mark Domingo's 50th anniversary of performing with the San Francisco Opera. The 78-year-old Spaniard is scheduled to appear at the Met next month in a production of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Macbeth".

The Metropolitan Opera in NY, where Domingo is due to perform in Macbeth next month and Madama Butterfly in November, said in a statement that it took accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power seriously but would await the results of the LA Opera investigation "before making any final decisions about Mr Domingo's future at the Met".

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.

She pushed him away, she said, and insisted she had to get to rehearsal. He has sung 150 roles in over 4,000 performances, continues to sing, and also works as the director of the Los Angeles Opera. In 2011, the company merged with the Kennedy Center.

Domingo did not respond to detailed questions from AP about specific incidents, but issued a statement. "However, we have a zero tolerance policy towards harassment of any kind and recently refreshed our code of conduct to ensure all staff and visiting artists abide by the rules at all times". Still, she said, his hands would wander to her knee or he would hold her hand or kiss her cheek in ways that made her uncomfortable.

Wulf said she said no every time and a male colleague who witnessed the interactions backs up her account. She told the AP, "I was totally intimidated and felt like saying no to him would be saying no to God".

One of them said she had sex with him twice, including at the Biltmore hotel in Los Angeles.

"I'm stepping forward because I hope that it can help other women come forward, or be strong enough to say no", she said.

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