One of the most prominent figures in the world of opera stands accused of decades of sexual impropriety. The AP cites numerous accusers saying Placido Domingo has tried to pressure women into sexual relationships with him by promising jobs, and has at times punished women professionally after they spurned his advances.
Domingo, 78, is the director of the Los Angeles Opera and a multiple Grammy winner who is also a prolific conductor. The AP notes that he “still attracts sellout crowds around the globe and continues adding to the 150 roles he has sung in 4,000-plus performances, more than any opera singer in history.”
But the report adds that “his accusers and others in the industry say there is a troubling side to Domingo — one they say has long been an open secret in the opera world.
“Eight singers and a dancer have told the AP that they were sexually harassed by the long-married, Spanish-born superstar in encounters that took place over three decades beginning in the late 1980s, at venues that included opera companies where he held top managerial positions.”
The AP report adds: “One accuser said Domingo stuck his hand down her skirt and three others said he forced wet kisses on their lips — in a dressing room, a hotel room and at a lunch meeting.”
The report cites nine accusers along with a half-dozen other women who “told the AP that suggestive overtures by Domingo made them uncomfortable, including one singer who said he repeatedly asked her out on dates after hiring her to sing a series of concerts with him in the 1990s.”
“The AP also spoke to almost three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator who said they witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behavior by Domingo and that he pursued younger women with impunity,” the report adds.
Domingo issued a statement saying: “The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.
“Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.”
Scheduled concert appearances by Domingo were being canceled after the allegations surfaced, according to media reports, and the Los Angeles Opera said it would launch an investigation.