Opera house to investigate sexual allegations against Domingo

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo.
Spanish tenor Placido Domingo.

LOS ANGELES • The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has withdrawn an invitation to Spanish tenor Placido Domingo to appear as part of its opening night on Sept 18.

The move came after the Los Angeles Opera said on Tuesday it will investigate accusations of sexual misconduct against Domingo, who has described the claims as inaccurate.

The LA Opera, where he is general director, was responding to accusations made by eight singers, a dancer and others in the classical music world in a report by the Associated Press.

The news agency added that it also spoke to almost three dozen other musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff who said they had witnessed what the report described as "sexually tinged" behaviour by Domingo dating back three decades in various cities.

The LA Opera said it is "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".

Domingo, in a statement, called the accusations "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 my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."

The Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he is due to perform in Macbeth next month and Madama Butterfly in November, said it took accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power seriously.

It would await the results of the LA Opera investigation before making any decisions.

Domingo, 78, is one of the most famous opera singers and directors in the world, with the LA Opera describing him on Tuesday as a "dynamic force" there for more than 30 years.

He was one of the Three Tenors, along with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti, who brought opera to a wider audience with concerts around the world in the 1990s.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2019, with the headline 'Opera house to investigate sexual allegations against Domingo'. Print Edition | Subscribe