NEW YORK• Opera singer Placido Domingo on Tuesday dropped out of a performance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York while disputing accusations of sexual misconduct levelled by several women in the classical music world.
Domingo, one of the world's leading tenors, was due to appear in Macbeth yesterday. Both he and the Met Opera said he would not perform there again.
"The Metropolitan Opera confirms that Placido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately. The Met and Mr Domingo are in agreement that he needed to step down," the opera house said in a statement.
More than three dozen singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff have said in recent weeks that they had witnessed or experienced inappropriate behaviour by Domingo towards women at different opera houses over the last three decades.
Domingo, 78, said in a statement on Tuesday that while he strongly disputes the recent accusations against him, "I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes. As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request."
The Spanish singer added that he considered his dress rehearsal in the title role of Macbeth to be "my last performance on the Met stage".
Zeljko Lucic, a baritone scheduled to appear as Macbeth later in the run, is to take over for Domingo.
Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo is general director, said last month it would bring in outside counsel to investigate the accusations made in two reports by the Associated Press.
A handful of American regional opera houses and orchestras had previously cancelled planned appearances by Domingo, but the decision by the Met marked the most serious fallout for the singer from the accusations.