Opera Legend Placido Domingo Accused of Sexual Harassment by 9 Women

Opera Legend Placido Domingo Accused of Sexual Harassment by 9 Women

Numerous women have told The Associated Press that Domingo tried to pressure them into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and in some cases punishing them when they refused his advances.

Speaking to the Associated Press, nine accusers - whose claims date back to the 1980s - say they were harassed by the 78-year-old at venues that included opera companies where he held top managerial positions.

Three women quoted in the story detailed encounters that they said occurred while working with Domingo at LA Opera, including one woman who told the AP that he stuck his hand down her skirt after urging her to come sing an aria for him at his apartment.

The AP also spoke to nearly 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.

Calling it a "well-known secret" in the opera world, she said, "I'm stepping forward because I hope that it can help other women come forward, or be strong enough to say no".

"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", he said. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.

Domingo added in his statement: "I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are and should be measured against today are very different than they were in the past". It was promoted as a "special one performance-only event" with "one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera" and was one of several gala events this year to celebrate his legendary career.

The company said in a statement, "LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Placido Domingo".

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The accusers who spoke to the AP - all but one of whom requested anonymity - said they had feared speaking out previously would kill their careers due to his vast standing.

On Tuesday morning, the Philadelphia Orchestra announced that it had rescinded its invitation for Domingo to sing at its season-opening gala, saying: "The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has withdrawn its invitation to Plácido Domingo to appear as part of its opening night concert on September 18, 2019". She told the AP, "I was totally intimidated and felt like saying no to him would be saying no to God".

The Times has reached out for more comment from Domingo and his company.

Seven of the accusers say that they suffered negative effects to their careers.

Wulf recalled the compassion of a male colleague who offered to stand up for her if she wanted to report him.

In addition to the nine women (eight of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity) who made specific allegations of misconduct, six others voices discomfort over past incidents involving the Spanish tenor. "How do you say no to God?"

Six other women allege that Domingo, 78, made them feel uncomfortable with his sexual propositions, and dozens of other people in the opera business claimed that they witnessed the multiple Grammy award victor being sexually inappropriate towards younger women. They engaged in "heavy petting" and "groping", she said. Domingo appears to be the latest high-profile public figure to become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal after similar accusations were leveled against actors, athletes and politicians in the United States and beyond in the wake of the #MeToo movement. If they did join him for a meal, they said they were told to avoid alcohol and meet at a public place - for lunch, not dinner.

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