Plácido Domingo, revered opera star, accused of sexual harassment


Following accusations against him of sexual harassment by numerous women, Los Angeles Opera Director Placido Domingo has had his upcoming show in San Francisco cancelled, and an investigation has been launched into the allegations.

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. Wulf starred with Domingo in the Washington Opera in 1998 and says he did the same thing after every performance. Opera world officials noted that no charges had been brought against Domingo and no formal judicial investigations were underway. He famously teamed up with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras to form the popular trio known as The Three Tenors in the 1990s and early 2000s. Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of LA Opera and the artistic culture of Los Angeles for more than three decades.

Domingo, in a statement distributed by his publicist Nancy Seltzer, called the accusations "deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate".

Seven of the nine accusers told the AP they feel their careers were adversely impacted after rejecting Domingo's advances, with some saying that roles he promised never materialised.

Hailing from Spain, the 78-year-old Domingo is an opera singer and conductor who's won 14 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards.

The San Francisco Opera said it would scrub a sold-out October 6 concert featuring Domingo, which had been to mark his 50th anniversary with the company.

Domingo has already experienced the first fallout from the published allegations.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has canceled an invitation to have opera legend Plácido Domingo appear at its opening-night concert.

"Nevertheless, we are 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", it added. The orchestra said that it will announce a replacement soloist and program at a later time.

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AP also spoke to nearly three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, backstage staff, voice teachers and administrators who said they witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behaviour by Domingo and he pursued younger women with impunity.

In addition to the nine women who have outright accused Domingo of harassment, AP writes that "a half-dozen other women" have told the news agency of "suggestive overtures by Domingo". "And definitely don't be alone with him".

"When I clearly was not going to have sex with him, he just walked me to the elevator and went back to his room".

A spokeswoman for the Washington opera declined to answer specific questions from the AP about whether management was aware of any inappropriate behavior by Domingo and if any complaints ever had been made.

Two of the women said they briefly gave in to Domingo's advances, feeling they couldn't risk jeopardizing their careers by saying no to the most powerful man in their profession. Three others said he forcefully kissed them.

"A business lunch is not odd", said one of the singers. "How do you say no to God?"

Only one of the women, mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, agreed to be named.

Opera singers Anna Netrebko (L), who plays the part of Leonora, and Placido Domingo, who plays the part of Il Conte di Luna, perform during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's "Il trovatore" (The Troubadour) in Salzburg.