The Los Angeles Opera has launched an internal investigation after several women came forward to accuse opera legend Placido Domingo of sexual misconduct.
The allegations were brought to light this week through a report from The Associated Press, which interviewed several women telling similar stories of being pressured into sexual relationships with promises that they would be given jobs. The 78-year-old singer, who still serves as director of the Los Angeles Opera, had two upcoming appearances canceled in the wake of the report and now could have his current job in jeopardy.
A follow-up report from The Associated Press said that the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera announced that they had canceled upcoming performances from Domingo. Domingo’s current employer at the Los Angeles Opera is now also investigating the allegations, with his job potentially in jeopardy as well as other future gigs. The New York Metropolitan Opera is scheduled to host a performance from Domingo next month but said it will await the results of the Los Angeles Opera’s investigation before making any decision about whether to cancel.
As the original report noted, eight singers and a dancer said they were sexually harassed by Placido Domingo, including allegations of sexual assault. One woman told the news agency that Domingo put his hand down her skirt and forced unwanted kisses on her.
One of the accusers said that Domingo would frequently initiate unwanted sexual contact.
“A business lunch is not strange,” said one of the singers.
“Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange — or putting their hand on your knee is a little strange. He was always touching you in some way, and always kissing you.”
One of Placido Domingo’s accusers says she had a male friend answer her phone so he’d stop calling. https://t.co/JNiKypAOv2
— Slate (@Slate) August 14, 2019
Some painted Domingo as overly persistent in his pursuit, and they felt because of his stature in the opera world that it was difficult to say no.
The report detailed allegations from a host of women, with nine accusers and six other women who said that he made them feel uncomfortable. Many others vouched for the report.
“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 noted. The majority of the women coming forward remained anonymous.
Placido Domingo has issued a statement saying that the allegations were “deeply troubling” and inaccurate as presented.