Plácido Domingo hit the headlines this week over accusations he sexually harassed a number of women during the course of three decades, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Eight singers and a dancer have alleged that they were sexually harassed by the Spanish tenor in a series of incidents that took place from the late 1980s onwards. Six other women said Domingo made them feel uncomfortable with sexual propositions. Only one of the women, mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, has agreed to be named. The other women chose to remain anonymous as they are still working in the industry.
The incidents are reported to have taken place at venues including opera companies where Domingo held managerial positions. One woman has accused Domingo of putting his hand down her skirt and three women said he forcefully kissed them in a dressing room, hotel room and at a lunch meeting.
Domingo has denied the accusations and the Los Angeles Opera, which he directs, have agreed to investigate the accusations. Domingo commented: “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. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.”
Domingo was due to appear at Philadelphia Orchestra’s opening night concert on 18 September but they have withdrawn the invitation. San Francisco Opera announced it had also cancelled a concert on 6 October, however, the president of the Salzburg Festival in Austria announced they would go ahead with Domingo’s performance on 31 August.
Domingo is currently the general director of the Los Angeles Opera. He has also been artistic director and later general director at the Washington National Opera.
Seven of the accusers claimed their careers were adversely affected as a result of rejecting tenors advances.