Opera Legend Plácido Domingo Accused Of Harassment
LOS ANGELES, CA — The opera world is reeling today on news that legendary tenor and Los Angeles Opera director Plácido Domingo is accused of sexually harassing several women over the course of decades. The 78-year-old singer, once dubbed “the King of the Opera,” has been opera’s dominant voice for years, but many in the industry are now alleging his abusive behavior has long been opera’s dirty, open secret.
In an article by the Associated Press, nine women — eight singers and a dancer — offer detailed accounts of relentless harassment by the man many consider to be the greatest tenor of all time. According to the women, Domingo spent decades trying to pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs, then punishing women professionally when they refused his advances. The explosive 5,200-word article by the Associated Press also includes accounts by almost three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator, who claimed to have witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behavior by Domingo. They allege he pursued younger women with impunity.
Domingo declined to answer questions from the AP but issued a statement:
“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.
“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. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.”
“However, I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past. I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”
Domingo’s accusers, however, contend his behavior went well beyond the norm even by outdated standards. One woman said the married singer stuck his hand down her skirt while others said he forced wet kisses on them and touched them in ways that seemed unprofessional at business meetings and in dressing rooms.
Among his accusers is retired mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, who told the AP that Domingo hit on her with disturbing regularity.
“Every time I would walk off stage, he would be in the wings waiting for me,” she said. “He would come right up to me, as close as could be, put his face right in my face, lower his voice and say, ‘Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?”‘
Another unnamed singer told the AP she tried to shut down Domingo by telling him she was married. She claims he replied, “It’s a shame your husband doesn’t understand about your career.”