Opera star Domingo facing sexual harassment claims


"The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate", Domingo said in a statement sent to AFP via his publicist.

In response to the sexual harassment allegations leveled by nine women against opera singer Placido Domingo, the Los Angeles Opera, where the singer has been General Director since 2003, offered a written statement sent by its Director of Communications.

"I would find it factually wrong and morally irresponsible to make irreversible judgments at this point", she said. "Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is odd - or putting their hand on your knee is a little unusual".

The San Francisco Opera, where Domingo was scheduled to perform in a feature concert in October billed as a "special one performance-only event" with "one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera", has now cancelled that performance.

One such woman who worked at the LA Opera told the AP that there was a whisper network about Domingo: "Avoid interaction with him at all costs". Dozens of other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator spoke to AP, having observed such inappropriate behavior, including incessant attempts to contact certain women at their homes and insisting upon private meetings.

The Salzburg Festival in Austria said it was going ahead as planned with a performance by Domingo in the opera "Luisa Miller" on August 31.

It got to a point, Wulf said, that she would try to hide from Domingo behind a pillar.

The accusers, all but one remained anonymous, claimed that back in the 1980s the opera superstar engaged in inappropriate touching, unwanted kissing and made sexually-suggestive overtures like repeatedly asking out women on dates.

At the Salzburg Festival in Austria, where Domingo is scheduled to appear August 31 - his next scheduled performance - festival president Helga Rabl-Stadler said organizers agreed he should appear as planned.

Retired opera singer Patricia Wulf is the only accuser who agreed to disclose her name. "In accordance with those policies, LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Plácido Domingo", a spokesperson for the LA Opera said in a statement to CNN.

Domingo noted: "Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable". "They're not going to fire him - they'll fire me", she remembered telling him.

He added: "I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual".

In a joint statement to AP, the institutions said the allegations against Domingo predated the merger.

I recognize that the rules and standards by which we-and should be-measured against today are very different than they were in the past...

"I have known Placido Domingo for more than 25 years", Rabl-Stadler said in a statement.

In the spirit of the Me Too era many praised the move by saying it was "high time" he was held accountable and calling the accusations in the report "strong".

One afternoon when they were working together at the Washington Opera, she said, Domingo asked her to meet for lunch at his hotel restaurant to discuss work.