Opera star resigns amid sexual harassment claims
Opera star Placido Domingo has resigned as the general director of Los Angeles Opera amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Domingo also said that he would be withdrawing from future performances at the opera house, suggesting his 50-year career could be drawing to a close.
In a statement, the 78-year-old said that his work had been “compromised” since allegations surfaced of sexual harassment.
Claims started in August, when Domingo was accused of pressuring female opera singers and performers into sexual relationships and of punishing them if they rejected his advances.
Other women said Domingo’s behaviour had made them feel uncomfortable and that they had seen him pursuing younger women with impunity.
One woman said Domingo had put his hand down her skirt. Three others said he had forced kisses upon them.
One singer said she had been asked repeatedly out on dates by Domingo after he hired her to sing with him at concerts in the 1990s.
Domingo has said claims were “inaccurate” and that he believed his interactions were always consensual. He has vowed to clear his name.
In his statement about the LA opera house, he said: “I hold Los Angeles Opera very dearly to my heart and count my work to create and build it as among my most important legacies.”
“However, recent accusations that have been made against me in the press have created an atmosphere in which my ability to serve this company that I so love has been compromised.
“While I will continue to work to clear my name, I have decided that it is in the best interests of L.A. Opera for me to resign as its general director and withdraw from my future scheduled performances at this time”.
Some of Domingo’s accusers spoke to the Associated Press news agency earlier this year with their stories.
“A business lunch is not strange,” one of the female singers said.
“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.”
At the time, Domingo said: “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”.
Regarded as one of the world’s greatest opera singers, Domingo has performed over 4,000 times, continuing to sell out concerts across the world.
The Spanish-born singer is still booked for performances in Europe until November 2020.