Sign up for a daily newsletter defining what matters in business and markets

Stories

Opera star Plácido Domingo faces multiple sexual harassment claims: AP

Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, 78, performs on stage during the dress rehearsal of "Spanish Night" at the 150th Choregie in Orange on 5 July
Opera singer Plácido Domingo. Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Opera singer Plácido Domingo has been accused by several women of sexual harassment and abusing his power over 3 decades from the late 1980s, AP reported in an investigation it published Tuesday. He described the claims as "inaccurate."

Why it matters: The 78-year-old Spanish tenor and multiple Grammy Award winner is regarded as one of the greatest ever opera singers. AP reported numerous allegations of harassment and claims that his conduct involved dangling jobs and sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances.

Details: 8 singers and a dancer alleged to AP that he sexually harassed them at venues including the Washington Opera, Los Angeles Opera and other opera companies where Domingo held top positions.

  • 6 other women claim his behavior made them feel uncomfortable.
  • Dozens of people alleged to AP that they saw him behave in a sexually inappropriate manner toward younger women, claiming that his conduct was an "open secret" in opera circles.

What he's saying: Domingo — who has been married to his second wife, the soprano Marta Ornelas, since 1962— did not respond to detailed questions from AP, but he did issue a statement to the news agency.

"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."

What they're saying: The San Francisco Opera said in a statement Tuesday it was canceling a planned Oct. 6 concert that was to feature Domingo in the wake of the allegations.

  • The LA Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, said it would hire outside counsel to investigate the claims, per AP, which notes the Philadelphia Orchestra has rescinded an invitation for the singer to appear at its opening night concert next month.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with reaction from San Francisco Opera, LA Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.