cloudy.png
Sunday August 25th, 2019 4:34PM

LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two music companies canceled appearances by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades.

Domingo has been general director of the LA Opera since 2003 and previously served as the company's artistic director, jobs that gave him the power to cast roles and — his accusers say — make, or break, careers.

Some of the women told the AP that Domingo used his power at the LA company and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships, with several saying that he dangled jobs and then sometimes punished them professionally if they refused his advances.

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera announced they would cancel upcoming performances featuring the star, regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of all time.

New York's Metropolitan Opera said it would await the results of LA Opera's investigation "before making any final decisions about Mr. Domingo's future at the Met," where he is scheduled to appear next month.

The 78-year-old Domingo is one of the industry's most powerful figures and more than three dozen people in the opera world told the AP that his behavior has long been an open secret.

The accusers who spoke to the AP — all but one of whom requested anonymity — said they had feared speaking out previously would kill their careers due to his immense standing.

Domingo issued a statement to the AP calling the allegations "deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate," adding "I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."

The LA Opera said it would hire outside counsel to investigate the "concerning allegations" against Domingo.

"Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of LA opera and the artistic culture of Los Angeles for more than three decades," the company said in a statement. "Nevertheless, we are committed to doing everything we can to foster a professional and collaborative environment where all our employees and artists feel equally comfortable, valued and respected."

Three women quoted in the story detailed encounters that they said occurred while working with Domingo at LA Opera, including one woman who told the AP that he stuck his hand down her skirt after urging her to come sing an aria for him at his apartment.

In canceling its invitation for Domingo to sing at its Sept. 18 opening gala, the Philadelphia Orchestra issued a statement saying: "We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities."

The San Francisco Opera said it would scrub a sold-out Oct. 6 concert featuring Domingo, which had been to mark his 50th anniversary with the company. It was promoted as a "special one performance-only event" with "one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera" and was one of several gala events this year to celebrate his legendary career.

The Met held a black-tie dinner in April for Domingo, where seats started at $2,500. He is scheduled to play the lead of "Macbeth" in three Met shows in September and October.

"We take accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power with extreme seriousness," the opera house said in a statement, noting that "Mr. Domingo has never been in a position to influence casting decisions for anyone other than himself" at the Met.

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

"I have known Placido Domingo for more than 25 years," Rabl-Stadler said in a statement. "In addition to his artistic competence, I was impressed from the very beginning by his appreciative treatment of all festival employees."

"I would find it factually wrong and morally irresponsible to make irreversible judgments at this point," she said.

Domingo served as artistic director for the Washington Opera from 1996-2003 and as the company's general director from 2003 to 2011, during which time its name was changed to Washington National Opera. In 2011, the company merged with the Kennedy Center.

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

"The Kennedy Center did not receive any documented complaints about Mr. Domingo's behavior prior to WNO's affiliation with the Kennedy Center, and we have not received any since then," the statement said, adding that the company has "zero tolerance policies with regard to harassment, discrimination or abuse of any kind, and we take allegations of this nature very seriously."

Retired mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, the sole accuser to allow her name to be used, told the AP that Domingo behaved inappropriately with her when she worked at the Washington Opera.

Even after she repeatedly rebuffed his advances, she said, his persistence continued and he would often knock on her dressing room door, causing her to fear emerging if he was in the hallway.

Wulf recalled the compassion of a male colleague who offered to stand up for her if she wanted to report him. "They're not going to fire him — they'll fire me," she remembered telling him.

Too fearful to complain about Domingo at the time, Wulf said she spoke out now to end the culture of silence about abuse in the opera world.

"I'm stepping forward because I hope that it can help other women come forward, or be strong enough to say no," she said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations
The Los Angeles Opera is opening an investigation and concerts have been canceled by two companies after an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused opera legend Placido Domingo of decades of inappropriate behavior
1:26AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Friend of Ohio shooter due in court for detention hearing
A longtime friend of the Dayton gunman is due in court after authorities accused him of buying the body armor and helping assemble the weapon used in last week's mass shooting
1:07AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Flurry of suits emerge as NY opens door to old abuse claims
The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, school districts and hospitals are among the targets of hundreds of lawsuits that began to be filed Wednesday as New York opened a window for molestation suits barred under old statutes of limitations
1:05AM ( 42 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Pakistani PM reiterates support to people of Indian Kashmir
Pakistan's prime minister has assured people in the Indian-administered part of disputed Kashmir that he supports them in their struggle for self-determination
1:27AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Flights resuming at Hong Kong airport after protest chaos
Flight operations appear normal at Hong Kong airport after 2nd day of cancellations due to protests
1:20AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Asian shares rise on US plan to delay some China tariffs
Asian shares were mostly higher after the U.S. said it would hold off on tariffs of Chinese imports of mobile phones, toys and several other items typically on holiday shopping lists
1:16AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rep: K-pop superstar group BTS will take break, but brief
A representative for K-pop superstar group BTS says the boy band is taking a break, but it will only be brief
9:42PM ( 4 hours ago )
Sounders add Russell Wilson, Macklemore to ownership group
The Seattle Sounders are adding Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wife Ciara, hip-hop artist Macklemore and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to the MLS club's ownership group
6:56PM ( 6 hours ago )
Concerts canceled, investigation opened into Placido Domingo
Two music companies canceled concerts by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of inappropriate behavior spanning decades
6:40PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Liam Hemsworth wishes Miley Cyrus 'nothing but health'
Liam Hemsworth is wishing his wife Miley Cyrus "nothing but health and happiness" days after Cyrus' representative announced their separation
2:31PM ( 11 hours ago )
Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, Bad Bunny to perform at VMAs
Lil Nas X, Lizzo and Shawn Mendes are set to perform at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards
1:03PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Concerts canceled over Hong Kong airport protest
At least three concerts by overseas performers have been canceled in Hong Kong as protesters forced the airport to suspend operations for a second day
7:59AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Trump amplifies conspiracy theories from perch of presidency
With a pair of weekend retweets, President Donald Trump amplified an unfounded conspiracy theory. It was hardly the first time.
9:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
Company stirs debate with defense of Taco Tuesday trademark
Fast-food chain Taco John's is stirring a debate in its hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming, over its claim to "Taco Tuesday."
9:08PM ( 4 hours ago )
21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules
A coalition of 21 Democratic-led states has sued the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants
8:01PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
22 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules
A coalition of 22 Democratic-led states has sued the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants
3:56PM ( 9 hours ago )
Trump promotes Shell plant that will turn gas into plastics
Trump in western Pennsylvania to showcase growing efforts to turn fracked gas into plastics
2:54PM ( 10 hours ago )
Ex-baseball star gets home detention in insider trading case
Former Major League baseball player Doug DeCinces has been sentenced to eight months of home detention and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for his role in an insider-trading scheme
1:59PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Friend of Ohio shooter due in court for detention hearing
A longtime friend of the Dayton gunman is due in court after authorities accused him of buying the body armor and helping assemble the weapon used in last week's mass shooting
1:07AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Flurry of suits emerge as NY opens door to old abuse claims
The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, school districts and hospitals are among the targets of hundreds of lawsuits that began to be filed Wednesday as New York opened a window for molestation suits barred under old statutes of limitations
1:05AM ( 43 minutes ago )
2 guards suspended and warden reassigned after Epstein death
Two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein the night he apparently killed himself in jail have been placed on leave and the warden has been reassigned as federal authorities investigate his death
10:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
Dreadful heat, humidity invade South as misery continues
States from Texas to South Carolina were under heat advisories and warnings Tuesday, when it felt like 119 degrees (48 Celsius) in West Memphis, Arkansas _ and forecasters said even more scorching conditions were possible by day's end.
7:28PM ( 6 hours ago )
'Chrisley Knows Best' stars charged with federal tax evasion
A federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted reality television star Todd Chrisley on charges including tax evasion
7:19PM ( 6 hours ago )