On 13 August 2019, it became public knowledge that the well-known Spanish singer, conductor and opera administrator Plácido Domingo has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment. Eight singers and a dancer said that they had been sexually harassed by Domingo in incidents spanning three decades from the late 1980s. The alleged harassment took place at venues including opera companies where the musician held top positions. Additional women also came forward expressing their discomfort due to his sexual advances. It was also reported that Domingo's habit of making sexual advances towards younger women is an 'open secret' in the opera world.
Domingo issued a statement, stating that 'The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate'. He added that 'I recognise 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 fifty-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards'.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has already withdrawn its invitation to Domingo to sing at the orchestra's opening night concert on 18 September 2019, and San Francisco Opera has announced that it will cancel forthcoming performances featuring Domingo. He is currently General Director of Los Angeles Opera, and this company has announced that it is going to investigate the allegations. It's possible that other organisations may follow suit, and some people are speculating that this could mark the end of career of this seventy-eight-year-old singer who once quipped 'If I rest, I rust'. He's still due to sing in August 2019 at the Salzburg Festival and at the Szent Gellért Fórum in Szeged, Hungary, and during September and October 2019 in Macbeth at New York Metropolitan Opera.
Plácido Domingo was born in Madrid on 21 January 1941 to two Spanish zarzuela performers who nurtured his musical abilities. He was able to hum complex zarzuela music at the age of five, and won a singing contest in Mexico at the age of eight. He studied piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City from the age of fourteen. Later he studied conducting with Igor Markevitch and voice with Carlo Morelli. He made his first professional appearance on stage in 1957, aged sixteen, accompanied by his mother. In 1959 he joined Mexico National Opera as a tenor and singing tutor. During the 1960s he established his career internationally in opera, and he conducted his first opera performance in the 1970s. During the 1980s he steadily became better known, even outside of the opera world, and diversified his career, singing popular and Latin music, and working in film, TV and even football, singing alongside Carreras and Pavarotti as 'The Three Tenors' before the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final in Rome. During his long career he has also created several new roles in modern operas.
Posted 14 August 2019 by Keith Bramich