The Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera have pulled Plácido Domingo’s upcoming concerts after news broke that several women reported the opera legend for sexual assault.
Earlier this week, eight singers and a dancer reached out to the Associated Press and shared stories where Domingo reportedly pressured them into engaging in sexual relationships with him by dangling jobs, and sometimes punished women professionally when they refused his advances. Although Domingo is known as one of the greatest opera singers of all time, these women claim he has a dark side to him. The encounters reportedly took place over three decades, starting in the 1980’s, at various opera companies where Domingo held high positions. In addition to the accusers, half a dozen other women said that Domingo’s actions made them uncomfortable in the past.
“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate,” Domingo said in a statement. “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.”
Domingo, 78, was slated to perform at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s opening night on September 18, but the orchestra withdrew its invitation, noting that a new performer will be named at a later dates.
“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,” a spokesperson for the orchestra said in a statement.
Additionally, the San Francisco Opera cancelled Domingo’s appearance on October 6, citing that although the alleged incidents did not take place at the San Francisco Opera, the company is “unable to present the artist on the War Memorial Opera House stage.”
“San Francisco Opera is committed to its strong anti-sexual harassment policy and requires all Company members to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct,” the company said in a statement. “San Francisco Opera places a great priority on creating a safe and secure environment where everyone can focus on their work and art, and in which colleagues are treated with respect, dignity and collegiality.”
The LA Opera, where Domingo has served as a general director since 2003, said that it would hire outside counsel to investigate the allegations. Domingo is set to appear next at the Salzburg Festival on August 31. He is also scheduled to perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera next month; the company said it would await results of the investigation before making a decision about Domingo’s appearance.