Just in: Eight singers accuse Placido Domingo of misconduct

Just in: Eight singers accuse Placido Domingo of misconduct


norman lebrecht

August 13, 2019

An extensive investigation by the Associated Press has brought to light claims by eight singers and a dancer that they were subjected to unwanted sexual advances and pressures by the former tenor, who was at the time head of the Los Angeles Opera and the National Opera in Washington DC. The incidents date back to the 1980s and 1990s.

Domingo, now 78, has rejected the allegations as ‘deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate’.

The AP says it spoke to ‘almost three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator who said they witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behavior by Domingo.’

The claims against Domingo are that he pestered female colleagues for sex, on some occasions suggesting that this might obtain them better roles. He would kiss women without permission and touch them inappropriately. There is no suggestion that he used physical force. The abuse, the women say, was mental and persistent.

All but one of the women spoke anyonymously. The only one who appeared in the report under her own name was Patricia Wulf, a mezzo-soprano formerly at the Washington National Opera.

Wulf, now 61, said: ‘”Every time I would walk off stage, he would be in the wings waiting for me… He would come right up to me, as close as could be, put his face right in my face, lower his voice and say, “Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?”…’

Wulf added: ‘Absolutely and most certainly, that was sexual harassment. When a man steps that close to you and with a wry smile asks if I have to go home — repeatedly — I can come up with no other conclusion than him wanting to bed me. Especially given his reputation for that.’

Placido Domingo issued the following statement to the AP:
‘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.

‘However, I recognize 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 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.’

You can read the full AP report, published a few hours ago, here.

The journalists involved, like the sources quoted, have not been named (Update: 24 hours later, the story was bylined Jocelyn Gecker).

Placido Domingo has been married to Marta since 1962. She has been a constant presence in his life, often accompanying him on his travels and directing productions at his behest at LA Opera and Washington National Opera.

After singing more than 100 tenor roles over half a century, Domingo extended his performing career in 2009 by dropping down to baritone roles, which he has performed with mixed results. He also appears in major opera houses as a director and conductor. As one of the most famous names in opera, his presence guarantees box-office recognition.

UPDATE: Placido Domingo: What next?

UPDATE2: In pussy-grabber’s America, what’s the fuss about Domingo?

UPDATE3: Philly dumps Domingo

UPDATE4: LA Opera calls in lawyers

Patricia Wulf’s CV reads as follows: Starting her professional soloist career with the soprano role of Mimi in La Boheme in 1989, Patricia sang the lyric soprano roles from Maine to Florida. She has performed standard roles such as the Countess, Musetta, Papagena, The Second Lady, and Anne in the “Mother of Us All.” Switching to the higher mezzo soprano roles, she incorporated ‘pants roles’ such as Cherubino, Siebel and Nicklausse. At the the Washington National Opera she has sung alongside Placido Domingo multiple times in Don Carlo & Fedora with Mirella Freni. In addition to the WNO, she has performed with Opera Carolina, Summer Opera Theater, Baltimore Opera, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Indiana Opera, and Sarasota Opera as well as additional opera companies and symphonies.


  • George says:

    AP article seems to be written by the same journalist who did the Dutoit – Story. Let‘s see who is next.
    I wonder how many women spoke in favour of Plácido Domingo and who are not mentioned in the article.

    • Sycorax says:

      A dozen of women saying “Oh, he’s nice and he didn’t harass me” doesn’t say that the nine who say they were harassed aren’t speaking the truth.

      • George says:

        I believe these women. I just believe he would have stepped back instantly if they had simply asked him to stop calling or asking them out.

        • someone who read the whole article says:

          It said in the article that he accepted no for no and never forced himself on anyone(in the article)

          • Bruce says:

            From someone else who also read the article: there were also women who said no and he accepted it, and then never hired them again even though in some cases he had promised to do so. Rape? No. Negative career consequences? Yes. He wouldn’t even have to threaten — it would be obvious. Someone who can help your career can also harm it (or simply withhold that help, which may have the same effect).

        • Emil says:

          It is also said clearly in the article – if you read it – that numerous women did say no, mention they were uninterested (and often married), and that this did not stop Domingo. Also, at least one says she felt she had to sleep with him as the only way to make him stop pestering her and save her career. Seriously, what more do you need?

        • Marc says:

          George, you obviously don’t work in this business. Many careers were ruined because they said no! We are not talking about two consenting adults but rather an abuse of power. It doesn’t matter that 400 women said he is nice…there are victims and perhaps more than 9.

          • Karl says:

            Out of 400 people 9-10 are bound be be nutters or liars.

          • David says:

            I’ve worked with Domingo, and been in this business for 25 years. None of this is untrue or remotely surprising.

          • J.M. says:

            The reactions might be.

          • Brettermeier says:

            “Out of 400 people 9-10 are bound be be nutters or liars.”

            Pulling these numbers out of thin air makes you the one thing, believing them the other. What will it be?

    • Peter says:

      “I wonder how many women spoke in favour of Plácido Domingo and who are not mentioned in the article.”

      What’s that got to do with anything? No doubt there are billions of women on this planet who have not been the subject of inappropriate behaviour from Placido Domingo. That fact says nothing about the credence to be given to allegations by women who allege that they have been.

      By that logic, we should assess Jack the Ripper in light of the fact that, however many people he killed, the number was vastly exceeded by the 1.5 billion people he didn’t kill.

      • Rodrigo says:

        Oh come on. If you check Spanish social media, it appears that the whole country is standing behind him. He’s a national hero. They are justifying and denying every single thing he’s accused of.

        Not to worry. No matter what he’s accused of internationally, he will always be welcomed back in his home country as an unjustly accused hero.

        • Tomasz says:

          Oh ha ha, as if the national fervor has anything to do with it. Look at all the Americans who consider Trump a “national hero,” but that doesn’t mean he IS one. FFS!

    • Lynne says:

      Sure, like all those reporters who cover bank robberies: Tell me about all the banks you DIDN’T rob”.

      • Gustavo says:

        The majority also survived World War II and are now responsible for global climate change.

        And the lead Pussy-Grabber is not listening to science.

        This is far worse than a poor old sod stalking mediocre opera singers in dressing rooms of opera houses.

        Ask Greta!

  • Norbert says:

    Criminal libel was repealed in the UK in 2010, when the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 came into effect and abolished the offences of sedition and seditious libel, defamatory libel and obscene libel.

    Therefore, a curious situation arises in the UK, where I can accuse someone of a serious criminal (sexual) offence, offering no evidence sufficient to meet the threshold of criminal prosecution, and yet remain un-challenged in my essentially libellous statements.

    Such allegations should be treated no differently from any other criminal allegation.

    Any differences inter-alia, are reflected in the sentencing policy, ONCE FOUND GUILTY.

    • christopher storey says:

      I do not see how the abolition of the offence of criminal libel has anything to do with this. These statements are plainly defamatory, and can be challenged in a civil libel action , and it must be remembered that it is for the maker of the statement to prove its truth, and not for the defamed party to disprove it . What has been alleged by the one woman whose identity has been revealed falls far short of an allegation of any criminal offence, but is undoubtedly capable of being defamatory.

      • Norbert says:

        If someone is defamed by virtue of the allegation being one of criminal wrong i.e. sexual assault, then it forms a criminal libel, as opposed to a civil one (save that this no longer exists – see earlier post.)

        If – as in the case of “nick” recently, the witness is maliciously false, then he may be prosecuted by the police for a) wasting police time b) perjury c) perverting the course etc. etc.

        But of course that gives no restitution to those who were defamed. They must seek remedy in litigation against the defamor, and whereas that previously would have been in criminal libel, now it is only in civil libel for damages etc. So the defamed’s ability to achieve parity restitution has been diminished in-law.

        That is why it is relevant!

        • Peter says:

          “Criminal libel” has nothing to do with whether you are accusing somebody of having committed a crime. The term simply describes libel that is punishable as a criminal offence.

          Accusing somebody of having committed a criminal offence was, and remains, capable of being defamatory. The abolition of criminal libel has nothing to do with it.

          And I don’t know what you are talking about with “parity restitution” (which is a meaningless phrase) but criminal libel also has nothing to do with restitution.

    • richard says:

      My comment: it is so easy to make accusations, without putting your name to them. When I worked in education I saw many examples of students making false accusations against staff and I also witnessed the level of gossip from staff about colleagues. I would challenge these views and every single one of them admitted that it was more a clash of some sort that was not harassment of any kind. When questioned (and I did it regularly) it was often a distorted view of the individual. In the PD story who would be entitled to a view about him. Not me and not 99.999% of people reading the press. Conclusion: very easy for unnamed person’s to make the accusations, but the consequences for the individuals is usually catastrophic. The one singer who has put her name forward-again, apart from the people who might know her intimately, who of us can judge whether her comments have any real validity-we cant……. In England employment law is completely inadequate, the threshold of proof being so low.

  • Bernard Caplan says:

    Looks like a new sexual form of McCarthyism to me.

    • David says:

      How so? Do you want to be more free to harass women without consequence?

      I’ve worked with Placido in two different productions. He’s a lovely man. And also lecherous and handsy and inappropriate. The allegations are 100% true.

      • Anna says:

        But they should be proven in court before publicized. I’m not saying that these specific allegations are in our group, simply that future ones could be.

        • Anna says:

          I meant to say that I am not saying that these specific allegations are wrong or false simply the future ones could be. We must defend against that

        • Cyril says:

          In what court? These women aren’t alleging criminal behavior, nor are they suing him. Every one of the allegations in the story was corroborated by others.

          • Anna says:

            I literally said that I worry not about these allegations, but future ones against an honest person.

          • Lorton says:

            Not under oath. Have we learned nothing from Kavanaugh’s later accusers folding when the FBIshowed up at their door

          • J.M. says:

            That is simply not the case. The witnesses noted “sexually tinged” behavior, which is pretty vague (and deliberately) innuendo-laden.

          • Richard says:

            Cyril. Your wrong. Not one of the stories is corroborated. There is only one accuser named. For true corroboration you need to put your name to the allegation, or it is just tittle tattle that goes on everywhere. This is easy to fabricate without taking responsibility for an accusation…..

      • Karl says:

        Did anyone complain about him touching them? If no one says anything then how is someone supposed to know it’s bothering anyone? Isn’t that what Creepy Joe Biden has been saying about his behavior? There are plenty of videos of him doing these things and he’s still leading in the polls.

      • J.M. says:

        None of that necessarily constitutes “harassment.” And apparently some women responded to it.

      • Richard says:

        David , if you know these things about PD are true, why dont you make a statement to the appropriate employer and not on social media?

  • Anna says:

    This is getting out of hand. Anybody can come out and say that they were abused in this manner and they are completely believed? Their statements are put in the press? Lives are ruined and names, reputations, careers are tainted. They have an asterisk next to them. I think that Before these things are put in the newspaper and on television they need to be investigated by the proper authorities. I am not saying that I do not believe the victims, just simply that we cannot allow for somebody to bear false witness and get away with it. In our legal system the accused have rights also. Even just one case of a person being brought down by false accusers is not acceptable.I am not casting doubt on these accusers, simply saying that the whole period of history that we are in right now is wrong and that people are human. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    • Sycorax says:

      I’m a former journalist and I once worked for Associated Press, so I can assure you. They don’t publish something without checking it – and they check rather thoroughly because the compensations for libel are rather heavy.
      That means: The jurists at the Associated Press (which is one of the biggest press agencies in the world) are convinced that they’re able to prove what’s in the article.

      Besides I do have one question: Why should nine women suddenly come out to accuse an innocent? And how comes that their stories are rather alike? Do you believe they arranged their statements? Once again: Why so?

      • Anna says:

        I never said anything to doubt the accuser’s statements. In fact, I explicitly said that I am not doubting them. What I do warn against is a quick jump to judgement that Domingo or anyone else is guilty because that is not who we are as a society.

        India as an example. It was(and in many ways still is) a bad place to be a woman. But now they have incredibly strict and draconian sexual harassment laws which were designed to make life better for us. While it has been used to crack down on sexual predators, a whole new industry has popped up of women demanding bribes from rich, famous or even not so famous men whom they encounter so that they do not go to the police or media and accuse them of harassment, even when no such harassment came close to occurring. This is because women can come out anonymously but the accused is made publicly known and the accused are treated as guilty until proven innocent. In other words, their system is now being abused. I am simply warning that our system could be abused as well.

        I am a rape survivor. I want every woman to be believed if she is assaulted or raped. I just also want for my son, if ever falsely accused of this, to also be able to have a fair shot at clearing his name.

        My proposal is that both the accused and accuser be made anonymous until a decision has been made in court on the case.

        • Peter says:

          “My proposal is that both the accused and accuser be made anonymous until a decision has been made in court on the case.”

          As I understand it, the women here have not accused Domingo of a crime. There’s nothing to be “decided in court”, anonymously or otherwise, unless Domingo wants to bring a defamation suit.

          • MWnyc says:

            And whether or not Domingo decides to bring a defamation suit will be telling — because, if he does, there will be testimony in court under oath, and possibly other evidence. If he’s not afraid of what might come out in court, then he may well sue. If he doesn’t sue — well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all these accusations are true, but it makes it seem more likely that they are.

            (He typed as he waits for Al Franken to sue Leeann Tweeden for libel.)

          • Risk Manager says:

            It varies by jurisdiction, but sexual harassment is generally not treated as a crime, it’s a workplace issue, because an important part of the harassment is often that the harasser is a person in a position of power or influence, who uses that power to intimidate subordinates into sexual situations. This is why most workplaces have policies against sexual harassment. I have worked in the risk management sector of commercial insurance, and insurers advise employers to have these policies and to train all personnel as a means of reducing the risk of suits and big payouts.

            This is why these cases don’t go to “court,” they are generally addressed settled with employers (e.g., opera companies) etc.I can’t understand why this particular group of commenters simply fails to grasp this, either by intent or by ignorance.

          • The View from America says:

            “I can’t understand why this particular group of commenters simply fails to grasp this, either by intent or by ignorance.”

            By intent (of course).

        • Orange says:

          These women have a right to their own life story. They may tell it if, and when they wish.

      • Karl says:

        Women have many motives for making false accusations; Revenge, jealously, attention seeking, pathological lying or just plain hysteria.

        • David says:

          Which do you think there are more of; hysterical women making up accusations, or men in power abusing, harassing, and assaulting?

          I’ll wait for your estimate.

          • J.M. says:

            More people exaggerating charges well after the fact. That’s pretty obvious.

            Why is it always the man’s fault when there’s sexual interchange later regretted? One thing that bothers me about these stories is that the women now never seem to have any agency of their own.

          • Vorpallo says:

            Dating in highschool was hard for you, wasn’t it, big guy?

          • Karl says:

            Victimhood culture is getting worse all the time. I hear women always complaining about harassment. To test that I have set up fake female dating and facebook profiles and have never been harassed or sent lewd images.

      • Lorton says:

        The AP is not the FBI and don’t have their gravitas. There are no penaliries for. Lying to the press not even for the reporter who prints the lie ( look at the kids who the press reported harassed that Native American Vietnam Nam “vet”)

      • J.M. says:

        Why then did AP say “sexually tinged” behavior?

        That’s pretty sleazy innuendo … and NOT evidence of witnesses to sexual HARASSMENT. Big difference.

    • Vienna calling says:

      Lives were ruinied and names, reputations, careers were tainted by the man people now speak up against. Their stories were investigated and then put in the newspaper. Sounds fair to me because even one person being brought down by an abuser should not be acceptable.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “This is getting out of hand.”

      No, it already got out of hand. Now these women tell us about it.

      “I am not saying that I do not believe the victims, just simply that we cannot allow for somebody to bear false witness and get away with it.”

      But you don’t say you believe them either and, in the same sentence, you bring up false witnesses.

      “I am not casting doubt on these accusers”

      Oh, but you do.

      “simply saying that the whole period of history that we are in right now is wrong and that people are human”

      And that’s just weird.

      • Nijinsky says:

        Anna, this isn’t really worth responding to, but I found it so abusive. I hope you have better things to do, so I say something.

        When someone says both that they don’t not believe the accusers, neither doubt them, they are simply stating that they have no prior conviction about what happened, and are open for the truth. To accuse someone when they don’t first say “I believe you,” and then put forth that they are casting doubt on the accusers, this is saying that the must first have prior convictions about what happened.

        • Brettermeier says:

          *sigh* Just for you, compliments from the chef:

          This is getting out of hand. Anybody can write stupid things and spread their weird theories about flat earthes (It’s hollow, not flat. How stupid can people be right? :-D), reptiloids, fake moonlandings etc. I am not saying that I think you are stupid, just simply that we cannot allow for people to say stupid things and get away with it. I am not casting doubt on your mental capabilities, simply saying that the whole period of history that we are in right now is wrong and that people are human.

          • Nijinsky says:

            I think that you again take things out of context. You left out part of the quote. Anna stated:

            “I am not casting doubt on these accusers, simply saying that the whole period of history that we are in right now is wrong and that people are human. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?”

            As I already said:

            “When someone says both that they don’t not believe the accusers, neither doubt them, they are simply stating that they have no prior conviction about what happened, and are open for the truth. To accuse someone when they don’t first say “I believe you,” and then put forth that they are casting doubt on the accusers, this is saying that they must first have prior convictions about what happened.”

            I don’t even know anymore why I’M wasting my time responding, because I don’t agree really with either you or “Anna.” I don’t think that a legal system that promotes traumatizing people as a method of discipline and mind control will ever solve the problem. And if Anna is concerned about her son, she might take a different route: something with less of a strain to it.

            Anna seemed to be perhaps a bit more cogent, but that about a system that I don’t think will really work anyhow, so maybe to show it doesn’t work by making out that it’s corruption is magic, is more how things will change.

            God bless it….

          • Brettermeier says:

            “I think that you again take things out of context. You left out part of the quote”

            If you think that it would be more favourable by adding:

            “What happened to not stupid until proven stupid?”

            Well, God bless indeed.

          • Nijinsky says:

            The whole idea that the legal system actually does determine who is guilty and who is innocent, and that after judgement that’s objective is ridiculous, because that never has been anything but a judgement, something people think they need, as if it’s going to fix things, and all of the collateral damage when there’s an incorrect judgment, or all of the stupid laws about who knows what actually adding to a non working society rather than building one up….

            Make everyone anonymous until judgement isn’t going to change much, if it makes any improvement. An unknown bystander that could give evidence but wouldn’t even know what he had seen or who was accused wouldn’t be able to offer any help. And on the other side it’s the court of public appeal that grossly misjudges people that one wouldn’t be able to get away from.

            Further more, I don’t believe that promoting the same stuff you’re trying to prevent, but saying it’s OK for “deterence,” works, is realistic, or doesn’t end up being corrupted, no matter how righteous or moral you think it is. You believe such stuff is necessary and you blind yourself from being able to attend to what needs attention to stop what you’re trying to prevent.

            A whole society triggered to create chase scenes and punish the bad guy is never going to see how all of that could have been prevented.

            And by the way, if you look at the math for gravity, and see that it increases just because it can, and then might go past the speed of light (whatever particle, matter, or essence can do that) where time stops, or enter a realm where time is beyond linear, and might resonate architecturally; you might see that a hollow earth theory isn’t necessarily ridiculous. And a mind that’s let go of fear, and allows time to resonate so that it’s not unnecessarily repeated out of fear, might open up all sorts of spaces, dimensions, abilities, understandings.

            And whatever happened to Admiral Byrd, it could have been a call for peace from beings having let go of fear, and being able to transcend space and time, and resonate with the “gravity” inside; who presented a call for peace rather than the mind games, the game theory, and the deadset of nuclear weaponry. Which is what his report says.

            *tisk* *tisk*

  • sam says:

    Let me ask you a simple question, Placido: if back in the 1980s, Marta had confided in you, that one of your colleagues had just come on to her, in exactly the same manner that you were coming on to these women, would you have quizzed your wife of then 20 years: “Are you SURE that Don Juan there did not have the ‘best intentions’ that he did not ‘believe that all of his interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know him or who have worked with him know that he is not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone’ “?

    No, even by the standards of the 1980s, we knew back then what felt right and what felt wrong, what behavior was boarish what behavior was gentlemanly.

    It’s on you, not on the changing mores of the times.

    You got away with it, so you continued. Too bad, because of your fame and reputation and power, a woman didn’t slap you across the face if you had been some third-rate tenor. But that’s not the women’s fault. It’s yours.

    • MWnyc says:

      I wouldn’t bee too surprised if there are women who have slapped Domingo in the face. I look forward to hearing from them.

    • Berthe says:

      Perhaps the inflated ego that makes an aging good tenor think he will be just as good as a mediocre baritone, can also make a man think that all women welcome his intentions. It seems to be a form of narcissism.

    • J.M. says:

      But a lot of women responded to this behavior! That’s a big fly in the ointment.

  • Gustavo says:

    Pride of the Valkyries!

    At least his 2018 Bayreuth performance was misconducted.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    This is news? See Schuyler Chapin’s memoir “Musical Chairs” from the mid 1970’s, where he states to the effect that Domingo “is never without female companionship”.

    • Yes Addison says:

      Well, yes, even so, it’s still news. Unless Chapin’s next sentence was “Here at the Met, we install his most favored companions in soprano and mezzo-soprano roles opposite him, while less cooperative ladies find singing engagements hard to come by.”

      But “news” is a less apt word than “confirmation.”


    My passaggio will never be the same again!

    Mr. Domingo has been abusing me and destroying my gloriously rich reputation ever since he began confusing having no top notes with being a baritone! When will it stop?

  • Nick says:

    I regret to add that I witnessed one episode more than two decades ago where a young lady was pursued, when she believed that she could look after herself but then had to spend all of 30 or more minutes doing all she could to get out of the tenor’s suite.

    Prior to going to his suite following a concert and a sponsor’s dinner, the young lady was strongly advised not to go. Among those giving the advice were a former opera house director and the present manager of a major British orchestra. She informed us that the tenor was well aware she was engaged and he would respect that. He did not.

    It can be argued with some justification that she had been well and truly warned. But like many early 20s young ladies she was star-struck and headstrong.

    Not having been in the suite, I can only take her later comments as accurate. As I understand it there was no physical coercion and nothing of a sexual nature barring a form of groping occurred. But the episode had the lady in tears and she left the city early the next day.

  • Emil says:

    My question: The AP asserts this was an “open secret” in the lyrical world. Mr Lebrecht, is that true? What have you heard? How much? Since when? What kind? No need to name names or places and incidents. But you are – by most accounts – very well connected in the classical world. Can you give us an account of the state of the land?

  • Webster Young says:

    People in the opera world knew about this – nearly since his Met debut, and about Levine, and about so many others . In fact everyone knew about this since women began entering the theater in the late 1800’s, and before, depending on the place. A woman who went on stage was considered a “fallen women” – de facto – because harassment was considered unavoidable and there was no way to tell who succumbed and who didn’t. George Bernard Shaw even wrote a play about this. The point is that political and historical revisionism – or trying to wash the dirty laundry of a musical or any other artistic culture all the way back to – when? – the time of the castrati? – is an obsession that should be definitely resisted.

    We can make our own environment in our own time better for everyone involved, but we cannot wash the dirty laundry of the ages and have no “statute of limitations” on how far into the past we apply our present laws and rules.

    I knew singers personally who had to face the same risks from opera directors who are still living today. The statute of limitations on our standards should go from the very recent past to onwards from today.

    One can legitimately ask whether or not this kind of obsessed revisionism – or lack of a “statute of limitations”- is actually an excuse for not succeeding right now in more legitimate efforts in the present day. Why must we wash the dirty laundry of the past – is it because we have fixed everything in our own time and have nothing more to do? One may think not… our culture has a great deal to do and to sort out.

    Much of that – to me – is finding out where to draw the line on controlling how people THINK, as opposed to deciding what is fair to ask that people do. I suspect that this revisionism applied to past behavior (that many knew about at the time) is actually more in the category of wanting to control how people think now. George Bernard Shaw (and we may certainly include Henrik Ibsen) knew and wrote about harassment, and still was involved in the theater of his day, and so was everyone else. What shall we say about that? Shall we deprive ourselves of their plays because their world was not the way we would like ours to be?

    • Ms.Melody says:

      Persons or organizations who bring up 30 or 40 year-old events as abusive are the same persons or organizations which proclaim that wearing theater make up in order to look like the character one is portraying is racist. The revisionism is pervasive and today’s standards cannot really be applied to the remote past. 40 years ago it was acceptable to complement, admire, flirt and date in the work place. Not anymore! People are afraid to look at each other twice and now scientists are trying out a “loneliness” pill. Different cultures have different norms of behavior. People from Spain or Italy are known to be more physical. It is normal for them to kiss and embrace to show friendship, affection and general good disposition towards someone. It is probably different now, but this is how it was 30-40 years ago. If we follow the revisionist logic, we should give up most of the visual art for objectifying women, opera for portraying them as victims and certainly literature, because of it’s misogyny, racism and unfair attitude towards women and minorities.
      And of course, classical music has to go because it was written by the dead, white males.

      What a sterile, sad world we will then have!
      Allegations have been made against P.Domingo and the reaction is instant. No proof is requested.
      “La Calunnia” has never sounded more topical

      • David says:

        As a straight man, let me assure you; if you’re so bad at flirting and seduction that you’re now afraid to compliment a woman or make eye contact, *you were never good at it to begin with.*

        It’s really quite easy, I find, to test your 1950s mentality. If a straight man were to be treated, flirted, touched, groped, spoken to, hugged, rubbed against, inundated with calls and texts, etc., *by another man*, would he consider it unwelcome and harassing? It’s funny how men understand consent *very well* when they are in a gay club.

        Again, as a straight man who has experienced many years as a bachelor in the business, dated colleagues, flirted, had lovers, …the only ones who have anything to fear are those who were shitty with boundaries. I hug my colleagues, kiss on the cheek if that’s our comfort level, compliment an outfit or haircut. I don’t, however, pursue voraciously when I am in a position of power, promise career advancement in exchange for sex, grope people who don’t consent, etc.

        Because I’m not a predator and I respect other humans.

        That, is the difference. It’s a sad state of affairs that you don’t see it, as a woman. Sad, indeed.

      • Nick says:

        The problem with your position is that whilst the actions may have been seen to have started in the 1980s, it seems clear they did not end there by any means. So the reference to something only happening 30-40 years ago is largely irrelevant, unfortunately.

      • J.M. says:

        Oh trust me now — if you’re cute enough it’s still ok to flirt and hook up in the workplace! That’s the big hypocrisy here.

  • Sonnambula says:

    Why can’t men just learn to pursue women who are in the same ballpark as they are?: age appropriate, same professional level, not so gloriously thin or beautiful that the guy is sure to be rejected?

    I’m sure I’ll get loads of flak for this but if Placido or any other man accused had pursued a woman of his own age, of a similar professional status and someone with a comparable level of physical attractiveness this never would happen. Yeah, and it would also would help if neither was married. These guys somehow feel they are above all of these standard dating norms and everyone is surprised when the women they victimize protest?!!!

    For some reason middle aged married men who are often paunchy, bald and near sighted feel completely entitled to date 21 year old model type emerging talents. Of course these women don’t want that kind of attention. And naturally they feel attacked when the guy won’t give up.

    I think of all the attractive, single, age appropriate, professionally accomplished women who would be delighted with advances from Placido Domingo. They wouldn’t be complaining. Instead he and all of the others are intent on reaching way out of their league to women who are half their age, in a different stratosphere appearance wise, and only just emerging in their professions.

    I just don’t get it. When will men ever learn? Forever barking up the wrong trees.

    • Petra says:

      “Why can’t men just learn to pursue women who are …”

      How about if men just learn NOT to pursue women???? That is, instead of pursuing, hunting, going after, etc., just meet them as equal persons and human beings. If sparks are going to fly, they will fly on their own without someone’s pursuing them. SHEESH.

      I know that you might not have meant it that way. But I point it out as a means of showing the language that is used so commonly that we take it for granted.

  • Emil says:

    Also, Mr Lebrecht, the journalist is named, at least in the republication of the AP article I read in the Washington Post: it’s Jocelyn Gecker.

    • Anon says:

      This is a critical point. Thank you for mentioning it. Yes, her name is Jocelyn Gecker, she is responsible for bringing this situation public and I, for one, would like to know more about her and why she did this.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    In the current political climate proving one’s guilt or innocence is entirely superfluous. Once accused, the person most of the time is ruined for good. My prediction is that Washington and Los Angeles will drop him like a hot potato.
    Marta may or may not divorce him, after all, Hilary did stay with Bill.
    His singing has been sub par for years and I suppose this is one way to stop him from continuing to massacre every baritone role Verdi wrote.
    On the other hand, I can’t help feeling sad for a sorry end to a great career.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Soon to be 8 X 100.

  • Wagner says:

    About time his misconduct was making national headlines. He is no saint as the indrusry would have all believe. Abuse of power is a reality of this business for just about any man with power and two healthy gonads. #ENOUGH

  • Karl says:

    Everyone’s definition of harassment is different. And many women make the claim to get attention or revenge. Nothing worth believing here.

    • V.Lind says:

      Regrettably, there is. Quite possibly the moves, inappropriate, unwelcome, overly persistent, of a recently bygone age.

      In my earlier working years, many male colleagues — and bosses — did things no longer acceptable. Hands on shoulders, arm around you when walking, hug, peck on cheek, etc. In some cases they might have been preambles, in others just a way of showing affection, approval or support. In my own case, none was threatening, nor did it carry repercussions of professional loss.

      Domingo may have been of this type — I do not see any suggestions that he was predatory. I have not followed enough links to find if he continues this approach today, or whether he has retreated, due to aging or to political awareness.

      There are lots of reasons to be wary here. but not to be outright dismissive.

      • Karl says:

        If that kind of thing is so awful why is Creepy Joe Biden still in the Presidential race? There is plenty of video of him doing these things.

  • BrianB says:

    I am so sick and tired of these forty year old allegations. It’s getting Kafka-esque.

  • Bruce says:

    Where there is an imbalance of power, true consent — freely given, without fear of consequences for refusal — is not possible.

    The more powerful person doesn’t have to use force, or threats, or anything: if you’re the less powerful person, it’s already clear what Mr. (or Ms.) Powerful could do to your career if he (or she) decides to. Suddenly you’re “not a team player,” or “not performing at the highest level,” even though you were perfectly satisfactory yesterday.

    Especially if you are at the beginning of your career (e.g. the Juilliard student in the article), when you don’t yet know if you have what it takes, it would be crazy to turn down an offer from help from one of the greatest in the business. If that offer takes on an overtone of “I can do things for you in exchange for sex” (meaning “I can withhold these things from you if you withhold sex from me”), then that puts a great burden on the less powerful person: by saying no, am I jeopardizing my career?

    When your boss is also a superstar, it becomes even more difficult: anyone you could complain to within the company has an interest in keeping the superstar happy. If you’re unhappy, then leave; they can always find another mezzo, and another. If the superstar is unhappy and leaves, then the company becomes just another company. (How famous were the Washington National and LA Opera companies before Domingo took over? Does WNO still attract the level of attention it did when Domingo was in charge? Does anybody know, without having to look it up, who the director of WNO is now?)

    Now, sometimes Mr. (or Ms.) Powerful has no real idea of this power imbalance, and thinks that his (or her) advances are received in the friendly spirit in which they are offered — “I thought all these encounters were consensual” was something Daniele Gatti said too. Maybe that’s even true; but that attitude, that cluelessness, needs to change. A person in a position of power should always be aware of, and sensitive to, that power imbalance — meaning, they should be careful not to abuse it even by accident.

    • Karl says:

      “Where there is an imbalance of power, true consent — freely given, without fear of consequences for refusal — is not possible.”

      That makes 99% of sex rape. Give the victimhood mentality a rest.

      • Bruce says:

        There’s missing the point, and then there’s ducking out of the way to make sure the point misses you

        • J.M. says:

          You know, in the old days a lot of women WANTED to have sex with older entitled men.

          Sorry, it was a different age back then — for BOTH sexes. I was there. Sex was in style.

    • Filomel says:

      THANK YOU.

      Re: “Now, sometimes Mr. (or Ms.) Powerful has no real idea of this power imbalance, and thinks that his (or her) advances are received in the friendly spirit in which they are offered — “I thought all these encounters were consensual” was something Daniele Gatti said too.”

      It’s called narcissism.

  • Bashar says:

    Same situation as with Kavanaugh and many other prominent personas. No proof – not guilty.
    And why do all these people remember these situations 30 years later?


  • John says:

    Hardly surprising… Hmmm….I wonder which other famous male opera singers will be ousted next? I can think of a few! They must be trembling at this news…

  • Tony says:

    This is the result of “empowered” feminazi delirium. They think it’s fair to come out after 30 years to accuse someone in group without proof besides their testimony. Since adhered by Hollywood prostitutes and social climbers, this fashion got out of control.
    If I were Placido, I would sue the despicable women to all they have in life. I would turn their lives hell.
    Nobody really cares if the life of an innocent man is destroyed by a liar or a gold-digger. This happened today to a respected, rich and legendary artist, but everyday a man is destroyed in courts in divorces because the simple word of a woman has power and is taken as the ultimate truth, especially in sexual matter and physical violence. It’s outrageous!
    Well, Muslims will take care of that in Europe, I’m sure. It will be a pleasure to take the plane to Frankistan or to Englishtan in two or three decades and see feminazis walked like dogs on the streets by their owners or a stoning ceremony of feminists in public square.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    “Misconduct”? Who will decide what constitutes this? That terrifies me in the puritanical age of vengeance and resentment.

  • BastaCosi says:

    Let’s be clear – in 50 years, if you say the name Patricia Wulff to anyone, no one will have any idea who she is. Yet Domingo will go down as one of the all time greats. May that give everyone some perspective and solace.

    • John says:

      Oh yes just like Rolf Harris will go down as a great artist and entertainer. I don’t think so…

      • BastaCosi says:

        Yeah this is an idiotic reply. Nothing is even comparable there – Harris assaulted underaged women. The fact that you think those are related shows just how irrelevant your feelings on the issue are. Bye.

      • J.M. says:

        Some equivalence there.

        These MeToo discussions always get odd. The biggest sympathizers always start sounding off-the-wall silly.

    • Bruce says:

      And that means…?

      Is fame the only reason anyone could ever accuse someone of sexual misconduct? Is fame a justification for such misconduct (or, conversely, proof that it didn’t happen)?

      I remember some conservative talk show audience member yelling at one of the Parkland (FL) teenagers that she wouldn’t even be on TV if that shooting hadn’t happened — as if she should be grateful instead of protesting about gun violence.

  • S. Rombough says:

    I am so disappointed. I have followed PD’s career and could not imagine his being guilty of this type of behavior, trying to force sexual behavior at whatever level. I am at a loss for words. In academia the same behaviors occur but some academic “stars” are truly inoffensive even if some female graduate students approach their professors hoping for a quid pro quo. I was accused of sleeping with my professors to attain my ph.d. because I was (am) blonde and thin. Not everyone is guilty of what they are accused of. I never was and I hope PD is not either.