Los Angeles Opera calls in lawyers to investigate Placido Domingo

Los Angeles Opera calls in lawyers to investigate Placido Domingo


norman lebrecht

August 13, 2019

LA Opera has just issued this statement, saying it ‘will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Plácido Domingo,’ its general manager.

The statement continues: ‘Plácido 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. 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.’

Significantly, Domingo has not been asked to stand aside from his post while the investigation is conducted.


  • Witch haunting. After 30 years complaining he did want to kiss you? Why don’t I hear a word about The Rolling Stones? Why I don’t hear accuses against dead conductors?
    This must be stopped!

    What about Domingo the singer who gave us so much joy?


  • sam says:

    Boards are in bed, so to speak, with the general managers they hire, they are deeply conflicted, and yes, not putting Domingo on paid leave while an investigation is going on, is symptomatic of the blind spot of the Board.

    Let me be even more pointed. Everyone speaks of the “open secret” about Domingo’s ways, that a woman should never be alone with Placido. Of course the Board knew of Domingo’s reputation.

    Like the compromised Met Board that settled with James Levine, the LA Opera Board and Domingo with come to an early understanding and part ways well before the investigation is over.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    The LA Opera is doing the right thing by not over reacting. Is he a threat? Give me something he is accused of doing in the last 5 – 10 years.

  • Olga says:

    The only one of those accusers, who claimed against Placido Domingo, agreed to be named. She is a former singer of Washington National Opera Patricia Wulf. Ms Wulf said he didn’t physically touch her but would come up close to her every time she walked off stage and ask if she “had to go home tonight”. And it happened in the eighties, more than 30 years ago. Is it her only memory of her years in Washington Opera?
    Sorry, Ms Wulf, I do not know anything about you as a singer, but I know a lot about great Placido Domingo and his activities in the world of music and art.

  • Gustavo says:

    Hey, calm down!

    It’s only about sex.

    Music is all about sex, male competition and female choice.

    Ask Stolzing, the bees, and the birds!

    The Phantom Menace of the Opera

    • Lynne says:

      It’s not about sex. It’s about power.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Phooey!! Shows how much you know!!

      • Gustavo says:

        Male power is a result of sexual selection, leading to ever greater extremes.

        Male dominance is a sexually selected trait driven by male competition and female choice.

        See for example The Ring, Mahler’s 8th, Sinfonia Domestica.

        Both sexes are involved.

  • Dimsky says:

    Unfortunate that the cost of “outside counsel” will likely be borne by the various employee groups at L.A. opera come next negotiation with the respective representative union. Lose-lose for the entire enterprise.

    • SeaTac says:

      In the case of non-profits in the US, outside counsel actually often works on a pro-bono basis. So your statement is bunk.

      • Sharon says:

        For a small outfit that actually helps poor people, the elderly, kids, crime victims or the environment maybe. But work for free for a major opera company? For what? However, wouldn’t the LA opera keep at least one full time lawyer on staff?

        • MWnyc says:

          Yes, I’d expect that Los Angeles Opera has an attorney on staff. And nobody is going to ask that attorney to investigate his/her boss.

    • Jazione says:

      Why can’t those who get large salaries to manage the organization be the ones who pay for this (and not the folks that do all the work)?

  • Bashar says:

    I, and I hope many others, will not believe a word until there is solid proof! Sadly the leftists tend to believe every “allegation” although it is not a fact and there is no proof. I support Basia, this is a shame, stop this witch hunt.

    • Lynne says:

      What kind of proof do you want? Is the word of nine women not enough? How many will it take? Should they have asked for notarized proposals?

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        It’s called E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E. Tested in a court of law and under oath. Nothing to do with Salem, heresay or innuendo. Ask Arthur Miller.

        “He flirted with me: bwaaaaa”.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Er…you don’t understand the difference between a criminal case and a civil case. The Salem trials were criminal trials.

          The LA opera can fire Domingo merely on the basis they believe he is “a slimy toad” and “a creep”. Domingo would have to demonstrate that the LA opera was “unreasonable” to believe that and consequently fire him if he wants to go to court. He would almost certainly lose the case (and embarrass himself).

      • Bashar says:

        Of course it is not enough. Words are words. They can say whatever came up with. I can say that Donald Trump touched my ding-dong 55 years ago while we were together on mars playing golf. Oh, you don’t believe me? But he did it also to all my friends! Or are words of all my friends not enough?

      • Gustavo says:

        8-9 women are statistically insignificant.

        There are probably more women who have very fond memories of Placido.

        The majority wanted the Pussy-Grabber.

        The majority wanted Brexit.

        8-9 women complaining about a vintage Latin lover is not very impressive.

        • Hildegard says:

          Gustavo, can you PLEASE stop using the Latin Lover reference? You appear to be obsessed with this term and I’m exhausted explaining why I don’t think it should be used here. Thank you.

    • Laurence says:

      As an obvious “rightist”, do you think it is only people on the left who care about sexual harassment? And you’re not ashamed to admit this?

      • Gustavo says:

        No, I am saying that more people need to stand-up and complain if something is to change.

        • Hildegard says:

          OK. I am standing up here to complain about the fallacy of constantly characterizing Spanish men as “Latin Lovers”.

          • Gustavo says:

            I know, it’s a cliché. As you explained, it may apply better to Italien men.

            The kind of Berlusconi or Salvini type.

            I need to revise my Hispanic Weltbild.

          • Gustavo says:

            I forgot to mention Riccardo Muti.

    • Carol says:

      If there is an investigation it will prove whether this is a witch hunt or not. If he is innocent, that will come out. That said, a relative of mine is a female opera singer, and his reputation among them is – look out. She heard that getting into the DC young artists program back when involved oral sex. I can’t attest to that myself, but it seems to have been general knowledge.

  • CGDA says:

    When you go to the opera or buy a CD and you cannot understand why the singer is not at all brilliant, think about these kind of these situations. The same applies to solo players and conductors.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Fire him asap and save the company.

  • Inez Russell says:

    Whilst I don’t condone harassment and any other form , the women who admit to having slept with him appear to have done so consensually or at least that is what one has read. Even if he did harass them and I said it is not great they could have said no.
    I worked in the opera world for many years constantly propositioned even when I was pregnant. But a simple NO seemed to work even if I lost some gigs .
    Equally one has to accept Opera performance by its very nature is a passionate form of art and productions most often require close encounters, kissing etc it is inevitable that some form of emotion is aroused.
    All a bit simplistic.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Levine can conduct Domingo in the famous opera, “Sing a Song of Sing Sing”.

    Remember boys, lights out at 10pm.

  • Emil says:

    What a shameful statement. Balancing his artistic merit against accusations of a profoundly toxic work environment. The LA Opera should realise that if even a fraction of the allegations are true, Domingo was as far of a “dynamic creative force” as he could have been. Breaking careers and traumatising careers is not art.

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    An investigation into Plácido Domingo? That would be a Spanish inquisition!

    “No-o-o-o-o-obody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!”


  • BrianB says:

    “Significantly, Domingo has not been asked to stand aside from his post while the investigation is conducted.” What is this sentence supposed to mean? Isn’t there significance in several hundred years of Anglo American principles of liberty and justice that you are innocent until proven guilty? What other significance are you implying, Norman?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Most organisations suspend their employees on full pay while conducting an investigation. That would be normal practise.

  • La-Di-Da says:

    Very interesting the whole thing.
    Everyone who is in the business long enough (let’s say: since ‚80-s), knows that Domingo was a womaniser, he even writes in his book he admired his father among other things because he was so successful with ladies. I guess he thinks this is a positive thing to be a womaniser… Charming, handsome, but o-la-la… He did not have to push him self on women- they were flying in him like moths on the light. He was nevertheless clever enough never to chase his direct partners but, chorus girls, statists, students etc. Everybody new it in the business. In Vienna for example, was quite obvious he had every night other girl in his apartment some of them made even serious dramas afterwords in theatre … He and his agent (later a big boss of a big theatre) even organised “auditions” in cities he sang just for one evening (in countries like Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia at the time): some very handsome girls would be than invited to the hotel room to discuss “possibilities”… I was once a part of an audition like this (not knowing what was all this about) , but not “interesting” enough to be invited…a colleague of mine was invited, she did not go to the hotel room (“why would I discuss my carrier in someones hotel room?”)…
    But all these women who did go to his room, or what ever, did it not because they had to, but because they wanted to, hoped to be with him, get probably more… And women did fly around him like flies, and he just helped himself…

    One big mistake Domingo did make- he simply stayed to long around , and somebody wants him gone – as soon as possible… had he retired some 3-4 years ago- nobody would ever come to an idea to mention this…