Madrid stands by Domingo, along with La Scala star

Madrid stands by Domingo, along with La Scala star


norman lebrecht

August 17, 2019

The Teatro Real of Madrid today issued a strong statement of support for Placido Domingo, confirming his next engagement as Giorgio Germont in La traviata and calling for the anonymous accusations against him to be thoroughly investigated.
El Teatro Real reitera a Plácido Domingo su admiración y reconocimiento por todo lo que representa su extraordinaria carrera para la lírica española e internacional, y por su ejemplar trayectoria en esta institución. Y así lo reafirmará en su próxima interpretación en “La Traviata” en el papel de Giorgo Germont, en el Teatro Real.
El Teatro Real quiere manifestar su tolerancia cero ante cualquier conducta que pueda suponer abusos y acosos sexuales o de cualquier otra índole, y su absoluta solidaridad con las víctimas de estos actos.
Por último, el Teatro Real también considera que las acusaciones que se viertan sobre este tipo de comportamientos, dadas sus consecuencias, tienen que estar fundadas, y ser probadas en las instancias que corresponda.

Less expected, the rising Lithuanian star Asmik Grigorian has posted this tribute to the beleaguered singer:

Dear Maestro,
First of all – Thank You!!!
Thank You for being a wonderful colleague and a true friend to my father!
Thank You for Your inner warmth, supporting smile and unbelievable energy that each day You share with whole World for many years! Thank You for countless things I have learned as well as those that I greatly admire. Thank You for thousands of young talents who are on the big stage nowadays. Thank You!!! I support You with all my heart and I hope that this terrible absurdity will soon be over.
Thank You for everything You’ve given to our World!!! You are GREAT!!!

Further support from Doming has come today from Barbara Frittoli, Ermonela Jaho and the singing group Il Volo.

The biggest names in opera are still holding back.




  • Caravaggio says:

    Probably bc the biggest names know a delicate thing or two or three. As for the mega amplified Il Volo, please. And Asmik Grigorian, like the guys in Il Volo, is not really an opera singer but a pop singer. That’s what her technique produces and how she sounds. This sort of detritus is some of the stuff Domingo has avidly pushed and endorsed for far too long, with the deleterious artistic consequences we are living under.

    • Chris says:

      Maybe, just maybe, some of the ‘biggest names’ are just a tad concerned about siding one way or the other, in case something emerges about their own private lives, so are remaining schtumm until this business blows itself out, or comes to a proper head – in court?

    • Ms.Melody says:

      The biggest names are busy trying to imagine who would denounce them next and what is the best route for damage control.
      Agree, il Volo is a disgrace to Italian singing .Pity, given proper instruction, they had potential, but certainly would not make the money or bring in the crowds if they stuck to serious music.
      As for Asmik Grigorian, she is an artist with international reputation. How many pop singers can you name who sing Salome and Tatiana with major opera companies?

  • Emil says:

    Funny how all these statements by singers say ‘you’re such a nice guy, Placido’, and not ‘these allegations are false’ (because of course how would they know?). So the sentiment is not ‘we believe you did nothing wrong’, it’s ‘we don’t care if you did’.

    As for Madrid, either the ‘open secret’ that everyone knew hasn’t reached Spain, or the administrators put their head in the sand.

    • CJ says:

      And how would you know?

      • Emil says:

        I read the article with its wealth of evidence, and found it compelling.
        But hey, these artists can remain agnostic about the allegations all they want. That’s not what they’re doing – they’re voicing support. Which either means that a) they’ve decided all these allegations are demonstrably false (which they can’t do, since…how would they know?); or b) they don’t care.
        If they want to claim they don’t know if the allegations are true, then they shouldn’t clamour that Domingo is the nicest colleague possible. That doesn’t work.

        As for the theatres: we often hear claims of ‘due process’ being necessary; I’d just remind them that principles of precaution exist even in criminal law, before any formal condemnation (bail and preliminary incarceration are examples). They would be perfectly justified in suspending collaboration until investigations are concluded and, in my view, they should.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Emil writes: “They would be perfectly justified in suspending collaboration until investigations are concluded…”

          That really depends on the contract. I suspect they would not be able to do this without paying Domingo a substantial amount of money. The real test is whether they hire him again.

    • Novagerio says:

      Emil has a strong point. The fact that the Teatro Real, aswell as other opera houses and festivals can’t afford turning down the “holiest cow” in the market since the last 50 years, speaks volumes about the hypocrisy behind it all.

    • Mario says:

      Domingo is to Madrid what Messi is to Barça. He can’t do wrong and whoever critizes him is evil. National proud….(And yes, the “open secret” has been known everywhere else….)

  • Nijinsky says:

    Are any of these great friends really going to help Domingo?

    From the prior blog, it’s really touching that Teresa Berganza says she’s Domingo’s friend, and that she feels sorry for him; but stating that these things shouldn’t be judged by others that don’t know, how is that not also implying that the women who felt compromised, intruded and who felt that parts of their life (their career) were taken away from them: that they should keep things to themselves or Domingo would be judged. What were they supposed to do? It’s OK to judge them? Why judge ANYONE!?

    She says that one has no right to judge another person when they don’t know what happened (in the prior blog post it says without knowning [sic] you can’t judge); well, what about NOT judging a person when you know what happened. What if Placido did do those things, would she be there to still be his friend, to listen to him be able to unravel his life, would he be able to make himself vulnerable, actually be able to be honest, to unburden himself did he realize he got into stuff that he shouldn’t have, that upon getting perspective on what was going on truly wished he hadn’t, and then comes the shock wondering how he could have gotten that way; but then not hating that part of himself, but daring to see how something like that could happen, and enrich the world by sharing that so there’s s deeper understanding of cause and effect, and what goes on that needs attending to as deterrent by attending to the human being before hand rather than punishing them afterwards; because wanting that kind of power over another human being is also what a perpetrator wants, and simply putting that out at large contains the supposed logic that having such privilege to traumatize another is productive. Indeed the way the metoo movement is going might be preventing that
    I’ve seen the same strident look of necessity on a policeman’s face as I saw on a criminal intent on baiting me to make me vulnerable, when I instinctively went the other way, because somehow I knew to do that which DIDN’T come from thinking I needed the same privilege as those two.
    I think that Domingo didn’t want to really hurt anyone, although I don’t know, but, although – again I don’t know – I do think after hearing all of the stories that when someone wasn’t interested in his advances, that he could dismiss them from his professional environment. Who knows why? Because he felt he needed it (such attention) to be up to being there for his art? Out of fear? Because it made him uncomfortable? And I’m not even judging him on it. Or anyone. THAT’S how “crazy” I am.
    You have all sorts of “evil” people in opera. Scarpia. I don’t know who else, but why is there such a mesmerism with such characters, why does it seem such characters are a needed ingredient? And then we have Voldemoort, now why is he the one that ends up in a corrupt orphanage, a phenomenon in real life that J K Rowling says that she at first was going to turn the page on when she saw it depicted in a journal in real life; but then was so impelled that she looked into it and now is trying to turn such situations around with Lumos? What would it have taken to give Voldemoort a different youth? There are quite a few real historic figures branded as the evil ones, but when you look at their youth there’s an uncanny similarity. Yet society remains so bent on using trauma to discipline their youth that the pattern repeats itself over and over again, untended to, undetected by most, and if someone tries to point it out they’re made out to be unrealistic, crazy, disruptive, a nit wit.

    And yet there are people that are that radical (Jesus and Buddha being among them) Here’s someone that will let you unburden yourself, why isn’t that as available in what’s called the “art” world?

    I haven’t asked the spirit of Mozart’s Mother I’ve unfortunately already mentioned, not through a tangible physical medium where she’d have to speak through someone else’s mouth, or write it down; but I think Tamara is

    Heh, and no offense intended OK, I’m just trying to say something. I hope it helps whoever it would.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Sorry, it’s actually the second video that more tends to the point I was making here: “And yet there are people that are that radical (Jesus and Buddha being among them) Here’s someone that will let you unburden yourself, why isn’t that as available in what’s called the “art” world?”

      Why does just about every plot need an evil person to conquer, and yet there’s not really cogent exposition as to how they got they way and how to prevent it; or even interest in what really went on that caused the momentum that turned into “evil”?

      allowing a person to make themselves vulnerable without judging them…

  • no star says:

    In case all this accusations are true, it says a lot about the moral of the female singers involved. They should have firmly refused any proposals made by the tenor, and not now, after profiting of their relations with Domingo to throw all the blame on him.

    • Emil says:

      Ah yes, it’s the women’s fault they got harassed. I guess Domingo’s the real victim now, because nobody told him sexual harassment was bad.

      By the way, if you read the article, they did refuse him. And he didn’t stop.

      • david hilton says:

        No, if you read the article, you’d see that two of the women interviewed admit that they did not refuse him.

        • Gustavo says:


          There may well be women who refused robustly to his atempts.

          But the crucial question is how many gave in or even encouraged him to go on.

          We will never know, but all these “likes” in his social network are suspicious.

          Don Juan’s digital leporello?

          Some female careers may have been based on being a good muse rather than a good musician, or both.

  • Robin Worth says:

    I don’t think that this is a correct reading of the Spanish text : they are certainly not calling for anything to be investigated. They are saying that one should not make this kind of claim about an individual unless it is founded on facts and proven to be true.

    Not unreasonable, you might think

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Great choice of photo

  • Vienna calling says:

    I have never seen a contract with a clause that says ‘the contract is void in case of accusations tbc’. What the US housed did is most likely illegal.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      At worst the US houses would have to pay Domingo some money. The European houses, as you say (contracts a little different) would definitely have to pay up, and hence can’t cancel his performances.

  • M2N2K says:

    “The biggest names in opera are still holding back”…
    Which big names? In current climate, any sign of support for a man who is instantly condemned the way PD is – particularly if coming from a male who is perceived to be “powerful” – is certain to result in condemnation of the supporter as just as guilty as the one whom they support. Therefore such statement of support would most likely not help PD one iota but would instead hurt the one who makes it. So, it is not surprising that most “powerful males” have absolutely no reason to make such statements.

  • Robert Groen says:

    Music, anyone?