Almost a week after the AP allegations of sexual harrassment against Placido Domingo, major European opera houses are signalling their solidarity and fellow-artists are posting friendship pics. Domingo himself has said nothing, but there are almost half-a-dozen support energetic sites that seem to be much better organised than the average opera fansite campaign.
Los Angeles Opera has refused to divulge the name of the law firm that has been appointed to investigate the Domingo claims. The Met says it will abide by LA’s conclusions.
The expectation in the opera world is that the report will probably result in Domingo’s retirement as head of LA Opera, but no wider consequences.
Domingo has long been known as a woman chaser. So why is the case looking like a damp squib?
1 Eight of the nine allegations were anonymous. The ninth affirmed that her career was not harmed by resisting Domingo’s advances. On the contrary, he kept re-engaging her.
2 Domingo did not force himself on women. If they said No, he generally backed off – albeit, on some accounts, at the fifth or sixth No.
3 Crucially, no further accusers have come forward.
4 Domingo is genuinely popular among colleagues and has done much philanthropic work.
5 As one of the few opera names with mass recognition, he remains big at the box-office, even when he is just on the billboard for weakly waving a baton or supposedly directing a production. The opera world needs his name. That’s why it has rallied round.