Domingo wins one, loses one

Domingo wins one, loses one


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2019

The Bolshoi Theatre, unrolling its new season, has cast Placido Domingo as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata next April. It will be the singer’s debut in a fully staged Bolshoi production.

On the debit side, Domingo’s name has disappeared from its original inclusion in a European Culture Prize gala night at the Vienna Opera, honouring the likes of Sophia Loren, Vivienne Westwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gordon Getty.

Maybe he’s too busy.

UPDATE: Official statement: ‘Plácido Domingo and the European Cultural Forum have jointly decided to postpone the award to October 3, 2020 in Bonn,’ said the organisers.


  • sam says:

    Putin is just trolling America. Domingo is the Snowden of opera: banished from America, offered asylum in Russia.

    • Claudio says:

      All due respect, but what a silly comparison to make. Edward Snowden is a hero that put his life in danger to reveal how the US was spying on its citizens. Plácido Domingo is accused of sexual harassment and abuse against women, one of the most cowardly things a man can do.

      • sam says:

        Right, Domingo is the Assange of opera, accused of sexual assault in one country and offered asylum by another.

        Alas methinks Domingo will suffer the same fate as Assange, wearing out his welcome wherever he is.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Death by reputational destruction. It’s what the Left is so darn good at!!! (But not in a position to point the finger at ANYBODY.)

          • sonoio says:

            Thanks God some ‘sense’ ! What is happening to Domingo is absurd and disgusting….Me and my daughter Know him for over 40 years…his wonderful wife Marta and the children, they all DO NOT deserve the BS that sure some ‘politically correct’ dumb people made up !

          • Petros Linardos says:

            The real left and the left as imagined by its haters are two vastly different groups: the latter is a myth.

      • SMH says:

        Domingo is a hero! Even if half of the allegations are true he has done more good than harm. Everyone untwist their panties and see what the investigation reveals.

        • Lorelei says:

          SMH, It would be interesting if you ever meet your “hero” in person and he starts to harass you sexually and kisses you square on the lips. Male, female, whatever you may be, I would love to know how you feel then. Or maybe if he did that to a daughter of yours – if there’s some poor girl out there, unfortunate enough to have an abuse apologist like you as a parent.

          Bill Cosby also did “more good than harm”, according to his apologists. He was considered “America’s dad”, he was an inspiration to African Americans who wanted to be like him, and he motivated many comedians who preferred his clean style over that of Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy. Now he is sitting in prison, after being found guilty of aggravated indecent assault.

          If any of the allegations are true and Domingo ends up in prison someday, I hope you will go visit him and remind him what a “hero” he is.

          • M2N2K says:

            Another silly analogy: no one is accusing PD of drugging women in order to commit “aggravated indecent assault” against any of them. Not even close.

        • Nick2 says:

          What a dreadful comment! So SMH believes it is perfectly acceptable to do bad and unacceptable things as long as you do a few good things to redress the balance. I hope you are never on a jury!

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        I’m guessing you’ve never read much literature, including Fielding’s “Tom Jones” or Byron’s “Don Juan” or even the Mozart opera. Goodness me; get the smelling salts out if you ever HAVE to have those experiences!!

  • a non-named name says:

    If only Domingo was the class act that Schwarzenegger is…

  • Opera Fan says:

    Pretty sad if you have to take refuge in Russia. The once great Domingo is now the Gérard Depardieu of opera.

  • Caravaggio says:

    The megalomaniac will shake hands, appear and perform with, and take money from, anyone and anything with a pulse, without a drop of shame, so long as he is the epicenter of attention and adoration and of (conditional) loyalty.

  • Yv says:

    People, who think, Schwarzenegger was/ is a hero, seem to be verrrryyyy subjective. Without people having bought tickets for his brainless, aggressive movies, he would still be in Austria, driving taxi perhaps. But women were crazy regarding his muscles and men loved his movies for other reasons….

  • Karl says:

    Arnold Schwarzenegger? Do you remember how many sexual harassment allegations there were against him when he ran for governor? In 2011, it was reported and Schwarzenegger confirmed he had fathered a child with his housekeeper. Then he humiliated his wife even more by writing a book about it.

  • Gustavo says:

    I like the painting in the background.

    Could be Liebermann. Or Rylov?

  • ines says:

    I am tired of hearing and reading about Domingo; can people who heard him lately say if he sounds good or is it just a name who sales ?

  • V.Lind says:

    Sounds a bit out of character for Domingo to be “too busy” for Sophia Loren. Or a Getty. 🙂

  • Lilypond says:

    Maybe this will finally get him off the stage.He should have left five years ago.Why theatres still engage him is a travesty.The voice is in shambles.

    • Mariclar says:

      The “voice” is 78 years old, will be 79 years old in 4 more months, and still sounds far better than many voices half its age. All you losers sound like purse-lipped, fainting maiden aunts, horrified by men who have active libidos for partners not of their own sex. Try getting a grip.

      The number of women who are just now complaining about Domingo’s “unwelcome advances” pales by comparison to the number who were flattered and quite willing to accept. The man was gorgeous in his prime, a musical prodigy, and is still — and always will remain — the uncontestably greatest tenor of the second half of the 20th Century. His voice was sublime, his acting superb, and his stage presence has kept his audiences enthralled, performance after performance, for more than 50 years. And he was and is, as many will happily vouch, kind, generous with his time, and gracious with his colleagues and everyone else with whom he came into contact.

      The women coming forward now are probably those who ran after him — there were many, many of them — whom he turned down, and this is their way of getting a very belated (and utterly useless) revenge.

      If he were to retire from the stage now, he has earned enough money, won enough glory, and received enough honors, to fill three lifetimes. Call him all the names you want, you puny little nothings — he was, and remains, a Colossus in the world of glorious music, and a gentleman. And answer this question if you can: why woould someone so sought after by so many even need to waste his time with women who weren’t willing, when there were so many who were? Those poor, accusing women — still eaten up with spite and envy after all these years.

  • Edite Perkons says:

    Why are you so misleading and nasty Mr. Lebrecht? What purpose does your comment “Maybe he’s too busy” serves when you must know that the official explanation was ‘Plácido Domingo and the European Cultural Forum have jointly decided to postpone the award to October 3, 2020 in Bonn,’ said Annett Reeder as Managing Director of the organizers of the APA on request.”

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Thank you for the belated clarifiction.

    • Gustavo says:

      But why postpone the prize? Why not withdraw completely?

      Postponing signals that they don’t trust Domingo’s denial, but may need him as a mascot for future events.

      I’m beginning to feel sorry for Domingo.

      Why doesn’t the European Cultural Forum stand-up for Domingo, like Zubin Mehta and others from the inner circle have done?

      Don’t they have any cojones?

      Maybe Annett Reeder was told the truth.

      • Enquiring Mind says:

        They don’t think like you? Maybe they want to wait until the bandwagon of metoo finally comes to an inevitable halt.

  • Richard Kiel says:

    “Domingo’s name has disappeared from its original inclusion in a European Culture Prize gala night at the Vienna Opera…” Are you sure?
    I just looked at the website. He’s there… as indeed he should be.

  • Gustavo says:

    The European Culture Prize is off.

    Postponed until 2020 in mutual agreement.

    Gives Me2 time to come up with evidence, and Domingo time to rethink his life.

  • Nick says:

    Is he Just too vain to realise that Russian engagement was politically motivated?

    • Mariclar says:

      Domingo’s motto is “if I rest, I rust.” He has more energy at age 78 than most people in their 30’s. If he now has some free time, due to the stupidity of opera companies who think that punishing him for behavior that allegedly took place 30 or 40 years ago is more important than offering their audiences a glimpse of a living legend, why shouldn’t he go where he’s invited?

      And judging by the sheer numbers of superb Russian singers on the world’s stages at this moment, many of whom come from the Bolshoi, Domingo is certainly not lowering his standards by appearing with them!

  • Gustavo says:

    Domingo to Reeder: “MeToo busy.”