More vultures come out for Domingomain
Martin Kettle in the Guardian:
Where do this week’s developments leave the Royal Opera House in London? Domingo is just as much of a favourite performer at Covent Garden as he is at the Met. He has been appearing there since 1971 and he is scheduled to return next summer in Verdi’s Don Carlo. But the question of his continued involvement is now an increasingly embarrassing one for the Covent Garden management. Like all the houses where Domingo still performs, the Royal Opera House love the glamour and the artistry, not to mention the ticket-price income, that Domingo brings. But Covent Garden is living in a dream world if it imagines these performances can or should still go ahead….
There is certainly room for a variety of views about the #MeToo movement and its effects. And Domingo’s status as one of the greatest tenors of all time is secure. But sexual harassment has long been a feature of the opera world as well as other workplaces, and there is no room for the view, which is still all too common, that opera houses can simply ignore it.
Charles Downey in Washington Classical Review:
Plácido Domingo was a fixture at Washington Opera for almost two decades. The first small step that WNO and the Kennedy Center should take to acknowledge these revelations may seem cosmetic but is critical: the company should immediately change the name of its young artists program. Founded by Domingo in 2002, as still noted on the Kennedy Center’s website today, it continues to bear his name as the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program. It would be a relatively easy but significant step to excise the first half of that name.
… In addition to removing his name, Washington National Opera can and should do more. The company would do well to take a page from L.A. Opera’s book and appoint an outside investigator to document any accusations against Domingo throughout the company’s history, even before the merger with the Kennedy Center. There could well be more stories waiting to be told from the decade and a half Domingo reigned over Washington Opera.
By coming to terms with Domingo’s checkered past in a public and candid manner, Washington National Opera will show that the company values the bravery of the women who came forward more than the increasingly empty denials of its former star artistic leader.
None of Domingo’s upcoming performances in Europe have been canceled; he has a busy fall lineup of operas and concerts in Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland.
Justin Davidson in the aptly named Vulture:
Society has changed, and the Met is limping to keep up. When the news about Levine’s transgressions broke, the company called in lawyers to run an investigation, bury the results, and settle the case. The Domingo protest makes it clear that’s not enough to restore harmony within and trust without. In Levine’s case, the Met’s leaders claimed they had no idea that the man most widely credited for the company’s artistic luster, who spent virtually all his waking hours in the building during a 40-year tenure, had a darker side. Met employees kept Levine’s schedule, reserved his tables, carried his bags, and arranged his travel, yet the official position is that none of them saw or reported a thing. Those same powers of unobservation applied to Domingo, too. Hours before the divorce, Gelb was still claiming that the multiple accusations were “not corroborated.”
There’s more at stake here than Gelb’s leadership or Domingo’s reputation. The Met is a global beacon of an art form that is hugely expensive to produce and pricey to attend. More than most forms of culture, it depends on the public’s good will. For the sake of its artists and its art, the Met needs to change its culture, not just cover its ass.