Andrea Bocelli speaks up for Domingo

Andrea Bocelli speaks up for Domingo


norman lebrecht

October 02, 2019

The blind tenor is having his say: ‘I find it a shameful and paradoxical situation. I’m not looking into the merit of the allegations, but as a graduate of law I know that it takes proof to reach a final sentence. In this case there are only prejudgments that led to an unqualified situation. The world today puzzles me in some respects. I’m not a judge, but I know Domingo and I don’t think he needs to harass anyone.’

Trovo sia una situazione vergognosa e paradossale. Non entro nel merito della questione, ma da laureato in legge so che ci vogliono prove e una condanna definitiva. In questo caso ci sono solo pregiudizi che hanno portato a una situazione inqualificabile. Il mondo attuale per certi aspetti mi sfugge. Non sono un giudice, ma conosco Domingo e non credo proprio abbia bisogno di molestare qualcuno.

And Maria Guleghina: ‘He did not attempt to take on the post of the Pope, neither that of a World President, even though, he and only he is the true KING of OPERA. Yes, he is nearly 80, but he is the KING, and there is no new one anywhere near him! He always behaves so correctly that there is a lot more doubt about the correctness on behalf of these ladies! During all the 30 years that I sang with him, he never once allowed himself a real kiss on the lips, because he is a professional and is mainly preoccupied with singing (or conducting)!

‘He brought me back on stage twice! And How!!! Not a single conductor would have allowed a soprano to sing the title role in a premiere at the MET when she was taken to the hospital DURING the Final Dress Rehearsal. Moreover not a single theater director would bother and support the singer, who cancelled her participation in the production because her mother was on her death bed. He waited for me 6 weeks !!! Rehearsals took place without me!!! Then, my mother died, and I called him and said that I couldn’t sing… he calmly said that only work heals and that he himself recently lost his mother and work was the only thing that saved him. I took his advice, flew to LA and immediately to the Theatre, and he told me to go to the the ocean … and on the eve of the final-dress I was shown the staging, then sang the general … 6 full weeks of illness and only a week after the funeral – it was a horror. I repeat, not a single director would let a singer go on stage in this condition! And only his faith in me, and the responsibility I felt due to his trust in me – did the trick! I sang in MEMORY AND FOR my mother! I will never forget this! He is a true colleague! I know and love his whole family! It pains me bitterly to see all this happen to him.’

Мерзкие «моралисты, а сами все белые и пушистые??? Он не на пост ПАПЫ РИМСКОГО претендовал, не на пост Президента Мира, хотя он и только он КОРОЛЬ ОПЕРЫ, да ему почти 80 но он КОРОЛЬ, и нового не наблюдается! Он всегда ведет себя настолько корректно, что возникает сомнение в правильности поведения этих дамочек! За все 30 лет что пела с ним, ни разу он себе не позволил настоящий поцелуй в губы, потому что профессионал и занят пением! Два раза возвращал меня на сцену! И как!!! Ни один бы дирижер не позволил бы петь премьеру, певице, которой накануне ( увезли с генеральной) делали чистку – потеря плода… ребенка… и ни один директор театра не стал бы возиться и поддерживать певицу, которая отменяла свое участие в постановке из- за того, что ее мать в реанимации. 6 недель он ждал!!! Репетиции шли без меня!!! Мама умерла, позвонила ему и сказала, что не могу… он спокойно сказал, что только работа лечит и что он сам недавно так поднялся… прилетела- бегом в театр, а он меня к океану послал… и накануне генеральной для меня прокрутили весь спектакль!!!!! Я спела генеральную, как могла… 6 недель болезни и неделя после похорон были страшными… и ни один директор бы не позволил певице выходить в таком виде! И только его вера в меня, ответственность за доверие перед ним сотворило чудо! Я спела в ПАМЯТЬ И ДЛЯ МАМЫ! Никогда это не забуду! Он настоящий коллега! Знаю и люблю всю семью! Мне больно и горько все это видеть!



  • Doug says:

    Enough of this “cultural revolution.” Time to smash the woke-scold witch hunters!

    • Laurence says:

      Pretty violent imagery there? Smash those women! After all, they’re just… well, I’m sure you can supply names from your private lexicon.

    • Historybuff says:

      OK, Doug, here’s the problem with your “witch hunt” analogy: it relies on a widespread confidence that sexual predators— like the alleged witches of long ago—do not exist. The dismissal of women who come forward with allegations of abuse by implying their claims are false is designed to protect the powerful. You and many others have misconstrued history and inverted the meaning of witch hunt.

  • Bocelli’s comments are nonsense. This isn’t an issue of law but of administration. Twenty women have complained of sexual misbehavior which is far more than enough to justify administrative actions against Domingo for fundamentally unprofessional behavior.

    Ms. Guleghina’s reasoning is equally ridiculous. Domingo might have treated her well, but as important as she might think she is, that does not entitle him some “kingly” right to abuse others.

    One has to marvel at how backward and anachronistic European thought seems to be on this issue.

    • Macella says:

      Thanks God, Europe has not yet reached the revolutionary American morality, when flirting is equated to rape. And where a man is lynched on the basis of an anonymous letter without a single evidence.

      • There were no anonymous letters. AP knows the identity of all 20 women who made allegations, all of which were vetted and corroborated by one of the world’s most respected news agencies. And there are obviously fundamental differences between flirting and sexual harassment.

        • Anon says:

          William – “The AP knows the identity of all 20 women”. Not a law enforcement agency, not the judicial system, a NEWS AGENCY.

          A news agency, no matter how “respected”, should not be the vehicle and singular source for destroying the career of an artist of world class standing. These US opera companies didn’t even wait for LA Phil to investigate. They acted purely on what they read in the press.

          Only in the US would this be possible. This is one more reason why many Europeans are shaking their heads in disbelief.

          • AP is not the singular force. They put the issue before the public, which is their job, but the administrations of various institutions have made their decisions about what to do. They also knew what was going on, but had to act when the secrets were put into the open.

          • Anon says:

            William, the fact that “the AP knows the identity of all 20 women” does not make this all somehow OK.

            Yes, it’s fine for a news agency to put this issue before the public, but I question the fact that this public, including major opera company administrators, put blind trust in a news agency to curtail important engagements and essentially a man’s career.

            Why does a news agency have this power? Why is the press strong arming privately funded arts organizations like this? Would it been so offensive for these opera companies to have done some research on their own about Domingo, as LA is doing, before acquiesing to the press and the public opinion the Domingo article created?

            As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the AP is in the business to sell stories, not to determine justice or what’s right or wrong.

            The US is allowing a news agency to be their moral compass. There is something very wrong with that.

        • Whosits says:

          There’s a “World’s mosdt respected news agency”?
          There may have been one once. Not any more. They’re hate mongers and propaganda machines

      • Caravaggio says:

        Macella, how soon we forget. Recall that in Europe, 6 million were murdered for much less than anonymous letters or evidence. So please do not even think of preaching morality.

        • Alan says:

          The single most disgusting comment I’ve ever read on the internet. Would you ever get a grip. Outrageous statement.

        • Anon says:

          Germany did that. And Germany is ONE of the 44 countries in Europe. Europe is not just one big lump.

          • Yes Addison says:

            But this isn’t brought up when Europe is said to embrace Domingo, or when Europe is said to be amused or angry at America’s newfound severity on sexual misconduct. So let’s pick a position. Not only are there dozens of countries, but I’m sure everyone who lives in each one doesn’t feel the same way.

      • Z says:

        “flirting is equated to rape”

        So grabbing someone’s breast so hard that it hurts is called “flirting”

        What a gentleman you are.

      • Antonio says:

        Flirting is not being equated to rape. If Domingo was accused of rape he would be on trial and hopefully found guilty and sent to prison.

        Also, sexual harassment and unwanted kissing and touching are NOT flirting. In some countries, including the EU, they are crimes.

        The names of most of the accusers were not published by the AP. That does not mean their accusation has the weight of an anonymous letter. Their names are on file with the AP and, at this stage, they are probably known to Domingo, his lawyers and LA Opera.

    • Allen says:

      “backward and anachronistic European thought”


      Interesting how some sweeping generalisations seem to be more acceptable than others.

      • Indeed, some generalizations are accurate. As in this case, unless of course, you can give us notable examples of continental European institutions sanctioning Domingo’s behavior. We await your list.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Both the Concertgebouw and the Royal Opera House have recently fired employees for sexual misconduct. Both are located in Europe.

          The point here is that they both investigated through a disciplinary proceeding, before they took action. European institutions haven’t fired Domingo since he hasn’t gone through any disciplinary proceeding (no complaint has been presented to them to investigate).

    • Urs says:

      W. Osborne, it is not even known whether they complained. They were interviewed by the AP and the AP wrote up a piece and on the grounds of that article Domingo was suspended.

    • Patrick Gillot says:

      your comments on European in general are interesting as we tend to think the same about you crazy Americans! We are against trial without proof by the mob and clearly the fact that ” Tenty women” are after Domingo does not prove anything. “administration” wherever it is , the Met , a Philharmonic Orchestra etc… has to respect the law!

    • George says:

      „One has to marvel at how backward and anachronistic European thought seems to be on this

      I am European, but I have lived in the US also, so I know both continents.
      I don‘t think Europe is backward and anachronistic. We just don’t make such a fuss around everything. In the US everything is „amazing“, „legendary“, and usually a bit „over the top“ if you compare it to Europe.

      Also Europeans are much less told what to do than in the US in daily life. Here’s more self -responsibility and we have less rules. women are also more confident, especially in the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Spain and France, but also Germany. Surtout in France, when it comes to Sex, women feel 100% equal to men.
      In case of PD I think it is nice that Europe stands by him. He‘s very much loved and popular over here.
      Still puzzles me how a country like the US, where God and religion are so important is the most unforgiving one.

      • Regarding your comment about responsibility, continental European opera houses are not taking responsibility for providing a fair and dignified workplace for women. I trust they’ll catch up.

    • Morton says:

      I think Bocelli’s point was about evidence, or the lack of it.

  • Bocelli makes an interesting and revealing statement: “I know Domingo and I don’t think he needs to harass anyone.” The implication being that Domingo is somehow so desirable that all women would submit to him.

    Domingo certainly has a lot of power and appeal, so why did he harass so many women? One cannot know his mind, but it is a known fact that generally sexual abuse does not stem so much from sexual desire as much as a desire to exert power and control as ends in themselves. This sort of abuse of power has long been an endemic problem throughout the classical music world and it is a sign of real progress that it is finally being challenged.

    • V.Lind says:

      “No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

    • George says:

      I would not make it so complicated. I think he just enjoyed beautiful women. And he had much more opportunities than anyone else. He was the „sweet macho“, the Latin Lover many women adore. Along with his beautiful voice that made him famous. With him I do not think it was a question of power and control. One of the women said „How do you say no to God?“
      So he probably just thought they liked him.

      • An interesting perspective, but I think the “God” comment actually illustrates my point about the issue being more about power than attraction. If administrators had done their job years ago and cut “God” down to size, it would have saved Domingo a lot of disgrace.

  • Fallacy Ref says:

    So that’s two blatant instances of the echo chamber fallacy, with a keen lack of understanding on the part of legal practice and accountability; most revealing here:

    “I’m not looking into the merit of the allegations.”

    An essential element of instances such as this is the context of the alleged actions with regard to the perspective of what would and wouldn’t be left behind. That is, looking at evidence as it pertains to sexual assault cases, versus just treating this as the same as other crimes/misdeeds of a similar severity.

    Believe victims; investigate the claims. Be human, and intelligent. A person can be both revelatory artistically and severely problematic behaviorally.

    • Marcella says:

      Sexual assault? Are you accusing Domingo of sexual assault? Are you ready to answer for slander?
      Who are victims? The one he looked at her breasts with? Poor thing.

      • Z says:

        “The one he looked at her breasts with”

        Well, I would say the one whose breast was grabbed at. Read that AP piece again.

      • Cyril says:

        He has already been accused of sexual assault, my dear.

        “As [Angela Turner Wilson] looked at him in the mirror, he suddenly slipped his hands under her bra straps, she said, then reached down into her robe and grabbed her bare breast.

        “It hurt,” she told The Associated Press. “It was not gentle. He groped me hard.” She said Domingo then turned and walked away, leaving her stunned and humiliated.”

      • Antonio says:

        Marcella, if you are going to discuss these issues you should educate yourself. Slander refers only to spoken word. When you refer to written word the correct term is libel.

        That said, I do not see Fallacy Ref stating anywhere that Domingo is guilty of sexual assault.

        If you read the two main AP stories, you will see that the accusations are for more serious actions than just looking at their breasts.

        Domingo is being accused by these women of sexual harassment and unwanted touching.

  • Dinkrol says:

    To think is to evaluate reality critically, but not to believe everything that is written in the Newspapers. Almost all the people here seem to have thinking abilities. Why does no one doubt the veracity of the stories printed in the newspaper? Has it occurred to you that all of this is a lie, published with the aim of slandering a person? Why do you take everything without a doubt?

    • V.Lind says:

      You think this was somehow dreamed up by dozens of women, in a variety of working places, to SLANDER Domingo? WHY, FCS? And you think the AP went along with this slander — WHY?

      Grow up. You’ve been drinking too much “orange” juice.

    • Lynne says:

      This wasn’t a super market tabloid. The Associated Press has a long history of factual reporting.

    • Jack says:

      Twenty women all lying? Even Domingo doesn’t deny it, only justifies it. You’re doing him one better than even he has.

    • hsy says:

      If you believe AP is printing lies intentionally, you should sue them in court. It’s that simple. Otherwise shut up about how Domingo was “condemned without a fair trial.”

  • Craig says:

    I know Andrea Bocelli and I know he never saw Domingo touch anyone inappropriately.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      Any derogatory reference to Bocelli’s blindness is utterly crass and tasteless and should not be published here

      • Ana says:

        Ms. Melody
        Agreed. It is a vile thing to say.

      • willymh says:

        Quite right but then so is the reference to “blind tenor” in the posting – why do he have to know he’s blind? What bearing does it have on the story?

      • Nick2 says:

        Did not Bocelli state “I know Domingo and I don’t think he needs to harass anyone”? He thinks he doesn’t know. His blindness is a key issue when he makes such an allegation. It is neither derogatory nor crass nor tasteless in this context.

      • Yes Addison says:

        I would be all for elevation of the decorum in the comments section on this site, but I’m finding these appeals for gentility both tardy and selective. I didn’t see anyone objecting when someone wrote last week that soon only [anti-gay slur, plural] would be allowed to sing heroic roles at the Met. Nor, further back, when one of the apologists for sexual predators (of which there are so many) wrote that he himself had grabbed a lot of women by the [genitalia] in his time, and he just hoped his wife wasn’t reading. There may have been a “hee hee” after it.

        “Crass and tasteless” is the daily special here. Craig’s comment was mild.

    • Alaine' says:

      I wholeheartedly agree w/ Ms. Melody. There is a time and place for humor. And tho some use humor to help lessen the strain of ugliness, what you said, Craig, only served to show your cocky, offensive arrogance. I pray that you recognize this error. That this statement is uncharacteristic of you. And now you regret it. We all put our foot in our mouths. The honorable thing to do would be to apologize. I’m hoping you are that kind of honorable person.

    • M says:

      Is that meant to be funny at a blind person’s expense? Are you really so blind that you cannot see how inappropriate your comment is. Then again, I would not want to offend you maybe it is a cultural difference and you do not even realise your error.

  • Peter says:

    Oh but how ridiculous Guleghina’s statement is… King Of Opera?!?
    And that we should excuse him, because he, The King of All, did not attempt to be the Pope or President of the World… btw, maybe somebody should tell Ms Guleghina that there is no such thing

  • Z says:

    “I know Domingo and I don’t think he needs to harass anyone.”

    Nah, you are just too naive

  • “I’m not looking into the merit of the allegations…”

    It’s lucky that “graduate of law” has a singing gig instead of law.

  • Patricia Gómez says:

    What Placido Domingo did for my country during the terrible earthquake of 1985, risking his own life, digging with his own hands, helping people in Mexico City is fully covered by all media. A man with that braveness and kindness is beyond words. This act speaks from him. As a Mexican citizen I feel with an enormous gratitude debt to him.
    Easy to accuse without a solid proof.

    • José Daniel says:

      Patricia, the “brave and kind” man you speak of has been accused by 20 women of sexual harassment and unwanted kissing and touching.

      From the AP story:

      “One accuser said Domingo stuck his hand down her skirt and three others said he forced wet kisses on their lips”.

      “One singer said he repeatedly asked her out on dates after hiring her to sing a series of concerts with him in the 1990s” (while Domingo was married).

      “The AP also spoke to almost three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator who said they witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behavior by Domingo and that he pursued younger women with impunity.”

      “Seven of Domingo’s nine accusers told the AP they feel their careers were adversely impacted after rejecting his advances”.

      “There is an oral tradition of warning women against Placido Domingo,” said a mezzo-soprano who worked at the LA Opera but is not among the accusers. She echoed advice that several women said they had received: “Avoid interaction with him at all costs. And definitely don’t be alone with him.”

      Does your gratitude towards Domingo make you consider this behavior okay? If so, I truly feel sorry for you.

  • Allen says:

    “During all the 30 years that I sang with him, he never once allowed himself a real kiss on the lips” … likewise:
    “Your honor, this man is accused of shoplifting, but he has been a regular customer in my shop and I have never once caught him stealing.” Or “this man is accused of murder, but I am here to testify that he has never murdered me, so he must be innocent”.

    Just because someone has not harassed or made any sexual advances to you does not prove anything about their character nor whether they could have done that even with countless others.

  • Iride says:

    I commend Mr. Lebrecht for giving us the original Italian of Andrea’s statement. In Italian, his statement of support for Domingo is much stronger than it appears in the computer translation, which is quite inaccurate in parts, as often happens with these. For example, “preguidizi” does not mean “prejudgments”, it means “prejudices” and “credo” does not mean “I think”, it means “I believe.” To translate “inqualificabile” as “unqualified” makes no sense of the sentence; in this context it means “dishonorable.” Other words have additional and better meanings in this context and the computer translation also omits some small but important words. Andrea’s statement should read as follows: “I find this to be a shameful and paradoxical situation. I do not enter into the merits of the matter, but as a graduate in law, I know that what we want here is proof and a conclusive conviction. In this case there are only prejudices that have brought about a dishonorable situation. Certain aspects of the world today escape me. I am not a judge but I know Domingo and I do not believe that he would really need to harass anyone.”

    I only ask what happened to the basic principle of American justice that a person be allowed to know and confront his accusers? James LeVine was equally a power in the classical music world but all his accusers came forward under their own names. They did not hide behind anonymous accusations that, particularly after 30 or more years, can neither be substantiated nor rebutted.