Placido Domingo goes back into denial

Placido Domingo goes back into denial


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2019

The singer has given his first interview since the sex-pest allegations. It’s to a Spanish newspaper, a soft touch.

He says:

‘I have never retaliated, truncated or harmed anyone’s career. I have never made a promised in exchange for favors. What is apparent is my commitment to young singers and my responsibility in launching so many careers. I am excited to see how many of the artists who are now performing in the theaters of the world come from the impulse we have given them with the Operalia contest. A career requires a lot of work, dedication and talent. Advising a repertoire, recommending a role or the opposite does not mean a promise of work.

Q. In the AP report you seemed to say that the behaviors were justified because they were other times. Have you not contributed to the misunderstanding of permissiveness?

A. When I was referring to the customs of other times, I was not relativizing abuse or harassment at all. Although what I meant was fully understood by many, it was misunderstood by many others . I repeat, I was in no way tolerating any type of harassment or abuse. The Spaniards are warm, affectionate and affectionate. I was referring above all to the culture of the compliment. I have been gallant . But always within the limits of chivalry, respect and sensitivity. Behaviors that if in the past they could have been considered fulfilled, or gestures of gallantry, today they are perceived very differently.

More here.


  • Luca says:

    Sorry, your title is ridiculous! Thank you for publishing a fragment from the interview. People love Placido Domingo because he gave us his entire life! He worked like a maniac for more than 50 years to make people happy! We love you, Placido!

    • Larry D says:

      Yes, Placido did it all to make OTHERS happy! Nothing to do with ego and ambition! He did it all out of pure ALTRUISM! No greater love than a man who lays down his life for his fans!

      • sycorax says:

        But of course! He’s almost a saint! I’d wrote an ode for praising him, only I don’t have the time because I have to prepare the fireplace for St. Nicolaus coming through soon …

    • Taliesin says:

      That’s what they said about Jimmy Savile.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Lock up the sex pests now!! There’s sure to be something on the statute books that would see them rot in jail.

    As with much of the Left, the charge has morphed from “sexual assault” to “harassment” to “pest”. Like “global warming” has morphed to “climate change” to “climate catastrophe”.

    Like the naughty kid who ups the ante when he or she cannot get his or her own way.

    • May says:

      Your views are as obsolete as the musical form referenced in your name. Here’s a new suggestion: Sue Vogel-Strauss

    • Bill says:

      Your perverse insistence on seeing everyone who disagrees with you as being a member of “the Left” (whatever TF you think that is) is quite entertaining in its wrong-headedness. Pretty sure that you’d lump me and many of my friends in that category (which many of us would view as a badge of honor, coming from you) and yet our views on this matter go from one extreme to the other.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      Sue has a macro on her computer that randomly inserts “as with much of the left” into any message she types. It has led to much confusion at Amazon order fulfillment.

  • Has-been says:

    With respect haven’t we heard enough about Domingo on this blog. I think, like in many areas, peoples minds are made up either way and continued postings with nothing new are unlikely to change minds.

  • V. Lind says:

    His use of gallantry reminds me of Prince Andrew’s use of honourable. Self-serving characterisations.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    This controversy is largely confined to USA. For those of us who do not live there, it is another opportunity to release our perhaps repressed frustrations with American culture and its dominance globally. One can sense the barely suppressed anti-American element in some of the responses from Europe.

    • sycorax says:

      I’m an European and feel disgusted by the way he handles that. I sometimes don’t understand the Americans, but I’m with them when it comes to protecting women from men like PD.

    • Mike Earles says:

      Hardly confined to the USA. I am fully aware of this in northern Cyprus

    • An Ordinary Member of the Public says:

      Releasing barely suppressed anti-American ravings from Europeans and their oikophobic American orbiters is among the principal purposes of this blog.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    He did not work to make anyone happy. He worked to enrich himself. He has never cared what the public thinks of him. This man aged out of his idol status some time ago. His laurels have all dried up. Basta!!!

    • sycorax says:

      I think he did care about the public thinking, but not because he was interested in the people and in “making them happy”, but just because he got that without them liking him he wouldn’t earn so much money.
      Except of that I’m with you. He was (and is, as the interview shows) totally self-serving.

  • Kay Langford says:

    A jerk is the last person to know that he is a jerk.

  • Jon says:

    These MeToo talibans are so funny and creepy!!! hatred comes out of their mouths, heil!

  • Thinking aloud says:

    Strange, first you write an article for the Critic asking “Was Domingo a sex pest?”, giving the impression you don’t think he is. Then you write a heading on Slippedisc “ Placido Domingo goes back into denial”. Claiming his interview with a Spanish newspaper was a soft touch.
    So which side of the fence are you on Mr Lebrecht?
    Your dislike of the man seems to colour everything you write about him in shades of grey and black. And you are only happy if you are making a snide remark or an uncalled for sensational headline about him.

    It is only right that Domingo has the opportunity to put his defence forward. Everyone else had had the chance to condemn him without knowing any real facts about the situation. Just giving their emotional reactions and sometimes their vitriolic reactions.

    Unsubstantiated claims are made on this forum about him. Who knows what really happened between him and these women, most of whom have never said what form the sexual harassment took. Only Domingo and the women know if any sexual harassment actually took place. Non of the women have accused Domingo of sexual assault, which some contributors to this forum have inflated from harassment.

    So is it time to stop pursuing Domingo at every opportunity and let him do was he does best—— perform.
    And find other musical topics to write about which bring out less bile against singers, conductors and musicians in general.

    • Martina says:

      Perfectly sensible. Bravo, well said.

    • Bill says:

      Which side is our host on? The cynical might observe a certain crafting of the narrative that drives up page views.

    • Katerina von Waldersee says:

      Well said, totally agree with you

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Thinking Aloud writes: “Only Domingo and the women know if any sexual harassment actually took place”

      Actually, this is incorrect. Many times what seems as “harmless fun” by one party is deeply hurtful to the other. People often have no idea how upsetting their behaviour is.

  • sycorax says:

    Ah, yes – the women who felt harassed by him just “misunderstood” his Spanish gallantry! And no, of course he never used his power to influence a women. He’s almost a saint. One only wonders why so many people in the scene always saw him as a pest and why young musicians were warned never to be alone with him and to avoid him as far as possible.
    The longer this goes, the more nauseating I find him and his defenders.

  • Lynne says:

    I am slightly younger than Domingo, but never in my life time has putting a hand down a woman’s dress unbidden is assault, not gallantry. A married man pestering coworkers for sex has never been complimentary, but unethical and down-right creepy In all the years I’ve had a job. Harassment of this type may have been ignored, tolerated or even laughed about but it’s never been ok, especially to the victims. Playing the martyr is not an attractive look for a man of his stature.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Regularly pestering your co-workers for casual sex is workplace harassment. Most workplaces will fire you for that kind of behaviour.

  • Joe says:

    You should read the entire interview and not single sentences:

    By the way, tomorrow I will be watching Placido sing Nabucco from the second row in Valencia.

  • An Ordinary Member of the Public says:

    The louder he spoke of his gallantry, the faster we counted our spoons (with apologies to Emerson).

  • Will the rest of his career be as tragic as Othello’s, or should he/will he just slip off into the sunset? . . . In spite of the efforts of some, I’ll be surprised if he becomes the Bill Cosby of classical music. Either way, sexual harassment on the job is no longer sport (not tolerated).

  • Nona says:

    Of course he is not guilty. Only mad people can belive this bull shit of 2 mad opera losers. Anonymous persons just dont exist. In Europe we love opera and music. So sad that americans dont love music, they prefer prostitutes like Patrisia Wulf and Angela Turner Wilson.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    I’m sure that most of the female haters on here are in no danger of being sexually harassed by anyone. Any more than the two opera singers who came “out” twenty years later.
    Did it never occur to them that perhaps they were simply not good enough to make the big time? Opera is a very demanding profession and there are many highly talented singers, of both sexes, from the former East Bloc, Europeans who have grown up with classical music since childhood. Few Americans have that background.

    • Lynne says:

      You are right, he may never have had any effect on anyone’s career. The point is that he gave the APPEARANCE of having that power. In a place of employment, that is enough to justify calling something harassment. And if you think for one minute that harassing someone is based on attractiveness, you are sadly mistaken. People harass someone for power, that is all. That is why people are stunned when a rich, powerful, attractive man is accused of sexual harassment or assault. Surely they could get any woman they wanted! But they don’t want the woman they CAN get…they want the one who will be afraid, who will be stunned into submission, who will feel exploited and ashamed. That’s how they get their thrills.

    • sycorax says:

      Victim blaming and badmouthing – nice, really nice. But obviously you’re not well informed. We’re not talking about two women, but about around 20.

      Just for getting you a bit more illuminated: 1. Psychologists know that victims of harassment often need years until they’re able to talk in public about. So you’re wrong when you think talking so lately would belittle their credibility. Just on the contrary.
      (I’ve needed almost 30 years before I told my second husband that the father of a school friend of mine tried to rape me as I was just 14 years old. I managed to escape, but I paid with depression, self-doubt and the inability to trust men. It cost me my first marriage).
      2. It wasn’t gossip in in the internet which started the scandal. It was an article by a highly renowned international press agency. I’ve worked for them, hence I know that they don’t print one line without consulting their lawyers and without them making sure that they can stand to their articles in front of every court in every country where they publish the article.Hence the argument “but the women didn’t tell their names” isn’t of any value. The AP knows and has gotten proof like statements under oath.
      And that leads me to a question: Why didn’t Mr Domingo sue? If someone would my husband accuse of harassment, you couldn’t say “metoo” so quickly as he would have called his lawyers, suing the accusers of libel, defamation – the entire catalogue. Only Mr Domingo keeps schtumm. He delivers two rather lame statements, he even doesn’t deny his womanizing, but maintains he was “misunderstood”. That’s really lame and doesn’t speak for him.

      You know I firmly believe there’s a special hell for woman who’re backstabbing other women. You’ve just made sure you’ll get a place there!

  • Cassandra says:

    At this very moment,
    Monday night Dec 2nd, a full house in Les Arts in Valencia is enjoying opening night of, judging by the previews, a spectacular production of Nabucco.
    Whilst I have just finished a 5th article/interview, in four days, with Mr Domingo, at long last given a chance to speak up for himself.
    Media are falling over themselves now to mirror what he has lived through and it will be interesting to follow the reaction, in the US and elsewhere.

    In Sweden, incidentally, the MeToo was rampant in 2017, the stories following a well trampled pattern, but within a more compressed time frame.
    One man lost his life. Another ended up in prison. Several, men and women, lost their jobs.

    Today very few people want to be associated with anything MeToo. Coincidentally, just this week we’ll hear the verdict in, presumably, the last major slander case.

    We are back to a mode of interaction not so much based on gender, but on one’s qualities as a human being.

    • Cassandra says:

      … just finished
      r e a d i n g
      a 5th …

      Begging your pardon, not my intention stealing anyone’s thunder here.

  • bratschegirl says:

    He stalked someone I know for 2 years. She *never* gave the slightest indication that his attention was welcome, and in fact repeatedly said that she wasn’t interested and he should leave her alone, but that didn’t stop the constant phone calls at all hours of the night (having somehow, not from her, unearthed her phone number). He didn’t even care when she had her husband answer the phone and tell him to buzz off. There is nothing “gallant” about refusing to take an unequivocal “no” for an answer.

    • sycorax says:

      Yep, I know women too who were harassed by him. A friend of mine was a beginner at the ballet of a big opera house, just 17 years old. He followed her into the wardrobe and it needed an older, rather energetic dresser to kick him out. Afterwards this friend never dared to go through the house alone as long as he was there.
      And I know a woman who was just a few months married to someone PD did business with. She was presented to him by her husband – but that didn’t keep him from making a pass at her. And he became so penetrant that she’d to ask her husband for getting him away.

      I think almost everyone involved in the scene knows such a story. He was a known pest, young women were warned of him – and the attempts of his defenders to badmouth his victims are as nauseating as his talking about being misunderstood for his “Spain gallantery”. Some Spaniards may define themselves as “Latin Lovers”, but I think even they know that they shouldn’t go after a woman who doesn’t want their attention