Vienna boss: Domingo ‘behaves very correctly, more than correctly’

Vienna boss: Domingo ‘behaves very correctly, more than correctly’


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2019

Dominique Meyer has spoken to an Associated Press reporter about the fractured response to nameless allegations against Placido Doming – banned in America, extolled in Europe.

Meyer, who is leaving Vienna to take over at La Scala, said: ‘Domingo ‘behaves very correctly, more than correctly… You will not find any people I think at the Vienna State Opera to criticize his behaviour.’

He aded: ‘I do not admire really what is happening in America. When one takes decisions under pressure of the press … part of the press, under pressure of the social media…’ In Europe, by contrast, ‘I have the impression that we are living in countries where there are laws, rules, police, judges, processes.’

Read on here.


  • dinkrol says:

    Bravo Mr. Meyer!

  • Tristan Jakob-Hoff says:

    Oh well, I’m sure that all three-dozen women must have been mistaken then. Thanks for clearing that up, Dominique.

    • Andy says:

      These 2 women just old mad liers which got money for posting that bull shit. Anonymous just don’t exist. Or may be you have seen real proof of Domingo guilty?

      • sycorax says:

        You obviously don’t have a glue what you’re talking about. The Associated Press knows of course the names and adresses of their informants and if their lawyers wouldn’t be convinced that their statements would hold even in front of a court of law, they wouldn’t have printed these articles.
        Besides we’re not talking about 2, but around 20 women, among them not only the women who’ve talked to AP, but a former sony employee who talked to the German magazine “Spiegel”.
        it’s not so easy to deny what they’ve said, besides Domingo was known as a pest in the entire scene. Meyer telling that no one at the opera in Vienna would say something against him is just a joke. I have two girlfriends in Vienna who have their own experiences with Mr D.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I’m sure they know it was Domingo; what we’re not ‘sure’ about is whether a kangaroo court based on sexual harassment is an adequate response and, not least, what actually IS sexual harassment? For political reasons it does seem to range from ‘your hair looks nice’ to ‘come up to my room and look at my etchings’ to touching somebody’s arm. In which case, where is these women’s agency and ability to say “no thanks”? More serious charges of sexual assault should, of course, be taken to police. But the bar has possibly been lowered there also to an extent that ‘policing’ is becoming more problematic.

      Lots of women claiming that Domingo is a ‘sexual pest’ is sad for the tenor and not really the basis of a term in jail.

      • V. Lind says:

        For the love of God, how often do you have to be told? Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever suggested Domingo be jailed. Most sexual harassment issues are workplace issues and should be dealt with in the workplace — as has happened in a couple to Domingo, after an investigation that it would seem held up the complaints against him. Such an investigation, entrusted to outside counsel, constitutes due process for workplace complaints.

        Yes, a couple of orchestras acted quickly to dissociate themselves from published reports. That implies to me that those orchestras had knowledge of the sort of complaints that had been published, as orchestras rarely disengage star performers who bring both cachet and revenue. Let alone that they may well have ost money on the breaking of a contract.

        And where is his protest if there is no basis for any of this?

    • John Borstlap says:

      Obviously, Mr Meyer has never observed Mr Domingo crossing behavioral boundaries at the State Opera. Which does not mean that elsewhere, things have been quite different.

    • Bernd says:

      Could name these “three-dozen” women? Could you even name a dozen of this women? Nope. Because there aren’t. Try to stick to the facts.

      • david hilton says:

        A very good point. Even the two AP stories taken together only manage to report on 9 women, despite their misleading headlines referring to 8 and 11 (this is because the headlines are also including as “accusers” women who spoke to the AP about the climate of harassment or inuendo they knew about, not about anything that Domingo actually might have said or done to them).

      • Larry D says:

        Yes, let’s have their names so that they can be harassed online or worse by the usual misogynistic crew. It’s enough that the investigating organizations know who they are, but people like “Bernd” won’t rest until they’re stripped of protective anonymity and added to his personal list. Then fire away, guys!

    • Larry D says:

      Classic music organizations in Vienna are well-known for affording women every opportunity. (Cough, cough.). No one there has ever complained. Everything is MORE than correct. They have laws and processes, don’t you know?

  • CurlyQ111 says:

    I’m sure plenty of people saw Ted Bundy acting like a normal citizen. But does that mean he’s not a murderer?

    • John Borstlap says:

      The only reports that exist about Jack the Ripper tell of his devotion to his parents and family dog. Also Hitler was really very affectionate to his dog and always behaved correctly in the company of young women. And we know that Stalin adored Mozart and always dressed well.

  • Lola says:

    Thank you Mr Meyer for these wonderful words!so smart and professional Opera manager! BRAVO, Placido! BRAVO, Mr Meyer!

  • V. Lind says:

    Has Domingo been “banned” in North America? A couple of orchestras cancelled him, and it appears both LA and the Met (after a secret report they both apparently saw) suggested he resign. His withdrawal seems to imply that he knows he would not be very welcome in other areas.

    Domingo could have done a lot to at least query these challenges to his reputation. That he has not done so is interesting.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    He is right. I wish some of that social media pressure would lead Republicans to help impeach Trump, but that will not happen. Only the soft targets loose.

  • Patrick says:

    “ behaves very correctly, more than correctly…”

    Sounds like something Trump would say.

  • Mary says:

    OK Boomer

  • “I have the impression that we are living in countries where there are laws, rules, police, judges, processes.” –Dominique Meyer.

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra excluded women until 1997, in complete and open defiance of both Austrian and EU law.

    And the orchestra’s symphonic formation, the Vienna Philharmonic, did not give a woman outside of harpists membership until 2007–also scoffing at both Austrian and EU law.

    We might also note that nothing was done about the situation until people outside Austria protested.

    We should also note that sexually groping people against their will is in fact against the law.

    A peculiar sense of law Herr Meyer has.

    And finally, sexual harassment is fundamentally unprofessional. Administrators are more than justified in sanctioning employees who behave that way.

    It takes the European opera world to give such a blindly ignorant man like Dominique Meyer a career.

    • George says:

      “And the orchestra’s symphonic formation, the Vienna Philharmonic, did not give a woman outside of harpists membership until 2007–also scoffing at both Austrian and EU law.”

      Are you sure it was agaist the law? The Vienna Philharmonic are a private society/ a club, in German a “Verein”, made out of members of the State Opera Orchestra.

      There are lot of “Vereins” that have only women or men. They are not against the law. In my opinion the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra can make their own rules. But I could be wrong.

      • Any private organization that receives public funding must abide by Austrian and EU anti-discrimination laws. The VPO receives public funding for its operations and pension plan. It also receives a great deal of state support since its members are all members of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

      • John Borstlap says:

        No, I think you are right. A Verein is free in the composition of its members. As I have understood, under EU law one is free to set up a Verein of cross-eyed people, or of alp horn players, or Muslem needle workers, or one-legged football players, etc. etc.

        My PA has set-up a club of disappointed female personal assistants, but she could only find one other member (the PA of British composer [redacted]). Whether such clubs will be allowed after brexit, is unknown but probably it won’t become illegal.

  • Beinisch says:

    Mr. Meyer is completely right.
    Placido is really a very good person.
    I wish that many directors and managers in the music world will join Dominique.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      He is not saying that at all. What he is saying is that there is no evidence that Domingo mis-behaved at the Vienna State Opera (no-one has made a formal complaint). Hence he can not be fired since he has a contract. He also says that whatever may have happened elsewhere can not be used as grounds for dismissal at the Vienna State Opera.

  • George says:

    Oh AP, where is your question of what his plans are for La Scala? Is #metoo all you can write about nowadays? Maybe because it does not require any particular knowledge from the journalist.

  • Thinking aloud says:

    If you read the comments carefully Dominique Meyer is not saying the women were mistaken. His point is that no one should be found guilty by the press or social media as is the case with Domingo.

    Everyone jumps to conclusions without due process.

    He also comments that as there have been no complaints at Vienna he sees no reason to withdraw Domingo’s invitations to perform. A consideration the USA opera houses should have made instead of falling prey to the Me Too Movement and rumour and speculation, a tendency quite a few of the contributors to this forum seem to have.

    • V. Lind says:

      He had due process in the investigation that LA Opera — an institution he was critical in FOUNDING — undertook. It clearly went against him, as he left without a whimper.

      • Thinking aloud says:

        So far the investigation in LA does not seem to have come to any conclusion.ROH are still awaiting the result before deciding whether to withdraw his invitation to sing.
        It would be better if people stopped jumping to erroneous conclusions .

      • Saxon Broken says:

        V.Lind writes: “He had due process in the investigation that LA Opera”

        Unfortunately, in law, whatever happened in LA does not affect Domingo’s position in Vienna. Dominique Meyer is right when he says he can’t unilaterally withdraw the contract from Domingo unless Domingo has mis-behaved at the Vienna State Opera.

  • sam says:

    Mansplaining to women why they are just being hysterical.

  • Alexander says:

    of course, he does 😉