Did Domingo shaming change anything?

Did Domingo shaming change anything?


norman lebrecht

December 31, 2019

The AP journalist Jocelyn Gecker who led the nameless hounding of Placido Domingo has written a year-end report, picked up by many US newspapers, in which she claims that her revelations have prompted sweeping changes in opera practice.

Among other self-pats on the back:

The Houston Grand Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Minnesota Opera and a few other companies have started hiring special consultants known as intimacy directors to help stage sexually charged scenes to ensure there is no inappropriate improvising.

Perryn Leech, Houston Grand Opera’s managing director, said it’s about staging sex scenes in “a more caring way.”

And: Since the Domingo allegations publicly surfaced, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera and a few other companies have held “bystander Intervention” training designed by Umezawa, who is trying to bring a see-something, say-something culture to the industry.

However: “Nobody with greater agency or greater stature is coming forward in a strong way – either to tell their own story or show support,” pianist and opera coach Kathleen Kelly said. “Where are the women who are helping to run companies and who are stars? They are not doing a damn thing. And it’s incredibly disappointing.”

Read the full report here.



  • Bloom says:

    “Intimacy directors”? What a nightmare!

  • Nijinsky says:

    Ooh I C & loosing for teeth 2 help legalized marriage-gay’s naught c-o-unting aswell

  • RW2013 says:

    ” intimacy directors to help stage sexually charged scenes to ensure there is no inappropriate improvising.”

    ich lach mich tot!

  • Victoria says:

    Placido Domingo has strongly denied the allegations against him. The cruel persecution and smear campaign on Domingo must end. Here is to wish the great artist remain active performing, bringing joy to people who wish to experience his artistry.

    As of the “soul-searching” hypocritically sought by the AP journalist and her gang, the real soul-searching ought to be on the false morality of the American companies. To the one person who has contributed so much to the world of opera, who has given hundreds of performances on the U.S. stages, where is their valor to stand by him when facing false accusations? Where is their conscience?

  • Emil says:

    I don’t get it. Mr Lebrecht, are you suggesting that opera does not have a sexual harassment problem, and that these are not welcome steps?
    It seems to me that, even if you don’t accept the claims of 20+ women that Domingo’s behavior constituted sexual harassment, there is plenty of uncontroversial evidence that there was/is a culture in which performers and staff can feel uncomfortable, pressured, and unwilling to speak their minds. It’s not just the Domingo story; it’s the Gatti, Dutoit, etc. And if you’re of the ‘no one speaks on the record’ camp, there are four names in this story about toxic culture in the opera world.
    So even if you’re one of Domingo’s ‘defenders’ (or deniers), these should be unproblematic positive developments, no? Intimacy coaches are already used in movies, with near-universal acclaim. And movies have suffered no drop in quality. I’ve had to do safeguarding training in a ton of jobs; why not opera? Where’s the problem?

  • Paul Dawson says:

    This is a tragic story, whether the allegations are true or false. I think it deserves more objective journalism than judgmental terms such as “nameless hounding” and “self-pats on the back”.

  • V. Lind says:

    You state your bias immediately by referring to “hounding.” There were two articles, both thoroughly documented. What exactly differentiates between this and serious reporting?

    And have you actually read the linked article thoroughly? Once again, sober, documented.

    ***Executive director Len Egert emphasized that the union also is looking into the wider problem of misconduct across the industry and the fear of retaliation by people in power.

    “I don’t think you could find one singer in this business who has not been the victim of harassment, bullying or abuse of some kind, and I’m no exception,” said bass-baritone Kyle Albertson, who like many others said he prefers not to name names as a matter of survival.

    “It’s almost written in the job description: You will be abused somehow,” Albertson said.***

    There you are: statement of problem, reason for anonymity, scope and consequences — and by a man, named. So for all the truly stupid out there who wrote about the women who preferred to be unnamed in the reports — what about it? No longer just silly women with hormone or jealousy problems.

    1. Domingo was not “hounded,” he was named. And as he has never made a convincing attempt at a denial, what are thinking people supposed to infer?

    2. There are some efforts being made in some places to improves what appears to be a widespread atmosphere and problem. Looks as if there is much yet to be admitted, and they do say that admitting you have a problem is halfway to a solution.

    3. This issue actually needs some hounding if real change is to be brought about. Cancelling invitations to Domingo or others smacks of the Church transferring accused or suspected priests from one parish to another without saying why — it is effectively sweeping the problem under the rug, not tackling it.

    Not sure about these “intimacy directors” — I think it may just be a matter of time before one of them is accused of exploiting their role! But they are using them in Hollywood, where explicit sex is much more in use artistically than in opera.

    It is surely time to stop with the Domingo-denial. Let him get on with his life as he sees fit. But pretending he is not involved in any of this seems extraordinarily wilful and obtuse.

    • david hilton says:

      “Domingo was not “hounded,” he was named.” . . . . really? Where? It appears you have not even read the AP stories that you are defending and calling “thoroughly documented.” The glaring deficiency in the second article — the one whose headline screams “11 new accusers of Domingo come forward” — is that 8 of the women interviewed for the article actually do NOT ‘name’ Domingo, nor do they accuse him of anything. Nada. Zilch. All that these additional alleged “accusers” have to say to the AP is that a climate of abuse or harassment existed at opera companies that Domingo ran or appeared at during the time that he headed those companies. It is a huge leap to jump from these claims of institutional problems to concluding that an individual — Domingo — must be a sex abuser, despite no evidence (from the 8 sources who fail to accuse him of harrassing them) being cited in the AP article.

      And what of the 3 AP sources (in the second article) who actually DO name Domingo? One of the complaints is solely that he whispered into her ear, at the side of the stage that he would like to go out with her. And this was more than 20 years ago.

      Do you start to understand why some dispassionate observers of what is happening here conclude that Mr Domingo is being “hounded” by the AP. Hardly a landmark day in the history of a once proud institution.

  • Olga says:

    Look, are not you tired of talking about this? I understand that there is no evidence of Domingo’s “unbearable” guilt, and there will be none. Anonymous people will remain anonymous..Only ruined a well-deserved man’s life..Europe has already proved everything..All these insinuations about a bunch of almost raped right behind the scenes soprano causes only laught..La Scala applauded the Maestro for almost half an hour standing..They shouted Bravo, Long live the king of the Opera, stamped their feet and clapped their hands until they ached..I was there and will confirm..history will put everything in its place..You’re fighting the wrong thing.

  • Gabi says:

    To answer your question: YES, it did change a lot, but nothing to the better! A fanatic minority’s desperate need for self-aggrandizement destroyed not only a living opera legend’s historic artistic achievements and his private life, but also the opera world. The Puritans may be happy now, but passion, dedication and emotion will disappear from an art form that lives from those characteristics. No singer will dare hugging and kissing his/her stage partner in a “realisticly looking way” any more in future. They will stand in the edge of the stage, not looking at each other, avoiding showing passion at all. It led to an atmosphere of mistrust, sectarian chasm, and hate. “Well done”. 🙁

    • anon says:

      Actually, a lot of musicians do feel *really* uncomfortable with the “hugging and kissing” that seems part and parcel of the profession (even if you are an instrumentalist). It is very difficult to refuse to engage in such intimacy if you are young and *not* a superstar. So, anything which does regulate such intimacy is a very welcome step, which may result in more people staying in the profession rather than leaving because they cannot bear it. As for “passion, dedication and emotion”, these traits can be expressed through great music-making and imaginative stage directing that does not make people feel violated and physically vulnerable.

    • Ingrid says:

      Very well said. Opera performances in concert version. Good night, USA!

  • Nijinsky says:

    And tis like sum cooking factory

    1) THAT’S old enough, and full to be rotten, WHY NOT just boil it!?

  • Nijinsky says:

    OR! “It lands when it sizzles.”

    Hin-hint (like maybe, JUST MAYBE) turn down the heat in that place, whoever would be in charge, and the heating bill, and who needs to know how much it is, and WHY would anyone be following you asking you question about THAT bil etc..

  • Anon says:

    Simply abhorrant. This vindictive reporter Jocelyn Gecker is now congratulating herself on the destruction she has provoked. Outrageous.

    She has little or no knowledge of opera, absolutely no sense of the politics of sexual misconduct outside of the US, and no concept or respect for an artist of Domingo’s caliber.

    I find it hard to believe that this ignorant, self-serving reporter Jocelyn Gecker is now coming forward to claim that she has induced some kind of revolution in opera. She is a disgrace to the AP and to the world of journalism.

    • Larry D says:

      Yes, it’s disgraceful for reporters to shine light on the dark hidden corners on our beloved art form that she obviously knows less about than “Anon”! You should challenge her to a trivia quiz! (But not to a spelling contest—“abhorrant”?)

      • Anon says:

        Abhorrent. You win. Actually I don’t know much, but I think it’s safe to say that I probably know more about opera than Jocelyn Gecker. Pretty much anyone who reads Slipped Disc does, too.

        She should stick to writing about California wildfires and SF Bay Area school politics, topics which she does know about and is genuinely interested in because she lives there. Her connection to the world of opera appears to be purely mercenary. Did I spell that right?

        • Saxon Broken says:

          “How dare she provide evidence of serious mis-conduct by Domingo when he was living and working in the US”


  • Paul says:

    I don’t understand why you continue to say “nameless” in regards to the accusations against Domingo. There were two women who came forward publicly. The rest, it is true, were anonymous. You can believe them or not(though the idea that 20 women conspired together to take down Domingo is laughable to me), but please be accurate.

    • david hilton says:

      The reason why we continue to push back against people like who you repeat the AP’s false headlines about “20 women”, as you say, accusing Domingo is that the AP only produced reporting on 7 or 8 instances of mainly anonymous accusations. The rest of the “accusers” whom their headlines allege simply do not appear anywhere in the AP stories. That is why the “20 women” are not believed; they do not exist. Unless and until the AP can provide some reportage, even anonymously, as to what Domingo might have been accused of by the “11 accusers” claimed in the headline of the second Geckler article.

      • V. Lind says:

        Believe what you want — America seems to operate on a fact-free cloud of fantasy these days with people believing what suits them, regardless of any facts — but you can bet your bottom dollar these women DO exist and said exactly what has been reported. AP is far too canny to just take stories like this at face value.

      • Emil says:

        Any journalist worth their salt amasses much more facts than what is printed in the story. The AP publishes articles, not books; that doesn’t mean their journalists only know what is written in the article. And again, you can be sure AP fact-check and AP legal have gone through such a big story with a fine-toothed comb.

        • Anon says:

          And AGAIN with AP’s fact checking and lawyering up skills! Enough, please. Emil, this has been harped on ad nauseum in these threads. The AP’s ability to check facts or lawyer up is not the problem. The problem with AP is that publishing these articles showed poor judgement, no international overview of the situation and zero compassion. It was a BAD JUDGEMENT CALL on AP’s part to run these stories.

          The AP’s ability to check facts is the equivalent of a musician who can play all the notes correctly but has absolutely no understanding of what they are playing. Yes, it’s correct. It can’t be disuputed. But do you really want to listen to it? I for one, do not.

          • Emil says:

            You say poor judgment by the AP: why? Why is it poor judgment to publish verified accusations about one of the musical world’s greatest legends?

            Why discount fact checking? Are you saying that, even *if* the facts are true, they should not have been published?
            As for compassion: if the facts are correct and Domingo harassed more than 20 women, you would want everyone to show him “compassion”, because he’s such a great singer?
            What it seems you’re getting at, is that Domingo should not be touched, no matter what happened, no matter whether he harassed someone (or many someones), no matter what. And my point is that no, it is a big deal if he harassed multiple coworkers, the presence of numerous, fact-checked (yes, facts matter) accusations suggests that he did, and those accusations cannot be excused merely because he’s old or because he’s a good singer.

          • Anon says:

            Emil, it’s assumed that AP checks facts and everyone knows this so please stop harping on it. Correct facts don’t make it right that AP published these stories.There are lots of facts in the world, plenty of offenders to write about, and many ways to present a case against sexual harassment in the workplace besides ravaging an old man’s career and reputation. It didn’t have to be done this way. It was poor judgement to approach the issue in this manner, an insensitive and money grubbing move on the part of the reporter and AP to make headlines and sell copy.

            Let me repeat what I’ve written below: the accusers have been shown the utmost compassion and respect. Their names have been shielded, their careers protected, their accusations taken seriously. Very little has been said in defense of Domingo except the blind adulation by his fans, but he also deserves compassion. Not because he is a star, but because it is fair.

            Let me make, for example, a point in his favor: his extraordinarily long career stretches back to an era when the behaviors he’s being accused of were acceptable, nothing to be frowned upon. Yes, times have changed, and for any 78 year old, adjusting to that change is understandably awkward. Times were different, he is of that era. Give him that. Understanding that is an example of the compassion that could be shown him. Not because he’s a star, or a great artist, but because he’s of a previous generation when sexual attitudes were much different.

            Wouldn’t it be more relevant to go after an “attacker” who grew up in the “Me Too” generation, who knows clearly the rules of the game and STILL chooses to violate them?

            You are young, Emil. You haven’t seen the same shifts in attitudes that evolve over decades, particularly with regards to what is and isn’t politcally correct sexual behavior. I don’t believe that you are in a position to judge Placido Domingo, or anyone of a previous generation as harshly as you are doing. You woke up in this “Me Too” climate & you feel that if everyone is not immediately down with the rules they must be punished, their careers destroyed. Judge people of your own generation that way, if you wish, but not your elders. You have no idea where they’ve been or what they’ve lived through.

            Emil, I watch your posts, and I am impressed. You’re a bright young mind and someone who expresses himself magnificently. But I do not feel it’s your place to judge a man old enough to be your grandfather so mercilessly. That’s, perhaps, a bit of the compassion I hope you might discover.

          • Emil says:

            Thank you for your lesson on changing mentalities, but I am inclined to extend little compassion to someone who apparently showed no regard whatsoever for his coworkers (besides, if that were Domingo’s defense, an admission and apology would be a much more reasonable course of action than ‘these women are liars’). If Domingo wants to argue he evolved and came to recognize his behavior as wrong, he can say so. That’s not what he’s doing and saying. He’s pretending nothing happened and that everything’s fine, which it isn’t.
            People in power may have turned a blind eye to harassment then, but I feel very comfortable – no matter my age – in saying that one does not need an advanced course in gender studies to recognize that harassing and bullying other people is wrong, tacitly tolerated or not. And I would point out that most men in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s managed to not constantly harass their coworkers, no matter the allegedly permissive environment.
            The same ‘times were different’ defense has been made recently in France in the Gabriel Matzneff case (about pedophilia apology in the 1980s), and it rings as hollow in that case. We’re talking about the 1980s, not the Middle Ages.

          • Anon says:

            Emil, to ” to argue he evolved and came to recognize his behavior as wrong” is not something most 78 yr. olds would say ever about anything. Especially a famous opera star, and particularly one who comes from Spain where to this day people would never in a million years publicly admit that they’d made a mistake. Ever. Pride, even among young Spaniards is above all else. “Pretending that nothing happened” is exactly how situations like this are handled in Spain. There’s even a verb for it: “disimilar”. You just pretend it never happened.

            Again, you are trying to make Domingo fit your mold of what you believe is right. It’s what you’d do, what people of your generation and your culture might do, but you can’t expect that from him.

            I respect your idealism but you’ve got blinders on. The whole world does not march exactly in step with the new, and they are new, rules of sexual conduct in the workplace. I know 78 year olds who refuse to use a computer. Another reader here mentioned elders who continue to use racist terms not understanding that they are now offensive. Old people don’t always adjust to change easily.

            And how on earth would you know what men in the workplace did or did not do in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? Was it in your high school history books? I can tell you from 1st hand experience, and as a woman, that what is being bucked against now by “Me Too” was business as usual back then. This is why the most of the men being accused right now – Domingo, Dutoit, Gatti are from that era. It was OK then. Now it’s not. They didn’t make the transition. Punishing them by decimating their careers, esp. Domingo, whose offenses were apparently the most benign of that group, is not a great solution, IMHO.

            You’re rallying against dinosaurs from a previous era. Just let them die out, or at least show them some compassion. Allow Domingo his dignity and concentrate on educating a new generation. Punish the offenders of this generation who KNOW the rules, and who violate them consciously, not old guys who are living in the past.

          • V. Lind says:

            Anon, you and I have often disagreed on this. But I share your respect for Emil’s posts — they are always well-reasoned and well-argued.

            And I am fed up with the emotional denials put by blind worshippers at the altar of Domingo. Arguments that range from how opera is such a passionate pursuit, therefore anything should be acceptable, to his stardom exonerating him from any blame.

            To say nothing of the ridiculous notion — which I am afraid you are still expounding — that the AP was out to “get” Domingo and was in it to sell papers, or other self-serving motivations. Have you asked around your circle? I gather you are a musician, so it may be more limited in variety than mine. But aside from people I know from the arts world, most people I know have not heard about these accusations, even when they have heard OF Domingo without being quite clear as to who he is.

            In other words, it was just another day, another story, at AP. Done with their usual thoroughness. Which I wish you would stop denigrating. Putting together those two stories obviously took a lot of work on many people’s parts. If there was anything REALLY wrong with the stories, there would have been legal blowback.

            Anyway, all that said, I am impressed by your post above. I have known many people of Domingo’s generation and older who still use terms to refer to what we now choose to call “people of colour” that have fallen into disrepute. They do not have a racist bone in their body. But they do not always keep up with what is being decreed in the trendy corridors, and they may not adapt as well as younger, hipper people — a simple telling may not keep them from using the five-letter word that was perfectly acceptable until a few decades ago. It does not imply disrespect for anyone.

            When I was a schoolkid, on the way home from our respective schools students — mostly the boys to be honest (and by today’s standards therefore sexist) — called each other “Catty-catty Catholics” and “Protty-protty-Protestants.” Didn’t stop them playing together, visiting and being received in each other’s homes. Being friends. It was just old-school-tie clannishness in the state school sector among 9- or 10-year-olds. They grew up to be colleagues, they married, they were in the same clubs. And forgot which religion belonged to which person.

            So I can accept your argument about attitudes to women — there has never been a suggestion that Domingo was a rapist, or violent, although there has been some notion that he was very aggressive in some cases. And his persistence was clearly offensive to some. But there is an element of “autre temps, autre moeurs” that may merit consideration in his case.

            But a couple of things: his persistence may have hurt people. After all, he was married, and people should have been able to expect to be safe from his advances. And such activities — if he was doing it, he would hardly have been the only one — do create a tense atmosphere. One that a number of people since all this broke have said is still there. Including in the company he co-founded.

            To those who ask why now, after all these years, ask yourselves: who would they have gone to with their problems? Who would have listened? You, their critics, are not listening now. You are not prepared to believe because you have a definite image of this man. How do you think his employers, and the staff around companies he worked in, would have reacted?

            Anon, I think your sympathetic post above is one of the most valuable of this long debate, and I thank you for it. But I still do not feel it answers all the issues. But if I were writing those reports on all this for LA Opera and the artists’ union, I would want to have read your argument to factor it in.

            The story is not over, but thanks for a positive start to 2020. Happy New Year.

          • Anon says:

            Thank you, Ms. V. Your kind words are appreciated, and apart from this topic, we often see eye to eye. Wishing you also a Happy New Year, my friend.

          • V.Lind says:

            Why was it a bad judgment call? Zero compassion for whom? What about compassion for people who work in a tense atmosphere with no recourse to higher authority if they are made to feel uncomfortable?

            Why do you not want to listen to it? Because it does not suit your world view to admit a hero — and an acknowledgedly great man — is flawed? May have treated some people badly?

            It is because of attitudes like yours that things do not get improved. You value your own comfort and convenience over that of others. I have not reviewed your postings, but it is such attitudes that keep us damaging the planet, that keep poor people poor when things could be done to ameliorate their situation, that keep people suffering because you do not care about things going on in other parts of the world.

            John Donne’s sonnet beginning “No man is an island” clearly never featured in your education.

          • Peter Phillips says:

            The Donne quotation is not from a sonnet. It is the conclusion of his Meditation upon Divergent Occasions. It’s number 17 (?),dated (I think) 1624.

          • V. Lind says:

            You are quite right — I was off in a daze. I studied Donner more years ago than I like to remember but I had completely gone off-piste on that. Thanks.

          • Anon says:

            Hello, Ms. V., its me, Anon, your constant adversary on this topic. I’m afraid that we will never see eye to eye on this. I’m alarmed and even amused that this time you’ve taken it to the “level of damaging the planet”. A wee bit over the top, don’t you think?

            It was a bad judgement call for reasons I have already given in these threads. It was not necessary or ethical to try to destroy an aging artist’s career in order to bring to light problems of sexual harassment in the world of opera. Given his age and accomplishments, plus the fact that Domingo’s career has spanned such a long period of time back to when this behavior was not frowned on, the AP could have handled this differently. It was a bad judgement call. But then a lighter, more respectful story wouldn’t sell copy, now, would it?

            Ms. Gecker went in like a bulldozer specifically trying to raze Mr. Domingo’s career. If she was truly interested in the issue, she could have accused someone less famous. But no, again, that wouldn’t get her name in lights, would it?

            I do not want to listen to it because this whole thing was done badly, with poor ethics, with no regard for Domingo or his accomplishments and to make money and headlines for the AP. These nameless women who are accusing Domingo have been shown plenty of compassion. Their identities have been shielded, the slightest hints at impropriety by Domingo which they’ve shared have been printed right up and taken verbatim by the AP and several major US opera companies with zero compassion or understanding for Domingo’s point of view. And now this shameless reporter is trying to claim that she has begun a revolution in opera.

            It’s rather high handed of you to evoke John Donne after you’ve been defending what is basically tabloid journalism by the AP. As if somehow mention of his name will elevate the tawdry journalism of reporter Jocelyn Gecker to some higher realm. Not in a million years.

          • V. Lind says:

            Well, Anon, you make your case well and civilly. But we will not agree — any resemblance between the AP and Jocelyn Gecker’s reports and tabloid “journalism” are ludicrous. The stories were researched, sober, documented. Two stories — hardly hounding. The tabs would have splashed it for weeks. Remember Tiger Woods?

            Reportage is not “tawdry” because you don’t like it. There was nothing remotely sensationalistic about those articles.

            As for Domingo’s point of view, so far all we have basically had is that things were different then and he thought it was okay — not a denial, a justification.

            I do not see why, if people complain to a reporter, he should be spared because he is a star.

            This third story will only be one of many doing a year-end wrap on an issue. And before you start to deny it, every single publication and online news source I read is doing its year-enders and look-backs.

            This one makes it pretty clear why there has been little follow-up with other people accused — the atmosphere (justified elsewhere on SD as being a crucial element of putting on opera without resorting to burqas and chastity belts or, even worse, regietheater) has not changed despite Domingo’s effective if not official dismissal from the US.

            Until that happens, there will be other stories, and he will continue to be evoked.

            Happy New Year.

          • Jack says:

            Mr. Domingo’s accomplishments have nothing to do with anything. If he did what was alleged, then shame on him and let him suffer the consequences.

            If you use his age as a reason to immunize him, should we then forgive him if he raped someone? Or murdered someone? “Oh, he’s an old man now…”

            Really, how silly and sophomoric.

          • Anon says:

            Jack, he is not being accused of rape. He is not being accused of murder. If he were, he’d be in court or prison right now. What he’s being accused of is not even a crime at all.

            He is being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, the definition of which has changed significantly over the past several decades. What was OK back when Domingo was young is not OK now. That’s why his age should be considered.

            And how pompous and ridiculously judgemental you are to make such a childish argument. Silly indeed.

          • Emil says:

            You keep bringing up how great an artist Domingo is. Why? Why is that relevant? Are you saying great artists should be allowed to harass with impunity? Why should Domingo be spared because he’s a great tenor?
            Levine was a great conductor; he assaulted boys. David Daniels was a great countertenor. Dutoit was a great conductor. Should they all have been spared too? If so, I think I sense a theme in your comments, and it’s getting close to ‘when you’re a start, they [should] let you do it.’

        • Paul Dawson says:

          So glad you got the description of the comb right. I am fed up with reading about a quality dental cosmetic device – “fine toothcomb”.

      • Jack says:

        Just because the names are not named in the public media for the prurient interests of people like you, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t gone to the proper authorities to give their accounts. That Mr. Domingo has suffered sanctions as a result from the people who have a better sense than you of what went on tells me that your defense of him comes across as pretty weak tea. Having been married to someone who was sexually harassed and has been through this wringer, I know how hard it can be for someone to come forward. Like any other whistleblower, they can pay a mighty price.

  • Nijinsky says:

    And how 21 retaliets with: “If it @#(*$#@$#)( teasted like #$*(@)#$@#)( then go to the @#$*)@#$( store and buy your own @#*)@#$*)(#

  • DC says:

    All the anonymous losers, now presented as “dozens” of courageous fighters, should just calm down and feel comfortable on their level (yes, I know they are dozens, but much more than dozens still have common sense). Stop this defamation campaign against the greatest artist in opera ever!

    • Emil says:

      Oh yeah, all those coward anonymous losers who won’t put their names to what they say, am I right, “DC”?

      • Karl says:

        This is a weak argument that desperate people use. It’s important to have a name when there is an accusation, not an opinion. People have the right to face their accusers.

        • Emil says:

          People have the right to face their accusers if there is a court trial, which there is not. Domingo has been given ample opportunities to respond, including to the three named allegations. He will have been contacted by the AP prior to publication. And so far, nothing.
          This is the same silly argument that comes up everywhere. There are good reasons for the anonymity, and having a name would not, in fact, materially change anything to the cases.

          As for anonymity, the point is that if you say victims of harassment should have the courage to open their lives up to excessive scrutiny and hounding, when you’re not even willing to be associated to your own off-the-cuff comments on an online blog, that speaks volumes.

          • Betty says:

            Of course anonymous persons don’t exist. If people say truth they do it openly.

          • V. Lind says:

            Don’t be so silly.

          • Daniela says:

            I can’t help feeling that double standards are applied here. The alleged victims should stay anonymous so that their lives would not be exposed to excessive scrutiny and hounding. However, it is OK to hound Domingo! It is OK to scrutinize his life, everything from his zipper to his contribution to opera?!
            They say they were harassed ages ago and these are verified facts. He denies it and, well, that is just denial, who would believe that?!
            Other well known facts are conveniently forgotten or dismissed. Like the fact that women have been throwing themselves at him for years, that they were trying to get to him by every means possible. Like the fact that everyone, from stage directors to TV show hosts used his masculinity and looks to raise the “sexual” tensions because that sold shows and increased ratings.

          • Emil says:

            Yes, that is a difference between an alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator. Just like people accused of theft may be put in jail and see their mugshot published in the tabloids, while the victims of theft are not.

          • Daniela says:

            Again, please, do not draw a parallel between obvious criminal activities like theft and what Domingo ALLEGEDLY did.

          • Karl says:

            How would you like it if someone did this to YOU Emil? What if I said I met you and you grabbed my crotch and said something lewd? Then it got published by the AP? Then you lost your job and had to move to another country to get work? I bet you would want to know the identity of the person making that allegation. If this kind of thing is allowed then anyone with a grudge will start making up allegations. I think it is already happening and has been for years.

          • V.Lind says:

            If this happened to Emil, and he was innocent of it, he could sue. He would start by suing the AP and possibly the reporter. His legal advisors would seek to sue the unnamed accuser. The reporter might try to exercise the journalistic shield law, whose effectiveness appears to vary from area to area in the US despite the First Amendment. Some reporters do go to jail for refusing to reveal their sources. Most go to the source and ask permission to reveal their identity.

            If the accuser had lied, she would withdraw the accusation. The legal action against AP/the reporter would still continue; they would now argue in their defence that they had been lied to, which might lower, but would not likely eliminate, their liabilities. A good lawyer would negotiate a prominent apology to Emil in articles that appeared wherever the AP story had been disseminated, probably part of a deal to lower their financial penalty. The later would be down to the court, so Emil would be hoping for a hardass judge.

  • Australian Steakhouse says:

    Many of the allegations at LA Opera also came from members of the orchestra and are completely legitimate. His involvement with a certain member of the violin section caused incredible discord in the orchestra.

    • Anon says:

      From members of the orchestra? Do tell. Did Domingo fall offstage and into the pit?

      The orchestra pit is the workplace of the LA Opera musicians and I would like to know what the hell Placido Domingo would have been doing there? Or in any orchestra pit, for that matter. If he was seeing a violinist outside of work, that is as you say, an “involvement”. We are talking accusations of workplace harassment here, not who he was involved with outside of work.

      Being an orchestra musician myself, I can tell you that accusations from an opera orch. musician of workplace harassment by a principal singer during production are pretty far fetched. I am scratching my head trying to figure out where exactly this harassment would occur? Orch. players are usually segregated from cast members, esp. the stars. They’re in a pit, they use a different entrance, different dressing rooms, you name it.

      Who knows, maybe Domingo spotted this violinist in the pit and stalked her in a hallway. But she must be REALLY good looking because the pit is dark, there are at least 50 other people sitting there with you and half of them are under the lip of the stage where they can’t even be seen. Placido Domingo is not going to be going into any orchestra pits chasing women, that’s for sure. The whole scenario is so improbable it defies belief.

      It bugged me when I saw the complaint from the MET musician. It was more like the PRESENCE of Domingo disturbed her. He hadn’t accosted her or come anywhere near her.

      As far as Domingo’s involvement with a violinist “causing discord”. Give me a break. Orch. musicians are trained to play thru everything in opera. You come and you do your job and if you don’t like someone or their religion or their sexual orientation or who they’re dating, you do it anyway. If you can’t, find a different profession.

      Still trying to envision how Placido Domingo could possibly be accused of harassing an orch. musician. I will say, once I was playing Marriage of Figaro and Count Almaviva fell into the pit during a performance. I suppose he could have gotten frisky with the musicians if he were so inclined. I suppose it’s possible Placido Domingo also fell into the pit and that’s how he found the violinist and harassed her and caused discord. But surely we would have read about that on Slipped Disc?

      • V. Lind says:

        I agree that orchestra musicians tend to stay apart from others on the whole (though not entirely — I have met some prowlers). But in all the years I have spent backstage at theatres and concert halls and opera houses: people arrive and leave at the same time, people slip out for a smoke or a breath of fresh air, people use the same canteen…the opportunities to meet people outside one’s “class,” as it were, are legion. And all it takes is one friendly word for a meeting to be contrived regularly, and all it takes is observation to contrive a meeting, wanted or not.

        Not commenting on this case. But it is ENTIRELY within the realms of possibility. I first met a few SD favourites, including Lang Lang and Dudamel, without any minders, for the first time by chance backstage at a house where in the ordinary way you would not think I could be. But in fact although I was a civilian, I had virtually all access at that hall. A member of the orchestra, or a guest singing star, would have that much more.

    • Betty says:

      I was backstage in LA Opera many times. Women singers and musicians comes to Domingo to kiss and hug him. They harassed Domingo themselves. And now they are victims?)))) are you serious?

      • Saxon Broken says:

        The women who went backstage to meet him are different women from the women who harassed him.

        If he had kept to the women who went to meet him there would not have been a problem. But his ego didn’t let him.

  • David says:

    It is too suspicious that this is the only case of alleged abuses in which more than ninety percent of the accusations are anonymous … you know, Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Trump, Kavanaugh, several Churches and many more, in all these cases there were specific names of accusers. What’s up with Domingo? Well, that is a great lie made to cover all the failures of Me Too and lawyer Katz with an easy, famous victim who cannot defend himself and who has not even filed charges against him. Obviously those anonymous victims do not exist and those two ladies are Me Too liars wanting a bit of relevance in social networks, surely bored that nobody pays attention to them in real life. Hopefully this wave of hysteria of false feminism will pass quickly, just as the communist, racist or weapons of mass destruction hysteria ended.
    And of course, the article that is pathetic and seems like a joke like all those stupid things that are going to be done in the American opera. They may force the singers to wear a burka or a chastity belt.

    • V.Lind says:

      The communist hysteria was a very American phenomenon — nobody else quivered over reds under the bed, let alone abused its institutions, its artists and its very democratic principles in its indeed hysterical quest to root out these phantoms. Certainly there was some real spying, as there usually is between hostile nations. But the ensuing witch hunt in the US was typical of their historical ignorance of wider contexts.

      Weapons of mass destruction was a fantasy created by Dick Cheney and perpetrated through the good offices of his glove puppet, George W. Bush.

      I do not know to what you refer when you include hysteria about race. Are you suggesting there are no racial problems in the US? Beginning, of course, with the big one they started?

      This background and belief set make your ridiculous comments about the complainants valueless.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        “Nobody else quivered over reds under the beds”? Geopolitics is not the strong suit of Americans, otherwise you would not have made that comment.

        I presume you’re referring to the HUAC and the late 40’s/early 50s? Right at the time when Americans had been and were giving up their lives in their thousands to fight such tyranny. Is that the period you’re referring to? Oh, bbbbb-ut ours wasn’t THAT kind of communism!!!

        • V. Lind says:

          If you’re referring to Korea, the Americans were there — as they were in Vietnam (and WHO asked them to that bunfest) — so they could preserve American economic interests. The only reason since WWII that they have gone anywhere. They are always on the side of the tyrants, because that’s where the money is. Communists, FYI, were trying to equalised the system a little more in Korea and ‘Nam and later in Cuba.

          The Brits dealt with it far better — they took some serious hits from 1930s Cambridge spies, etc., but they did not persecute their own people, and run witch hunts against them because of a handful of bad apples.

          Most communists in the UK were so because they had opposed fascism and were the only ones doing it during efforts like appeasement. Most fell away from it as things got straightened out. But it is not illegal to be a Comm in the UK, or in many other western countries — I remember one Canadian election where in my riding there were 3 different species of the Communist party running for Parliament. (They came in the last three places, needless to say, and with under 100 votes among them).

          American paranoia about communism has been a blight on its post-war history. (And where I come from, post-war has only one reference). And it has fostered an infantilism about the whole concept. If the US had kept its head about Cuba in 1959 it would never have gone communist.

  • Save the MET says:

    Opera, like the rest of the world had individuals with power and money who thought they were bullet proof and acted with impunity, whether it was as the power of a teacher, conductor, or colleague. For years individuals like James Levine, Placido Domingo, Charles Dutoit and yes, Luciano Pavarotti were box office draws and at the same time serial harassers. Opera general managers were loathe to do anything about it, as these individuals were their big box office draws. Domingo’s serial philandering was well known for years. Some women rejected him, some tolerated it and others welcomed it. He was known as the loosest zipper in the house when he was in town. There was even a backstage joke that Pavarotti would target a woman and stay with her and with Domingo it equated to Don Giovanni,

    “Among these are peasant girls,
    Maidservants, city girls,
    Countesses, baronesses,
    Marchionesses, princesses,
    Women of every rank,
    Every shape, every age.”

    – Leporello

    Well the time as come and the General Managers were caught sleeping at the wheel. After the #metoo aftermath, they had no choice, but to let him go. It wasn’t hysteria, it was an occurrence which should have happened years ago. The papers who by and large were not aware, save maybe the critics of the “The New York Times” latched on it because he was a celebrity. Domingo had a wonderful career as a tenor, his baritone “borrowed time” and lackluster conducting career was not particularly admirable and was living on his tenor legend. Mercifully, it is now over. I seriously wish him buona fortuna for the rest of his life. It was time.

    • M2N2K says:

      Please do not talk about Levine and Domingo as though their cases are anywhere near equal. In fact, their alleged misdeeds are of a hugely different magnitude: the former’s are far more serious and egregious than the latter’s.

      • Hypocrite says:

        As I posted in this thread, Kathleen Kelly, who is quoted above effusively kissed Levine’s ass in a Facebook post in 2016. She calls him “the greatest colleague and mentor I’ve ever met.”

        • M2N2K says:

          It is possible that she simply stated her opinion which may very well be the truth. However, it does not mean that he wasn’t guilty of serious crimes.

          • Hypocrite says:

            Great colleagues and mentors do not commit these sorts of egregious crimes.

          • Anonima says:

            How wrong you are. Of course “great” mentors and colleagues are capable of egregious crimes. That’s what makes this all so complicated. If the people committing these bad behaviors and crimes were lousy at what they did- had no friends, no supporters, no fans- they would not be able to be “successful” at also committing these egregious crimes, at least not for any length of time.

          • Hypocrite says:

            How can someone be a great colleague when they are sexually abusing there coworkers and subordinates? If we want this to stop we must hold everyone accountable, including even close mentors who may not have victimized us specifically.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            They are usually are great colleague to some colleagues, and abuse and gas-light one-or-two others.

    • Daniela says:

      Ok, he was a cheap Don Giovanni. When did that become a crime? There is a big leap from sleeping around to harassment. In your own words “Some women rejected him, some tolerated it and others welcomed it.” Even in the AP articles, that some here consider to be the new holy scriptures, it was said that Domingo backed off when told to do so. So where is the problem in rejecting? There where so many more than willing and, according to you, he wasn’t choosing.
      The problem arises when 30 years down the road some who said no regret it because they are convinced by lawyers with an agenda that had they accepted, their path might have been different. And some who said yes, expecting something that most probably wasn’t even offered, complain about the price.
      I do hope you save the Met since according to some of the comments one reads here, Opera seems to be nothing but harassment on and off stage.

  • SylvieGT says:

    Mrs Gecker and the lawyer Katz have reached her aim, to fired the greatest singer from USA, now she wants intimaçy director for love scenes , how interesting will be opera now, no stars, no passion, and mostly in regietheater staging that’ to say empty stage , without settings
    American puritanism will be a return of the beginning of the 20 th century before Callas, when singers only sang with some movements of the hands, watching the conductor and very far from each other to avoid the danger, the evil.But at that time , existed settings
    What interest remain to go to the opera ? if you can’t hear the best singer, feel emotions, admire beautiful or clever settings ?
    I recall you that except the 2 little singers losers, they were only “very courageous” anonymous allegations against Mr Domingo. Me too is just a new form of totalitarism, Gecker and Katz use this organization to become ” famous” and also the losers singers who search a revenge against their mediocity. They will succeed to empty the opera stages, because without stars, passion and love there is no opera.

  • Daniela says:

    We are definitely witnessing change or, rather, the distruction of a whole art form. Opera is all about passion, emotion, love, jelousy… It is in the libretto and in the music. It is very clear that opera as we know it does not have a future in America.
    And, yes, Domingo was hounded. It is outrageous that the greatest artist in history of opera can be persecuted without any proof. And this speaks not only of the acusers, but of the social environment. How is it possible that a person who has dedicated his whole life to music and opera, who has helped and developed a countless number of young singers, who has given endless hours of his time for chariry causes of all sorts, can be condemned based on allegations, be it two, eight, eleven or twenty. If one sets out to claim things that can destroy another person’s life, especially under the pretense of a “greater good”, they should have the decency to do so publicly.
    The sole purpose of the new article is to make the story sizzle as it is obvious that it is falling apart. This is not journalism, this is trash.
    They have nothing because there is nothing and it is time for the defamation of Domingo to stop.

    • V.Lind says:

      If Domingo thought he was being defamed he would have recourse. He was being exposed.

      Opera may be about all you have said, but it is ACTING and performing, not EN-acting. FCS! I am sure there have been incidents in theatre, but there have been no significant reports of atmospheres of sexual fear from the theatre as a whole despite performing work as passionate and sexual and intense as any opera.

      Overheated singers will just have to grow the f*&^ up and behave like adults in the performance of their roles. Other singers, actor and musicians are not there for them to vent their frustrations or self-perceived power.

    • Eric says:

      Aside from the seemingly endless #metoo discussion, to call Domingo “the greatest artist in the history of opera” is patently absurd.

  • Karl says:

    It should be clear by now that men and women clearly cannot work together. It’s been a great expirement, but it’s time to give it up. We need a separate but equal policy where men have their own workplaces and women have their own workplaces. Operas can be rewritten to put countertenors in female roles. In female productions the male roles could be sung by well trained parrots.

  • It Was Known says:

    He wasn’t hounded. He was exposed. His followers just can’t get over the fact that their “god” is just some cheap version of Don Giovanni. How delusional, needy, and insecure can one man be to think all these women welcomed his harassments in the workplace?

    • Elina says:

      Actually it is Domingo was harassed by women during all his career. Such loser like Patricia Wulf and Angela Turner Wilson offered sex to him and to other directors and opera managers to get roles. But it didn’t help them to make a career. Now they are retired and need money. That’s why they said all that boolshit about Domingo.

      • Yes Addison says:

        Yeah, because there’s such big money in talking to the Associated Press. If you meet with a reporter face to face, you might even get a lunch out of it!

        If they were suing Domingo, you might have some kind of case.

      • V. Lind says:

        You know this, do you? Prepared to take it to AP and document it?

        What is it with women like you? Aside from inability to assess something critically?

  • Hypocrite says:

    Kathleen Kelly is a hypocrite. There are two posts on her Facebook page from 2016 kissing Levine’s ass. One has a heart and the other says “the greatest colleagues and mentor I have ever met.” It shouldn’t matter gay or straight, abuse should not be tolerated and just because someone isn’t a threat to YOU doesn’t mean you should kiss their ass as a great mentor.

  • Hypocrite says:

    I should also point out that Ms. Kelly taught with and collaborated with David Daniels at the University of Michigan during the time of his abuse and never said a damn word!

  • Maria Stabyenska says:

    Well, the politicians who represent the area of Manhattan where the Metropolitan Opera is situated got some favorable coverage in the NYTimes on account of their demands that Domingo, as well as Met management, be forevermore banned from setting foot in that neighborhood again, and were thus able to get their constituents’ minds off the prevalence of other pressing problems, such as the prevalence of rats in the area, abysmal subway service, and violent attacks on Orthodox Jews.

  • Polly says:

    Does anyone know why these two women allegedly harassed by Placido had messages on their social networks that having met the tenor was the greatest of their lives and even put pictures of their families with him? And suddenly, after the publication of the article, and after these posts were discovered, they were quickly deleted … And they want people to believe them, right? Well, I think donkeys fly, right? And about the infamous anonymous ladies, if they really exist, it is very cowardly and miserable to make such accusations and hide alleging alleged fears of publicly showing their faces. Everyone has the right to know who accuses him of something.

  • Elfriede says:

    Please, stop the defamation of Mr.Domingo. He has given so much for the world of OPERA and now this false accusation from AP/MeToo goes round the world.
    Why did woman wait more than 20 years when they feel uncomfortable with flirting, whispering in ear, telephoned…, it give a wonderword: NO and all Europeen know this word and we need not a “Intimacy director”.
    So many great and well known female singers stand up for Mr.Domingo. So sorry that’s this smear attack from AP/MeToo want to destroy his career and his honor.
    Will America go back to puritanism? Is this the wish from AP/MeToo, so sorry for the American opera lovers.
    Europa, Asia,South-America and Russia stand strong with Mr.Domingo!

  • Elina says:

    So sad that people don’t use they brain and believe non proof false statement of 2 opera losers and corrupted media.

    These 2 liers Wulf-Wilson hatrased Domingo to get roles. They did it and many other women singers as we’ll. It is open secret. Now they are virgins?)))

    Smart people in Europe, Asia, Russia understand that Domingo’s case was fabricated. That’s why Domingo has a great success in Salzburg, Zurich, Moscow, Vienna, Milan, Valencia.

  • Konas Jaufmann says:

    Yes, we now know that there is witch-hunting in the opera world aswell

  • Ms.Melody says:

    If there were no sex imitation scenes in opera ( most of the time they are not in the original libretto, but are added by the directors who are worried that the public will get bored without a dose of pornography), there would be no need for intimacy directors. Embraces and kisses and hand holding
    are safe and chaste enough for the harshest critic and coupled with great singing which is rare these days , is usually sufficient to get the point across. The directors make singers perform undignified acts on stage and then when someone gets carried away, there are complaints of harassment and worse. Restore some dignity to opera,get singers some decent costumes instead of having them perform naked or almost naked, stop treating opera as some cheap porno show and maybe, there will be fewer incidents worth reporting and the singers and actors will feel safer.

  • Anna Y says:

    I look at this idiocy and can’t stop being surprised. there is nothing illegal in what the man says to the woman complmenti, invites you to date and generally problem initiative. It’s not a crime for work colleagues to sleep with each other. This is not a kindergarten or a primary school. I can understand if it’s a criminal offense: rape or battery, public humiliation, or something like that. But no! We are talking about the relationship of adult capable people who lead an active social and sexual life. What the hell do they need a nanny or a nun to look after them?? All these people who tell you with wide eyes that it is a crime to offer sex to a woman, tell me, in what laboratory were they made? This is some kind of insanity of a bunch of inadequate, dissatisfied with the life of haters, who for months splash out on the pages of the Internet muck about a person who is known only from the Newspapers. Sadly, hypertolerant to nonsense leads to a situation when suffering an adequate majority. It’s a very sad sight. But most of all I am sad because of the injustice to Maestro Domingo, who has made an incredibly great contribution to the development of culture in the United States and around the world, and has always shown himself as a kind, sincere, decent person. I’m not saying he’s a Saint. But these ridiculous accusations of two losers cannot be taken seriously. Look at this ambitious statement by the AP journalist at the end of the year and it will immediately become obvious that the lady wanted to become famous, and Mrs. Debra Katz (the lawyer of these two singers) wanted to get a major trophy to strengthen her career and reputation as a fighter against harrasment. This is a very good motivation to come up with 18 more unsubstantiated charges without giving names, places, dates, witnesses or any other details. It is so sad to see that society has reached such a point of intellectual degradation that this little pile of shit has become the real reason for this delusional anti – harrasment movement to invade the world of high art to destroy it. This movement invades the area of private freedom of man, in his personal intimate space. Even the Soviet Union did not reach this level of control over people. In a totalitarian society, a person could not have their own political views that differ from the position of the government and the party, but no one told him what he should think, what to feel in his personal life. Do you realize that even in a totalitarian society, people were more free than in the society that movements like metoo and the media are creating now???? This train is going straight to hell. I know that most Americans are good, fair, and reasonable people who watch this nightmare with horror and bewilderment. I wish them to find the strength to unite and stop this madness. Do not be afraid of harassment from the media and a bunch of fanatics, actively express their position on sites and forums, because if you keep silent, this shit will destroy everything that is important to you