Berlin has an attack of Placido Domingo jitters

Berlin has an attack of Placido Domingo jitters


norman lebrecht

January 16, 2020

Under pressure from sections of the media and the political establishment, the Berlin State Opera has been forced to issue a press statement confirming that Placido Domingo will sing in its Traviata production tonight and next Tuesday.

Matthias Schulz, the chief executive, said his company takes sexual issues seriously: ‘Obviously we take any accusation of sexual harassment very seriously. The safety of my colleagues and artists has the highest priority at all times. In this specific case, we are sticking to the appearances of Plácido  Domingo, who always behaved in an exemplary  manner with us at this house, and we do not see enough evidence to break a long-standing contract.’

A local group, “Pro Quote Bühne”, had demanded a Domingo ban and promised to picket his performances.


Hamburg State Opera has also confirmed that Domingo, 79, will sing in Simon Boccanegra in March and April.

Read on: Domingo’s choices.


  • Esther Cavett says:

    Matthias Schulz was the one who didn’t try to help that young girl who DB got nasty with and had sacked (as reported on SD)

  • Victoria says:

    Berlin and Hamburg Opera did the right thing and the only right thing – Standing by Placido Domingo.

    Those from “certain sections of media”, MeToo mob, and whatever political establishment, must stop meddling with the normal artistic activities of Placido Domingo. Stop the madness and injustice against Domingo.

    • Anon says:

      Victoria, you’re in a cult. Why do you think every one of these reports gets under your skin and makes you feel so defensive? He’s just a man, not a god.

      • david hilton says:

        “Why do you think every one of these reports gets under your skin”? . . . Maybe because a continuing injustice tends to do just that?

      • Karl says:

        Many people know someone who has been falsely accused. Many people have been falsely accused themselves. It’s easy now for any women who is disgruntled to make a bogus accusation.

        I have my own example. When I ran a cafe I was falsely accused by two women after I reported them for payroll fraud. One accused me of threatening her with a bowl of pasta. The female bosses actually took that accusation seriously and kicked me out. The payroll fraud continued and a year later the place shut down because it was losing so much money. The cheaters lost their jobs, but so did some honest people.

  • V. Lind says:

    “Under pressure from sections of the media and the political establishment…”

    There is no link and no source. Nor is this phrase contained in what you quote. Is this reason your opinion or the factual reason for a decision to confirm what may be based upon a few public inquiries? Or questions from members of the company?

    Has there been any instance in the US of either the media or the Me Too movement lobbying any house to cancel Domingo? As far as I am aware, places from Philadelphia to San Fran to the Met made the decision on the basis of two articles that apparently put in the public domain rumours and atmospheres that had been floating around their companies and upon which they had never previously acted. The articles essentially gave them permission to act.

    Schulz has clearly read about the controversy. So presumably had La Scala — they did not feel obliged to comment, they just went ahead and employed Domingo. What really happened here?

    For a blog that has made plenty noise complaining about AP’s journalism, you are very slight in the reporting department. The press release could have been published on its own — for some reason Berlin has been compelled to issue it. All I want to know is if the reasons cited are yours or theirs.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The US houses got rid of Domingo following an investigation. New York “persuaded him to leave”.

      The EU houses can not actually fire Domingo. He has a contract with them which he has not breached (e.g. he has not been shown to have done anything wrong in Hamburg or Berlin). This means the opera houses in Europe have to honour the contract. The interesting question is whether they will ever hire him again (I suspect not).

  • Nijinsky says:

    A bit more repulsive and they can do a pornographic Violetta. Put her on top, not in a pumpkin, a wedding cake and blast her with more of the you know what’s been flying around as excuses, bunch of aces.

  • Gustavo says:

    The guy next to Domingo is the one to get the jitters about.

  • jack says:

    In the US it used to be the case that prudery and its enforcement was the province of the evangelicals. But now, it seems, that it has been taken over by the secular liberals. And they have tried to foist it off on the rest of the globe (backed up by the US military and economic might). That approach to how life has to be lived has its roots (among other things) in English puritanism. But with the sun (finally) setting on the British empire (and America next), perhaps this imperialist attempt to force (or at least disdain) certain standards of behavior on the rest of the world’s population is coming to its end. American liberalism (in its current form) and English notions of what constitutes “proper” behavior are not a dictat by which the rest of the planet needs to adhere.

  • Anna Y says:

    The media pressure? Are you serious? Several fanatical feminists lobbied for several articles and tried to organize a rally near the Opera. In the end, only 4 people stood with placards like idiots. No one except the feeble-minded fanatics takes this seriously. It’s time to end this ridiculous farce.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    The jackboots are still around. These days it takes the form of bullying and reputational destruction. Usually from a cohort of sniffy, condescending bien pensant.

  • Emil says:

    We take harassment seriously, says the house that now hosts both Barenboim and Domingo.