Just in: Placido Domingo, ‘I have never behaved aggressively toward anyone’

Just in: Placido Domingo, ‘I have never behaved aggressively toward anyone’


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2020

The singer has just issued a further statement, clarifying the terms of his previous apology and his dismissal from performances in his hime town, Madrid. Here’s what he says:

Plácido Domingo – México 2.27.2020
I feel I must issue a further statement to correct the false impression generated by my apology in some of the articles reporting on the AGMA investigation.

My apology was sincere and heartfelt, to any colleague who I have made to feel uncomfortable, or hurt in any manner, by anything I have said or done. As I have said it repeatedly, it was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone.

But I know what I have not done and I’ll deny it again. I have never behaved aggressively toward anyone, and I have never done anything to obstruct or hurt anyone’s career in any way. On the contrary, I have devoted much of my half century in the world of opera supporting the industry and promoting the career of countless singers.

I am grateful to all the friends and colleagues that, up until now, have believed in me and supported me through these difficult moments. In order to spare them harm or any additional inconvenience, I have decided to withdraw from my upcoming performances of La Traviata at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Furthermore, I will withdraw from the engagements in which theaters and companies find it difficult to carry out those commitments. On the other hand, I will fulfill all my other commitments wherever circumstances permit it.

With Valery Gergiev, this month in St Petersburg



  • A.L. says:

    La tragedia è finita

  • Gustavo says:

    Like Denial Barenboim.

  • Lynne says:

    This is just getting sad now.

  • James says:

    He had finally made a decent apology, and now he walks it right back. Very sad.

    • Karl says:

      He never should have apologized in the first place. He didn’t do anything wrong. Other people’s irrational feelings are not his fault.

      • Bruce says:

        Karl knows this because he was present at each and every alleged occasion.

        • Karl says:

          I read Patricia Wulf’s statements. Domingo flirted with her and at first she laughed it off. What was Domingo supposed to think when she laughed at his flirtations? Of course he has no idea that it was bothering her. He’s not a mind reader. She never told him that she found his comments offensive either. If she had he certainly would have stopped.

          Now 30 years later she is complaining about it. How does she even know her memories of it are accurate? It has been well documented that memories change over time. People have even been found to have totally false memories. And all the other complaints I have read are decades old also. It’s a witch hunt driven by rape hysteria culture.

          • sycorax says:

            Obviously your reading abilities aren’t the best either. If memory doesn’t fail me Ms Wulf told him she’s married and intends to stay faithful to her husband. That actually should have been enough.

            Besides there were other cases of ladies telling him that they’re not interested. I mean if a man calls me in the middle of the night and asks me out and I tell him not once, but three or four times that I don’t want to, I actually expect him to get the message.

            Even more. As I got to know my husband I was rather sceptical (a handsome singer flirting with a young musician in the orchestra? My first thought was: “Oh, that’s one of these who have a little affair every time they go on tour.” And I wasn’t interested to become another “conquest” of such a guy) and reserved. He asked me out, I declined – politely of course, but so there was no doubt. The next days he smiled at me, he participated in conversations, but no other attempt to become “personal” until I’ve gotten a bit more open towards him, slowly getting that he’s not out for a one night stand. And finally it was me who said: “Now kiss me at last!” He’d shown he’s interested but he let the last steps to me, showing me that he respects me. And that’s why we’re now, almost 40 years later, are (again) a couple and why I still love and respect him.

          • Karl says:


            You are proving my point about faulty memory. Now you are the one with the bad memory – and this is only after a few months. What will happen in 30 years? Ms Wulf never told him she’s married and intends to stay faithful to her husband. She never complained to anyone. She even laughed at the flirtation.

      • Emil says:

        Karl, how many comprehensive investigations will you need before you accept that something may – just may – have happened? To break out of your blanket denialism?

        • Karl says:

          Decades old complaints are rarely credible. During the McCarthy era comprehensive investigations showed the US was in danger of being overrun by the Red Menace! No one takes that seriously now and it is viewed as a period where people were denied their civil liberties. Decades from now people will be looking at this as the age of sex/rape/harassment hysteria.

          My eyes were opened to the hysteria several years ago when the ‘studies’ came out showing that 1 in 5 women on college campuses were being sexually assaulted. That’s a higher percentage of women than get assaulted in wars. If Obama really believed that he should have sent the National Guard to campuses. But he didn’t. That kind of thing is just being used as a tool to bash political opponents. Millions more women are of voting age and people are trying to secure their vote by convincing women that they are all oppressed victims and their oppression will end if they vote for the woke candidate.

          It’s spilling over into society everywhere. It’s part of victimhood culture. We have sexual harassment training now where we are told that just touching someone on the shoulder is wrong. At least once a month some women touches me on the shoulder or forearm. Just today a woman touched my arm twice. Am I a victim? Should I feel harassed?

          • sycorax says:

            You’re a real chauvi and misogynist. For women the danger of becoming harrassed and even raped is high. We’re all aware of it and we “avoid” things like going through certain areas at night (I remember a time when this meant the train station at my place! I used a taxi because one wasn’t safe there), we consider with every man we have to let in if he will behave (I had once trouble with a craftsman send to repair a window).
            What now happens isn’t “hysteria”, it’s just that we women aren’t longer willing to live with being potential victims.

          • V.Lind says:

            Good God, an apologist for the APPALLING Joe McCarthy. Red Menace my eye. America paranoia, by which issues of the day became blown up into widespread persecution of innocent people who challenged the American ideal — which was and is capitalism, not democracy — always needs a bogeyman. Post-war, it was the “Red Menace.” As the 21st century began, it became Middle Easterners. Post-YKW, it became ANYONE “foreign.” And always is has been “liberals.”

            Think Domingo is getting a rough ride? Try being Dalton Trumbo or Ring Lardner Jr. Not keen on the preserved anonymity of some of Domingo’s accusers? I’ll bet you were fine with HUAC’s “friendly witnesses.”

        • Leopoldo says:

          Karl is still so angry about those two women who – in his misogynistic little head – once “falsely” accused him of something, that he doesn’t care about investigations, evidence or admissions of guilt. He just wants every woman on the planet to pay.

          • Karl says:

            Leopoldo and sycorax have resorted to name calling. It only shows that they have lost the argument.

            And for the record men are far more likely to be crime victims than women. Worldwide, 78.7% of homicide victims are men.

          • Leopoldo says:

            Name calling is the use of abusive language or insults. Calling you misogynistic is not that, really, it is just a very objective description of who you are, Karl. You have been very clear in multiple comments on this forum that you dislike, despise and are strongly prejudiced against women. So how about you face the music?

            Here are three facts for you:

            1. The American Guild of Musical Artists launched an investigation on the allegations against Domingo.

            2. The investigation “concluded that Mr. Domingo had, in fact, engaged in ​inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace.”

            3. In response to the investigation, Domingo apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions.

            And yet here you are saying the investigation was flawed and stating that Domingo was wrong to apologize. Such arrogance! You really believe you know more about these incidents than the people who investigated them and the man who accepted his guilt.

            You are a pathetic and ignorant little piece of human garbage (and yes, now I am name calling, and that still doesn’t mean you are right in your ridiculous arguments).

      • Mezzosaskia says:

        Where do you know from, that Domingo hasn’t done anything? 40 years and more it was well-known in the scene how he used to behave. Young singers, dancers, chorists, etc. were warned to be careful. Just his f***ing star-status and “spineless” theatre-directors preserved him for such a long time. To say that XX women lie is very unfair, especially because there are much more women who have suffered from this “gentleman”.
        Shame on you, Karl, for so much ignorance.

        • Karl says:

          I didn’t say they were all lying. It’s normal for memories to change and distort over time. And they are also using the definition of sexual harassment as it is TODAY. 20-30 years ago it was different. Bosses could date employees and college professors could date students 20-30 years ago.

          I googled and found this:
          “What Should a Sexual Harassment Victim Do?
          The victim should directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. It is important for the victim to communicate that the conduct is unwelcome, particularly when the alleged harasser may have some reason to believe that the advance may be welcomed. However, a victim of harassment need not always confront his/her harasser directly, so long as his/her conduct demonstrates that the harasser’s behavior is unwelcome.”


          That’s the way I remember it used to be. I’m not sure when it changed.

      • Cdoofus says:

        My goodness, are you a Neaderthal?

  • sycorax says:

    Methinks it’s a question how one defines “aggressively”It’s stated that he abused his power and influence – and I think that’s aggressively enough.
    But it was to expect that he rows back and I’m absolutely not surprised that he still refuses to finish his career. He can’t live without applause and he obviously thinks his “fans” will forgive him.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    A great man has been destroyed and humiliated,equated with convicted rapists, legendary career ruined for decades old misdemeanors. AGMA got it’s pound of flesh. Isn’t it time to stop the hunt? Would a massive coronary or a stroke satisfy? Basta!

    • sycorax says:

      Oh no – he isn’t a victim! He’s destroyed his career! And he humiliated dozen of women (you obviously think they don’t matter). He reaped what he saw – just so simple.

      • Luca says:

        I will continue to separate the man’s behaviour from his music just as I have with musicians who performed in Nazi Germany and added lustre to an evil regime.

        • Sara says:

          Charles Trenet

        • sycorax says:

          I do that with composers. Wagner was – mildly said – not a very nice person, but his music is genius, so I try to keep him from his music and his writing separate.
          With interprets I’m mostly more strict. For example: I don’t own a single Karajan CD. It’s possible he’s done a few things well and I miss something out by not listening, but for my feeling there’s nothing I couldn’t get from something else.
          And the same goes for singer. I mustn’t listen to Domingo (who was never my favourite tenor). There were always others who did the pieces too …

    • Lynne says:

      You mean a great singer who destroyed and humiliated himself with decades of bad behavior and is now paying the price.

    • Mezzosaskia says:

      No, the victims are the women! He’s far away from being a victim. It was well-known in the scene what kind of man he is. Young singers, dancers, chorists, etc. were warned being careful. His career he ruined by himself and his reputation too. I would like to see what you would say if your daughter would have been one of his victims. Would you call her a liar too?

  • DanGerous says:

    um…grabbing boobs (as has been reported) is pretty aggressive.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    If it were really so bad there would certainly have been a court case in the US.

    The problem still persists that most the of accusers have remained anonymous, no factual evidence, such as recorded phone conversations or hotel bookings have been produced, in short nothing that would stand up in a court of law.

    We are being asked to believe that mature, professional women couldn’t handle an enthusiastic male and instead behaved like Victorian maidens with the vapours. How pathetic is that?

    • sycorax says:

      Oh for heaven’s sake! By now more as two dozen women came up and said he’d harrassed them und you’re still defending him?

      Besides he wasn’t just an “enthustiac male”. He was an aggressive one he was one in power!

      The only thing which is “pathetic” here are women defending such a leech and falling other women in the back.

      • Mark says:

        And women, of course, are famous for being truthful and for never being bitter or vindictive – they are angelic creatures, and their word is gospel, not requiring any corroboration whatsoever (eye roll)

        • sycorax says:

          No of course women aren’t all angels. But if two dozen women tell alike stories (independent from each other! At least the ladies the AP talked with didn’t know from the others) I tend to believe them! Especially when these stories suit what was for years known and often talked about!

    • V.Lind says:

      Once again: inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. Workplace determination. WIDELY adopted. Do you really think ALL these orchestras and opera companies and now the Spanish would just drop someone of this stature — of ANY stature in the notoriously litigious US, where wrongful dismissal suits keep half its lawyers in vicuña — if THEY did not believe that there was a issue to answer?

      What makes you, or any of your fellow deniers, think you know more about this , and this man, than the Met, or LA Opera, or the the Spanish Ministry of Culture? Are they all out to “get” PD too? This mega-star, whose lustre enhances their seasons and whose presence, however shaky his baritone, is one of the greatest money spinners these hard-pressed institutions crave? This man, whom they have LOVED, and to whom they indeed owe a great deal, for half a century?

      Grow up. His very statement (what a mistake) essentially invites other halls and houses and companies drop him. He more or less admitted yesterday everything of which he had been accused. He should have left well alone — THAT statement was crafted by someone very, very good. This one looks as if it has come from his den, and his pen, a pre-emptive strike against anyone having an idea of doing what you seem to think would be in his interest and charging him, now that the support is so widespread.

      He had twigged that he is now P.N.G. in Spain, and has withdrawn from Teatro Real — the ultimate jump-before-he-was-pushed. In his own interest, he would be well advised to fade gently into the sunset and KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT.

      He said he never affected anyone’s career. Well, now a NAMED accuser, soprano Luz del Alba Rubio, says differently: “After she rejected him one night, she told the AP, the WNO never hired her again, and “roles he had promised her never materialized.” ” His behaviour to her, while not violent, certainly sounds aggressive.


      I think Maestro Domingo appears to be equating aggression and violence. Nobody has ever accused him of the latter, though Angela Turner Wilson’s accusation comes close, but continuous, persistent, demanding attempts by a man to “persuade” a woman into something she has obviously indicated is not welcome IS aggressive. Courts call it various things, from stalking to sexual harassment, and sentences accordingly. Do you REALLY want some of these women to pursue this in court?

      • sycorax says:

        Amen to that!
        You’ve got it so on the point!

        As the AP report came out my first thought was: “Oh my, that will be a battle in court!” (I was once a free lancer for the AP). I was convinced that he’d try to sue.

        My hubby (who was for almost 50 years in the scene) said “no. He won’t. He knows too well what he’s done.”

        And he was right. Domingo made lame statement, but he didn’t sue.

        And now he’s admitted what he’s done – and some people still defend him? It’s unbelievable and it makes one wonder if they really believe harassing women is fine and dandy (when you’re a star).

        And yes, I believe too: His “admission” two days ago was done by a PR pro. Probably he was in a bit of “panic” because of what leaked from the AGMA, perhaps the Weinstein case hit him. Yet the new statement – if this was done by a PR pro he should change the job. It’s badly done, it’s doing more damage as it does good – and it sound as if Domingo and his family would have composed it at the breakfast table.

        If he’d have gotten a wise adviser he’d tell him now: “Keep your mouth close and retire!” His reputation is gone. He’s destroyed his own legend and the longer it goes, the more tragic it becomes. In a way I feel almost something like pity with the old man who obviously is addicted to the adoration of his public and can’t imagine going home and not becoming “celebrated” anymore.

  • Cassandra says:

    How clear do you need it?

    Plácido Domingo has never forced himself on anyone.

    10.000 people, with their common sense intact, are signing a petition of support. Not one single complaint has been made in any European opera house. Yet you sit around waiting for them to pull the rug.

    Raise your eyes for a wider perspective and see the absurdity.

    • Emil says:

      How many impartial investigations do you need? You’ve got one, and he was about to pay 500 000$ to bury it. There’s another one coming. When will it be enough to believe what literally everyone knows, in and out of opera, and what has been confirmed multiple times?

      • Mark says:

        Emil, privately funded investigations are never impartial – they are designed to serve the interests of the party paying the lawyers’ bill.

      • Cassandra says:

        Literally Emil,
        What is it that you think you “know”?

        You, like all of us, are being served information, most often second hand, to assess based on our own discernment. It is part of life, though not always with someone so nicely set up to take the blame.

        • sycorax says:

          Cassandra, you miss something: A few of us are insiders.
          I played once in the orchestra of an opera house and I’ve got many friends involved with opera (including my husband). We know a bit more as you can read in the newspapers and I think the most of us knew stories about Domingo and his “conquests” long, long before the AP reported. It was widely known that he’s a womanizer and can become rather penetrant.
          Besides I know two women who got to know him personally and I’ve known their stories for years.

    • Karl says:

      With consent based rape laws it’s possible to unknowingly rape a woman. The women might not even realize it until years later according to some mental health morons. I’m seriously worried that some nut will file rape charges now. Blood is in the water and the sharks are hungry.

      • V.Lind says:

        How does having sex with a woman who has not consented NOT constitute rape? Sex is an intimate act, not among real and decent people one that does not allow some conversation before it. One iteration of “no” should mean an end to sexual congress, until and unless further conversation changes the tenor of the encounter.

        • Karl says:

          Haven’t you been keeping up with the new laws? They have yes means yes laws now in some areas, not no means no. In some areas the consent has to be ENTHUSIASTIC. So a simple yes is not enough. Unless you check with your lawyer first it is too dangerous to have sex these days.

          • sycorax says:

            I call bs! The laws demand a clear statement that both parties involved want to go further – not more, nor less.
            And actually it’s – among “normal”, decent people – in the nature of the thing that the “yes” to sleeping with someone should be “enthusiastic”.
            I wouldn’t want my hubby to “serve” me if he isn’t in the mood for it and “enthusiastically” agreeing. And the same goes the other way ’round.
            Sex should something done for the pleasure and satisfaction of two people. That needs the agreement and the wanting of it from both parties.

          • Karl says:

            Consent does not have to be verbal. From RAINN: “Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. There are many ways to give consent, and some of those are discussed below. Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries.”

            The laws are changing all the time so there may be places where that isn’t the case now. But not years ago. And years ago from when the Domingo accusations are from rape was force based, not consent based – meaning there had to be lack of consent PLUS force to be rape.

    • sycorax says:

      Well, in the European opera houses it’s quiet (until now). However, there was a former Sony worker who talked to the German magazine “Spiegel” and had a story pretty alike to the stories of the American ladies to tell.

      Rising my eyes, I see the absurdity of the attempts of white washing him. His definition of “aggression” is up for debate – I think groping a woman’s breasts or reaching under her skirt is _aggressive_ behaviour. If he sees it otherwise it says more about him as about me.

      Besides: How many women saying he forced himself on them, using his influence and power, would it need until you would consider again?

      I sometimes think the biggest hindrance in matters of equality are some women …

    • Lynne says:

      How naive do you have to be to think that fans signing a petition means someone is innocent? How much of a sycophant do you have to be to not see the writing on the wall?

  • Emil says:

    So it’s a ‘sorry if you were offended, but that’s your problem’ non-apology. “Full responsibility” indeed.

  • Anon says:

    Fortunately for Mr. Domingo, there are now several professional precedents in the music world which show the way as to how he might survive professionally.

    Gatti, Dutoit & several others are discretely back in circulation. Domingo needs to lay low for a while & ruminate on his errors. Allow this to be a “Me Too” victory. Then when the storm has died down, quietly begin again. There will always be audiences that welcome him somewhere in the world. He needs to sit this out and then find those audiences.

    This isn’t the end of Domingo. The world will not allow it.

    • Larry D says:

      It’s a very tiny “world” who even knows who he is. But I do agree that he should “lay low”, for say, twenty years, and quietly begin again in his next reincarnation.

    • Mezzosaskia says:

      Of course, in the age of his – officially – 79 years and without a voice since, let’s be very friendly, about 10 years, he shall wait for what? To croak “father” Gérmont as a great-great-great-great grandfather? It’s such a pity that people cannot hear the difference between singing and roaring, especially if the singer cannot roar too, because he can’t breath anymore. So for what he should wait? Aside from that, also waiting wouldn’t help, because there are too many woman who will remember the behaviour of this “fine gentleman” also in 10 or 20 years what will be definitely too late for him.

  • Djeedo says:

    Besides everything written above, why am I not suprised to see a picture of Domingo here on SD together with Gergiev???
    Mr. Lebrecht stays on his track!!

  • Peter says:

    His statements turned everything into circus, into a very cheap Mexican soap opera…
    So we all have to have it very clear now that he has issued a non-apology of his apology from 2 days ago… The first statement was not published on his social medias as people would have gone mad!
    He has withdrawn and is withdrawing, so one cannot say that he is getting fired from all over the world! E taaaaardi!!!!
    Everybody knows the truth, everybody knows that the Met has fired him and that Teatro Real would have fired him anyhow and it is time for everybody to take measures and release him from “performing” on the stages where younger and talented people wait to have their turn on their career, but they cannot because one selfish grandpa is so stuck to his ego and to his pride!
    If anybody still has their doubts about how his influence in casting is/was present: simply take Operalia, the “most famous” singing contest in the world where the jury is formed NOT by any professional singer or his colleagues, but by all opera intendants and casting directors!!!!
    And if you look at the quality of these singers, you see that maybe 10% have the power and talent and voice to actually be on the big stages, the others are just frauds in the opera industry today, being hired because PD put them everywhere through his old friends, basically the same old farts who are moving from one house to another every 4-5-6 years (with a couple of exceptions).
    By the way, where are all the #istandbydomingo singers and Operalia winners and participants? Not so loud anymore, eh?
    This is all a disgrace and the only good thing is that the end is finally near!

  • Rudy says:

    He is a coward, we can ser that!

  • Ms. Tripp says:

    I want you to listen to me. I’m only gonna say this one time.

    “I did NOT have sexual relations with that young woman”!!!!

    William Jefferson Clinton (wagging his cigar stained finger).

    Sure sounds familiar!


    • Karl says:

      But only NOW 25 years later does Monica think it was an abuse of power. What does that tell you? Memories change over time. Domingo did nothing wrong. A handful of hysterical women have distorted memories.

  • Bloom says:

    It is a sad end. The old dinosaur should withdraw before he is shred to pieces by sharks and hyenas.