Me, who? Placido Domingo is honoured with Austria’s music theatre prize

Me, who? Placido Domingo is honoured with Austria’s music theatre prize


norman lebrecht

July 26, 2020

It has been announced overnight that the lifetime achievement award at the Österreichische Musiktheaterpreis next week will be awarded to Placido Domingo.

Domingo, who will be 80 in January, has lost all of his US positions and much of his allure following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The awards will be presented at an invitation-only ceremony at Salzburg airport on August 6. The jury was made up of journalists.

Here’s the announcement, posted on Domingo’s social media:

Salzburg (LCG) – With his multifaceted talent, Plácido Domingo is one of the best and most influential vocal actors in the world; he has been setting international standards at the very highest level for decades. In addition to his repertoire, which with more than 150 roles has never been matched by any other tenor, Domingo has also made a name for himself as a conductor and opera director. Reason enough for initiator Karl-Michael Ebner to award this exceptional artist, who suffered from COVID-19 and has since recovered, with this year’s Austrian Music Theater Prize for his life’s work. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at W. A. Amadeus Airport in Salzburg.

“It is with great pleasure that I have received the news that the Austrian Music Theatre Prize will be awarded to me for my career! Even greater is the joy of receiving it in the anniversary year of the Salzburg Festival, exactly 45 years after my debut in Salzburg. It is such a delicate moment in history for all of us, for our health and for the health of the whole world. The message of the Austrian Music Theatre Prize is simply wonderful: the promotion of the arts, and especially of music, is important in order to gain the energy for a new beginning. Austria is the country where music has accompanied every person since childhood. It is an immeasurable asset for the inner wealth of us all. My career is firmly connected with Vienna and Salzburg, where over the years I have had the honour of working with the best artists who have made me truly great. We applaud them for their commitment to make this incomparable atmosphere possible. We all hope that we will soon be able to breathe freely again, because we miss them so much,” says Domingo.

“Plácido Domingo is without doubt one of the greatest artists of our time. With over 4,050 performances, the tenor is a cultural ambassador without equal. In addition to an unparalleled career, Domingo has also rendered outstanding services in the promotion of young talent as the initiator of several singing competitions and sponsorship programs. It is a great pleasure and honour for me to honour him in the city where he made his debut at the Festival 45 years ago,” said Ebner.

Among the artists honoured for their life’s work at the Austrian Music Theatre Award are star tenor René Kollo (2019), who achieved international fame as a pop singer as well as in Wagner operas, opera star and exceptional voice Grace Bumbry (2017), who, since her retirement from the stage with the “Grace Bumbry Vocal and Opera Academy”, has been increasingly committed to the next generation of opera singers, the multi-award-winning and internationally acclaimed maestro Zubin Mehta (2016), as well as Neil Shicoff (2015), among others, holder of the Austrian Honorary Cross of Science and Art I. Class.


  • Sandeling says:

    Great news and so well deserved!

  • Martin Snell says:

    Salzburg Airport, branded as Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart, not W.A. Amadeus. It is Austria’s second largest airport. It serves Salzburg, the fourth-largest Austrian city, and is a gateway to Austria’s numerous ski areas.

  • Maria says:

    Commonsense prevails in Europe. So pleased and very well deserved.

  • Daniela says:

    Congratulations, Maestro!
    Well deserved!

  • Cassandra says:

    and a
    Warm Welcome
    Back to Europe!!!

  • Olga says:

    Congratulations to Maestro! I’m very happy to learn his great achievements receive the due respect

  • Berta says:

    Congratulations, Mr Domingo!
    Austria loves you!

  • Layla says:

    My congratulations to Maestro Domingo – one of the best opera singers of all times!
    Hope to be at his performances in Italy, Austria this year!
    Bravo, Placido!!!

  • Anna Yu says:

    Bravo, Austria!!!! A perfectly fair decision. The award is given for musical and cultural achievements, not for winning the world Holiness championship. I think most commentators here would be outsiders in both cases.

    • V. Lind says:

      Much as I dislike engaging with anyone who posts things as stupid as those you do below, my first thought was that, whatever he is as a person, his lifetime in art warrants an award such as this.

      I do find his inclusion of the comprehensive praise offered by others rather than just his own expression of gratitude, and pride, if he likes, to be rather distasteful. But we have seen ample evidence of his ability to misread a situation tastefully in the past year or so.

  • Katarina says:

    Congratulations dear Maestro! So well deserved. A true legend.

  • SaVi says:

    You are the person who deserved this wonderful prize most of all, dear Maestro. I am really thrilled!! Congratulations from the bottom of my heart. We are waiting of you. A big THANKS to Austria!!!

  • GT Sylvie says:

    Congratulations for this prize, Maestro. Your hard work and your mutifaced talent and énergy well deserves it after so many horribles months

  • Elfriede K. says:

    Congratulations to Maestro Domingo to this well deserved award!
    Welcome back to Europe and to Austria!

  • Rodger says:

    Leave it to Austria to not only excuse Domingo’s well-documented lechery but celebrate it.

    I haven’t heard of these so-called journalists but it doesn’t say much for the Austrian news media that they’re the ones dolling out the honors. Haven’t they followed the reporting?

    • Erica says:

      And you also missed the reporting that he was not found guilty by anyone.

    • Anna Yu says:

      Well-documented lechery? Well. Show me where this is documented? I don’t remember a single document proving Domingo’s lechery. There was no any police investigation and real witness. Only shadows. And even the LAO and AGMA investigations found nothing significant. To be honest, these accusations are ridiculous. But here is Domingo indeed almost a year exposed to insults, lost several contracts and had to withdraw from the theater, which he created himself. His losses and sufferings are real and they are much more serious than the operatic sighs of a few old losers.

    • Magdalena says:

      Domingo is not guilty.

      LA Opera investigation report confirmed that he is non guilty. They found flirting and sexual advances only. That is not a crime.

      No one of his accusers hasn’t came to the police or court.

      No one of his accusers hasn’t provided any proof of his guilt. There are only talks and rumors in their statements.

      There is no any court process on Domingo’s case in any country.

    • Daniela says:

      What reporting?? It was a media lynch, distortion of facts and blatant lies.
      Nobody really cares that you have never heard of the members of the jury!
      The reward is well deserved for a lifetime of achievements and dedication. It is very clearly stated what the award is for and none of these facts and statements are disputable.
      As time goes by the ridiculous accusations just become more ridiculous! The fact is that there have not been any complaints to Domingo’s behavior in any theatre in Europe. He withdrew from those theatres which found it difficult to meet their commitments.
      All the accusations were conveniently construed in organizations where they could have been linked to his administrative function.
      The investigations found no wrongdoing and no crime. Even though they practically begged women to come forward! All they came up with were ten witnesses whose stories were similar!
      The worst he could have done is whisper some nonsense 30 years ago. Any half-witted, self-conscious woman would have laughed it off andsaid NO. Then and there!

    • Tom Phillips says:

      Remember these are the people who brought us Adolf Hitler, Kurt Waldheim and many other moral exemplars of that type. Not exactly reknowned for their social and moral conscience.

  • Brian says:

    Perhaps he could donate his winnings (whatever they entail) to a charity that supports sexual abuse victims.

  • Barbara says:

    These are fantastic and moving news and he deserves this price so much!
    Felicitación and congratulations to Austria!

    • Tom Phillips says:

      What he deserves is a long-overdue retirement. His singing for the past decade or so – ever since he became a “baritone” (i.e. a over the hill tenor with no high notes) has been a relentless embarrassment. But much too narcissistic to take a hint and relentlessly cheered on by his cult of worshipful followers.

  • Jenna Loys says:

    Congratulations to the greatest opera legend of our time! Mr Domingo, we are waiting for you in Europe!

    Wonderfull that Austria doesnt support metoo liars.

  • Bert says:

    So proud of my country! Looking forward to see Placido at Vienna opera in September and January!

    • Larry L. Lash /Wien says:

      Bert, have you noticed on the usually-reliable that Domingo’s last scheduled performance is the Wiener Staatsoper “Nabucco” on 19 January, two days before his 80th birthday (someone else will sing the title role in the last two performances of the run of “Nabucco”)? I am wondering if he has decided to retire from the stage. He has certainly given so much for so many decades. I may go to one of the “Boccanegras” in September as the dates fall very close to the first time I heard him, in September 1970, exactly 50 years ago. as Turridu to the Santuzza of Fiorenza Cossotto…

      • Bert says:

        I’m not sure if he decided to retire from opera stage. Who knows.
        He has appointment next year in Baden-Baden, Luzern, Verona. But these all will be concerts or opera in concert.
        In any case it is worth to visit Nabucco in January.

  • Erica says:

    Fantastic and well deserved! Congratulations dear Maestro!

  • Another orchestra musician says:

    People… It’s not sexual harassment. According to Mr. Domingo is “gallant gestures”.


  • Audrey Griffith says:

    How marvelous. He certainly merits this. One of the most talented artist in the world.

  • Ingrid says:

    Congratulations to Placido Domingo for this well deserved prize! I am very proud of my home country Austria. We are looking forward for his next performances in Vienna.

  • Octogenarian says:

    I’d like to meet every one of these women so devoted to Domingo on this site.

    Such adoration, such unconditional love, such caring…

    • Brian says:

      Octogenarian, I think they’re all the same person, masquerading as Domingo’s manic fan brigade. Normal people don’t write comments like these.

    • The View from America says:

      “I’d like to meet every one of these women so devoted to Domingo on this site.”

      The nominative word in this case is “one.”


    • Layla says:

      I dont know what are you from, but come to one of his performances and you will see his fans. There are lots of women of all ages – from 18 till 80. I am 32 (Yes, there are many quite young women among his fans). And we all are from different countries.

  • Eduardo says:

    what would Gurnemanz say?

  • Esfir Lebovich says:

    BRAVO, Maestro DOMINGO !

  • M2N2K says:

    Their statement that his repertoire of “more than 150 roles has never been matched by any other tenor” is odd. First, he has not been performing any tenor roles for at least a full third of his long singing career now. Second, it would have been safe enough to state that the total number of roles he has performed has never been matched by any other leading operatic singer.

    • Larry L. Lash / Wien says:

      According to the Met Archives, Domingo’s last full performance in a tenor role was as Siegmund in April 2009. As per the Wiener Staatsoper archive, his last complete performance in a tenor role here was as Parsifal in 2005 (although he jumped in for the final scene for an ailing Stephen Gould in 2010). At his 2007 50th anniversary concert he sang Act I of “Die Walküre” and Act IV of “Otello.”

      Since taking on the baritone repertoire in 2010, 10 years can hardly be thought of as “a full third of his long singing career.”

    • Larry L. Lash / Wien says:

      If course I meant his 40th anniversary with Wiener Staatsoper in 2007, having debuted here as Don Carlo in 1967.

  • Greeny says:

    All allegations were wrong. This was proved by the American Gild of the Musicians and by the independent research of LA Opera. There is no facts and proof of any of these lies. So there is no need to repeat them again and again.

  • Karl says:

    I wonder what happens with metoo here in the US is Joe Biden gets elected. The accusations against him are more credible and severe than those against Domingo.

    • Dr R Yevich says:

      Have you heard???? Of any?? Allegations against Mr Biden’s Republican opponent??? Or does your bias blind you?

    • sycorax says:

      How was that? “Grab them at the p….”?

      Oh no, that wasn’t Biden. That was Trump.

  • Thomas Pinschof says:

    I am quite certain that Kammersänger Anton Dermota, who was also a more versatile tenor and had the better voice, will be found to have more performances and a wider ranging repertoire as singer on record.

    • M2N2K says:

      Impressive achievements of the Kammersänger notwithstanding, “I am quite certain” that you are very wrong about that.

  • geoff says:

    There seems to be a bit of a plot from a group of fans to congratulate this man. Or I am I just thinking up bad things?

  • Barry S says:

    Congratulations Placido on this richly deserved award. It is wonderful to see such gracious recognition for you and your achievements.

  • Mark says:

    Bravo, Maestro Domingo !!! Well deserved.

  • Gerasimos says:

    Bravo Maestro

  • Larry D says:

    Roy Den Hollander’s last words reputedly were, “Nothing was ever proved! The Maestro is innocent!”

    • Marina says:

      If you have seen any proof, please post a link here. I’d like to see it.

      • Larry D says:

        No you wouldn’t. Fess up!

        • Marina says:

          Do I understand correctly that there is no any proof of Domingo guilt? there are just talks, rumors and sexual fantasies of retired opera losers like Patricia Wulf?

          • sycorax says:

            In february Mr Domingo published the following “I have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me. I respect that these women finally felt comfortable enough to speak out, and I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I have grown from this experience.”
            Only two days later he rowed bac, but that doesn’t change what he said and that he then admitted of hurting women.
            It needs fangirls like you to deny what he admitted! and to name Patricia Wulf a “retired opera loser” – jealous much?

          • Gonzalo says:

            Wulf being a retired opera singer is a fact. And she did not had any success in her singing carreer, that makes her a loser, even if the word is not nice.

            That excuse of Domingo was extrapolated from a bigger document that was made together with the AGMA. You have to read it together with the statement he wrote 2 days before.

  • norman lebrecht says:

    May I inject a quiet note of reality? The accusations against Domingo were found credible by an independent legal investigation in Los Angeles. He then issued an apology for his actions. He stopped claiming innocence. All else is delusion.

  • Victor says:

    Bravo Plácido. La envidia y los celos hacen cosas feas a los humanos. De ahí querer empañar tu imagen.

  • Layla says:

    I have a question to all Domingo haters. Why do you spend so much time by posting all that bull shit about him? Why do you need that?

    If I dont like any singer I just dont go to concerts and dont listen to him. But I will never waste my time posting dirty comments.

    Dont you really have more important things to do?

    • sycorax says:

      I think it’s very important to show men like him that being a star doesn’t make women objects for the satisfaction of your “needs”. The times men like him could do what they wanr without ever fearing repercussions are over – luckily they are over. At least my little grand niece won’t have to deal with leeches like Domingo.

  • Papageno says:

    Bravo Domingo. Thanks for the good times at LA Opera.
    America’s loss is Europe’s gain.

  • Papageno says:

    Justy FYI – Enrico Caruso famously groped the wife of a famous baseball player and, rather than killing his career like it would today, the incident made the NYT front page news and made even bigger box office for the Met. Mahler was visiting NY at the time (3-month gig for $300k!) and would bump into Caruso frequently at his hotel.

  • sycorax says:

    It’s a shame and a slap in the face of every women he’s harrased through the years.

  • Gonzalo says:

    Bravo Domingo. He definitely deserved it. A great man and a fabulous artist.

    Somebody in the US should investigate not Domingo, but the 3 accusers whose attitudes in the past are far from those normal or predictable for women who have been harassed for their harrraser.

    What Wulf “reported” is simply not harassment. Apart from that, he continued to be close to Domingo by her request, such as taking a photo with his daughter in Domingo’s arms. Turner Wilson offered a witness who denied her accusations. And Luz del Alba, in addition to being a professional mythomaniac, has ample evidence in videos where she says and acts in the opposite attitude of a victim; she also asked Domingo for help in one of her financial crisis, and got close with Domingo´s son in some small concerts 3 or 4 years ago. She said she is the one who has worked with AP in the libels against Domingo since March 2018, BUT going backstage to where Domingo was singing in April 2019, hugging and greeting him and praising him (or was it a plan to take him to bed and then accuse him of rape?)