The latest statement from Placido Domingo pleading his innocence of sex assaults exists in a realm of denial, contradicting his earlier acceptance of responsibility. Domingo presently cannot accept he has done anything wrong.
How can he maintain that when so many women insist otherwise?
The answer is rooted in the deepest faultline in the opera world, a line which tells stars they are immaculate and cuts them every kind of slack.
Domingo was a prime beneficiary. He kept on getting booked as a tenor when he was long past his best, booked as a baritone when the tenor voice failed and finally got hired as a conductor – all because he is one of the few star names the paying public still recognise.
He was allowed to run two major opera companies – Los Angeles and Washington – at the same time, all the while flitting off by private jet to his vanity freelance engagements.
Nothing was said when he consorted with corrupt sports chiefs and political dictators.
When the sexual accusations against him were made public, Domingo was still welcomed in Russia, Japan and China, not to mention Salzburg, still encouraged to believe he could do no wrong.
Just like James Levine at the Met.
Just like the Putin puppets Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev.
Just like every other star name the opera industry feels it must protect in order to save its box-office.
Nothing was going to change the immunity enjoyed by stars until Covid came along.
But now it might.