Placido Domingo: I am not the Harvey Weinstein of opera

Placido Domingo: I am not the Harvey Weinstein of opera


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2020

The singer has given an interview to La Repubblica in which he runs through a catalogue of denials – no abuse took pleace, he made no admission of guilt to satisfy AGMA, he did nothing wrong.

The reason for the interview? ‘When I learned I had Covid, I promised myself that if I got out alive I would fight to rehabilitate my name. I have never abused anyone. I will repeat it as long as I live.’

The denial is absolute. ‘Of course I’m angry, of course I’m depressed, especially because my whole family has been involved; the suffering is enormous for all of us. I have always declared my estrangement from the facts, sometimes with short statements that have been misunderstood and considered admissions of guilt. It’s a terrible situation.’




  • James says:

    No one ever said he was the Harvey Weinstein of opera. He was accused of sexual harassment, which he first apologized for, and is now pretending he didn’t. He’s one of the greatest singers of all time, but from the accounts of over a dozen women, he was also often a creep. It is what it is.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      There was apparently a headline to that effect. It rankles.

      • V. Lind says:

        Dear me. Next thing you know they will be calling him the Pavarotti of Spain.

        • perspective says:

          Spain already dropped Domingo’s sick, sorry ass!

          He’s ONLY an opera singer, not a rap star.

        • Luca says:

          He was a greater musician than Pavarotti, who couldn’t read music whereas Domingo worked from a full score, had a much wider repertoire, was a better actor and could also conduct.

          • Tom Phillips says:

            True (except for the conducting part, an area in which he was always execrable) but all in the past. He has been largely an embarrassment as a “baritone” the past decade or so.

          • Peter G. says:

            You’re supposed to BELIEVE females that speak up after Christine Blasey Ford was deified by the media Luca!!!

            Your ramblings don’t excuse rapists no matter who they are and who enables them Mr. Pisaroni

    • david hilton says:

      “No one ever said he was the Harvey Weinstein of opera” . . . See Emma’s comment just below.

    • Angelica says:

      There are just 3 women. Anonymous don’t exist, there is no any proof that they are real people.

      There is no one proof of Domingo guilt. Just non proof words of 3 retired opera singers, which needs money.

      These 3 metoo liars don’t go to police or court as they are not ready to lie at court as it is a crime.
      They can just post false statements at yellow media.

      • sycorax says:

        I don’t know how you come to three. The AP had alone 9 and there was a lady in Germany, talkng to the Spiegel, so at least 10.

        However, I don’t think it’s really important how many women were now brave enough to speak out. The entire case is a question of how the opera scene is treads women – and what happens there it’s quite a shame.

      • Maria says:

        People are out to get him, and in America mainly.

      • Alonzo Aguilar says:

        So how many slander suits did Placido file?????

        Any boys involved? Gotta ask after his idol Levine got caught too..

      • Tom Phillips says:

        Many more than 3 intimidated by his unaccountable power and ability to destroy their careers as well as the unceasing apologetics of such as you.

        • HugoPreuss says:

          Of course, there is zero evidence that Domingo in his “unaccountable power” actually did “destroy” or damage or even threaten to damage anyone’s career. And there are zero law suits brought by the alleged victims. Accordingly, there are zero convictions bc of sexual harrassment or anything else. But you should never allow this to stop the unceasing accusations of such as you.

      • Emil says:

        You must think surveys are fake because they don’t identify their respondents by name too!

      • Nick2 says:

        I have written several times in this blog about 2 instances of sexual harassment if young women witnessed by myself and 2 very senior members of the European arts profession. Perhaps Angelica has not read them. Perhaps she has. I do not know. But they are fact – and for anyone to deny that they happened in the absence of the facts we know is totally wrong. They were not figments of our collective imaginations! In fairness they did not amount to the type of dreadful behavior of Weinstein’s – but they did happen and PD is well aware they did!

      • Nick says:

        As you well know, Angelica, when Dr. Ford talks then “we should believe all women”, but when it is about Biden then “all women are liars”!! This is how it works now.

    • SMH says:

      People certainly acted like he was Harvey….. Mob rule, anonymous accusers, no consequences for Boards of Directors (who surely must have known something). It’s ridiculous.

  • Emma Castranono says:

    What a COWARD!!!!!

    Placido has dropped out, been kicked out or banned by numerous major opera houses and festivals including the LA Opera of his own progeny.

    He’s projecting and consciously in deep denial like the majority of leftist sycophants who still revere Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, etc. to the point of revulsion!

    We of course, ALL feel worse for the people he exploited sexually or otherwise to attain his status and now look down on him with disdain.

    This man-child needs psychiatric help.

    • Angelica says:

      Any proof of Domingo guilt? Or you just believe false non proof statements of 3 metoo liars?

      Why don’t they go to court? They are not ready to lie at court?

      • Gloria Sanchez says:

        And ALL of the major opera houses BANNED him because of???

        The heads of these organizations obviously knew he was guilty and couldn’t defend Placido themselves without admitting complicity (ie The Metropolitan Opera in the states).

        BTW If he is so innocent (not just in your mind and other fans) how many lawsuits around the globe has Placido filed against ANY of these numerous victims for slander and libel??????

        How are he and his legal team handling this along with his complicit wife?

      • Nick2 says:

        I am not a metoo liar! Going to court is not essential to prove one has witnessed sexual harassment. PD certainly harassed in a sexual
        manner two young women. I witnessed it. So what dirt will you throw my way Angelica since you clearly have a closed mind to what actually happened and are happy to call all his accusers liars!

    • Olivia says:

      It is you need a psychiatric help definitely!

      If people believe non proof statements – they are stupid or sick definitely.

      Go back to your hospital.

      • Edward Ironside says:

        ALL of the opera houses around the world have slaughtered that PIG which means your claiming all of those in charge are dim?!?!

        You’re proving her point Olivia.

        Thanks honey!

    • F. P. Walter says:

      WHAT “leftist” individuals revere Weinstein, Rose, Matt Lauer, etc. ? I personally know of none. Please name names or clam up.

      • Gizmo says:

        It wouldn’t be the SD comments without some mention of leftists, Maoists, etc., regardless of the subject matter.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      HE needs psychiatric help?

    • V. Lind says:

      Leftists supporting Weinstein? I don’t think so!!

      • Carl says:

        He is a product of leftist New York; The University at Buffalo to be precise.

        AG Schnierderman WORSHIPPED him until he himself was revealed as a WIFE BEATER and AG James replaced him only because she’s a black woman.

        You lefties rely too much on your own alternative facts and lack of intellect.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      I don’t know any leftist who reveres any of these men. You were doing quite well until you made that comment.

    • Alter Frager says:

      Leftist sycophants who still revere Weinstein? What alternative universe is this?

  • Olga says:

    A dozen women who waited 30 years for “justice” and even now did not show their faces..I’m so tired of this..Especially looking at the left-wing madness that is happening in America – this movement is especially becoming engaged. Fight, Maestro – we are all for didn’t have to apologize, these people are corrupt …they don’t deserve to be treated with gallantry.They don’t understand good.

    • Elizabeth Owen says:

      Left wing? You mean right wing surely?

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Projections just won’t work anymore. It is the US Democrat party which has gone to the extreme Left; the evidence is plain for all the world to see.

        • john Kelly says:

          The extreme left is almost nonexistent in the USA. You know nothing.

        • Tiredofitall says:

          Let me guess…you don’t live in the US???

        • V. Lind says:

          The US Democrat Party is about as left wing as Attila the Hun. You really are coming unmoored.

        • True North says:

          Don’t be so stupid and smug. Agreed that these discussions on the “Left” can get rather silly at times, but from my view in Canada the response to Covid-19 by the Republican Party and its treatment of U.S. citizens is nothing short of genocide. Someday, if there is any justice left to be had in this world, it may be prosecuted as such. Nearly 5 million infected, 159,000 deaths, and a demented president fanning the flames engulfing his fading empire. But let’s be more upset about “political correctness” – clearly a much worse problem. I’d call your type disgusting but I know you don’t care (about anything) so I won’t bother.

          • Mandarin Compass says:

            The Chinese disease originated in China dear.

            Also your puppet Trudeau is too busy with he and his mother’s own financial scandal.

            You must still be wondering why the droves of American democrats never showed up in Canada. They’re too poor and couldn’t work out the forms so they rioted and looted like the sick children they are. At least you have the wealthy Chinese whom you worship.

          • John Kelly says:

            So you think that Covid is some Chinese Communist plot? You must be watching Fox News………….

          • True North says:

            I presume you’re talking to me. I am disappointed that Trudeau gets himself into these sorts of tangles mainly because they distract from the good work his government is doing to keep Canadians as safe as possible from the virus and its attendant economic fallout. I’ll take Trudeau any day over some lying thug like Trump, Boris Johnson, Bolsonaro, or Putin, none of whom take the virus seriously or even pretend to care about its effects on their respective nations. I didn’t understand the rest of your comment so I’ll leave it at that.

        • Tom Phillips says:

          Trump supporters/enablers/apologists on the supposedly “non-fascist and non-racist right” are equivalent to the German conservatives who refused to oppose Hitler.

          • non-snowflake says:

            You should be grateful too as WWII was won by conservative Americans.

            You think liberals could help Israel next time the draft happens for WWIII?? Those boys (and girls now) would be cowering in their “safe spaces” as usual waiting for armed men to bail them out.

          • John Kelly says:

            World War 2 was won by the communist Soviets as well. And not all Americans were (or are) conservatives. World War 2 was also won by the British, who promptly elected the Labour Party in 1946. I guess they weren’t conservatives either………….

          • Saul Rosen says:

            Why don’t immigrants flee TO communist countries Johnny?

          • Tom Phillips says:

            Really: FDR was a conservative? What about all those right-wing isolationists who “revered” Hitler such as Charles Lindbergh? The majority of US World War II veterans were Democrats, as were most working class people at that time.

          • John Kelly says:

            Vichy Republicans. While not a Republican myself (hardly a surprise to some) there are morally upstanding Republicans out there…..may I suggest some of the Lincoln Project videos on Youtube……….? After the blue tsunami eradicates Trumpism in November the USA will be like Germany in 1946 – good luck finding someone who admitted to being a Nazi – and in France everyone was in the Resistance of course…………

          • Come on man!! says:

            What have you got to back up your “blue tsunami” fantasy?

            More NYT, WAPO, CNN, MSNBC polls and “experts” from academia???

            You people need more diversity of thought as well as a legitimate education.

            Clearly Biden is “unfit” to serve anything except for ice cream to underage girls who’s hair he can sniff.

        • Alter Frager says:

          Sue, there is a good remedy against the infiltration of the US extreme Left: mix two parts Hydroxychloroquine with one part Hillary Clinton email server and one part border wall – drink three times a day before meals. If you feel a fever coming on, add a dash of NRA or Tucker Carlson, whatever you have at hand

      • Guest says:

        The so called cancel culture she refers to is far-left wing.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      I know in your culture it is acceptable to abuse people this way. Others have higher standards.

    • Nick says:

      I am with you on that Olga, 100%!! It has become crazy!

  • Musician says:

    Just like saying “I’m not racist.”

    • Josefina Diaz says:

      Interesting observation.

      Domingo didn’t find blacks attractive enough to ‘court’, did he?

      Apparently from the lists of similar sexual assault victims, white ethnicities are always more attractive both to Placido and most predators no matter their own race.

  • mary says:

    Honestly, the best way, the fastest way, to rehabilitate one’s name is to apologize, and then to move on.

    People are willing to forgive Domingo. He has done good humanitarian work, eveyone knows that.

    But it’s hard to move on when
    -you deny,
    -then apologize,
    -then deny ever apologizing,
    -then offer to pay off AGMA with $500,000 to keep the findings secret,
    -then withdraw the $500,000 when the findings came out,
    -then deny $500,000 was to keep things secret,
    -then give interviews in which you recount the entire history of flip flips and contradictions all over again…

    • David Hilton says:

      “The best way, the fastest way, to rehabilitate one’s name is to apologize, and then to move on” . . . If you can cite even one example of where that has worked, I will be amazed.

      Plus you are suggesting that confessing to even false allegations is a way to “rehabilitate one’s name”, and that everyone will be prepared to just move on. Nonsense.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      He’s an old man; let him retire with his slipper and pipe in peace. What’s done cannot be undone.

      I have an inkling that in persisting with all this and keeping it alive in the public arena Placido Domingo is actually in denial of his senescence.

  • Marina says:

    Hope these 3 metoo liars will pay for their lie and crime. Defamation is a crime and that’s why these liars don’t start a lawsuits.

    I’m so proud that smart people in Europe don’t believe these liars and support Domingo!

    We are waiting for Placido in Austria, Italy, Monaco, Russia and Germany!

    Bravo, Placido! Continue to flight this dirty campaign!

  • Josef says:

    Innocent until proven guilty!!

    Still no any proof of Domingo guilty. And will be no proof as he is innocent and LA Opera investigation confirmed that.

  • Guest says:

    US culture is as influential as their politics and economics, but don’t always serve well the rest of the world. As the USA confronts the reality that, well, actually, its civil right laws are not worth much, its President is racist (and FAR MORE of a guilty party in sexual harassment than Domingo, by the way), its police is unnecessarily brutal, one fact comes clear: not one American can do anything about it. As Trump says about covid, so it can be said about the state of affairs in the US: “It is what it is”. So people turn on each other, and look for culprits to express their anger, creating their “cancel culture”: anyone of note not meeting the highest possible standards of decorum in every possible front will be thrown off a high ridge in a celebration of vengeance against that which can’t be changed – but should – in society – watch the numbers come November 3rd, not even half of them even take the time to vote….

    Cancel culture and, sadly, the well intentioned #metoo movement end up taking the law hostage. True, there are egregious cases like Weinstein, but far too many people are thrown into a tornado of accusations where a tap in the back is being seen as equal to sex abuse and taken as sufficient reason to end someone’s long time career and efforts. It is the job of the law and the justice system to hear both sides and come up with a fair resolution for all, and not for vigilantes to parade the streets looking for victims of their misdirected anger. It seems to me that it is because of these vigilantes and their ability to create scandals online that US Opera organizations are frowning on Domingo, and not because he will rape anyone backstage. Domingo has the right to be outraged, and Europe is absolutely correct in giving him awards and value for his lifetime work. Has he made mistakes? Well, who hasn’t? No one will be happy if our littlest mistakes are responsible for derailing a lifetime of honest – and marvelous – work.

    The US needs a reset button, urgently.

    • Stuart says:

      Using such a broad brush to paint a picture of the US today isn’t very helpful (or accurate). Bottom line is that regardless of Domingo’s reported bad behaviour, he is no longer relevant – way past his sell-by date as a singer (at least by 10 years) and he was never a credible conductor (and that is being kind). Love many of his past recordings but he has badly managed the twilight of his career. The longer he goes, the more likely his legacy will be that of the singer who didn’t know when to bow out.

      • Tom Phillips says:

        Thanks for mentioning the conducting which was even worse than his “baritone” adventures. Truly hideous how he managing to impose this obvious blackmail on so many major companies back at the time when he was still a wonderful tenor. As far as I’m aware he had virtually NO serious training in that area.

        • Robin Worth says:

          He was conducting (at the Liceo) back in 1975, so at least he did have plenty of experience

        • John Kelly says:

          ….a player in the Met orchestra told me that Placido was “an absolute train wreck of a conductor” but that everything went OK because the orchestra knew the music backwards and just didn’t look at him.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      The second paragraph of your comments was sane and sensible; the first confused and rambling.

      I believe American hegemony is at an end and that, failing an external threat, the people have turned against themselves – and not for the firs time. The country is now hugely neurotic and internationally embarrassing and Trump is and was a SYMPTOM of that – which started with that dog of a candidate, a Clinton. You get nothing but trouble when you demonize your citizenry with insults about them being “deplorables” in “fly-over country”.

      Beyond unbelievable. The people knew then it was every man/woman for him/herself. I’m sorry for all of you and it pains me to see that once can-do nation going to hell in a handbag. Decadence isn’t good and nothing is ever going to make it so.

      Better nations get better leaders.

      • John Kelly says:

        It seems to me that the US “loses it’s collective mind” a few times a century – Prohibition, McCarthyism and now Trumpism. Come November it really is a choice for the country – “America” or “Trump.”

    • Helen Wynn says:

      Who are you and what makes you an expert on America? Are you an American? You malign Trump. As an American, I do not think we will be better off with a senile Joe Biden as Presidentl

      • John Kelly says:

        I’ll take senility over malice and incompetence any day

      • True North says:

        You surely would be better off with Joe Biden, senile or not, because he would bring with him a highly competent Vice President and a cabinet made up of honest and capable professionals who would face a monumental task repairing the immeasurable damage wrought by the Trump Crime Family and its odious associates in the Republican Party over the past four years. Every country has its own problems, of course, but I’m sorry to say that yours is sinking fast (actually, it’s becoming a real emergency now) and it doesn’t seem like you care or feel the need to do something about it.

        • John Kelly says:

          ….believe me some of us do…….we care and we care a lot. We are not signing up for Russian or Chinese hegemony as a replacement for American hegemony, the Truman doctrine lives on. NATO, the UN, the EU and the IMF and World Bank. All these institutions helped prevented WW3…… far. Every single post war president supported these institutions – institutions that brought incredible wealth creation to the US and to the world. Only Trump stands indifferent, and fiddles while he withdraws from these organizations, all the while whining about “how I am treated worse than Lincoln”. Yeah, well Lincoln was assassinated, so it isn’t true is it? No, like every other utterance from our “Commander in Chief” LMAO. Cretin.

  • Gustavo says:

    He’s obviously slipping into the role of the victim and is even leaping onto the Corona band wagon of endless self-pity.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      He’s joining that international movement of choice; the Pity Party. It has zillions of members.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    I have only ever seen the other side when women threw themselves at him.

    Given that the US is a country where the slightest thing will get you sued, I find it very strange that none of these accusations landed him in court or that no compensation was demanded by the alleged victims.

    Perhaps if the accusers had established the high-flying careers they had hoped for, none of this would have come to light.

    Domingo hasn’t been singing much lately because the opera houses have been in lockdown. It’s the same for all singers and musicians at the moment. The Met I believe is closed until the end of the year so Domingo isn’t missing much.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Why would you risk a fortune in court on a legal suit when the kangaroo court of public opinion can do a much more efficient job?

      • V. Lind says:

        How many times do the moronic right have to be told that sexual harassment in the workplace is not necessarily a criminal matter? (It can be, in aggravated cases). NOBODY has accused Domingo of rape or anything like it. He has been accused of harassing women who did not want his attentions, and said so, and has in some cases continued.

        That creates a toxic work environment, and in almost every sphere is dealt with IN THE WORKPLACE. In Domingo’s case, that was done: the doors of concert halls and opera houses were closed to his unwelcome presence. The American music community has spoken, as with one voice. They don’t speak with one voice in much. Do you really think so many houses would shut out a sure-fire revenue-spinner and prestige, if not musically sure-fire, for nothing? Do these people the credit you do not give his accusers — they are serious professionals who act in self-interest. That they saw it in cancelling Domingo’s appearances with them says more than ANY accusations that made the press.

        The misogyny in some of these pathetic defences of Domingo is staggering in this day and age.

        • Tom Phillips says:

          Particularly from so many of the female commentators here, especially many of those outside the U.S.

    • Tireofitall says:

      “I have only ever seen the other side when women threw themselves at him.” Here, too. Some women nearly burst into flames around him. I saw it for years backstage and at the stage door.

      Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Those women should not have fanned the flames, whether their interest was reciprocated or not. And certainly not for career advancement.

    • Cassandra says:

      Yes, the only thing that can be heard from the Met these days is their streaming and they have some archives.
      Performance running now (Aug.5-6th) is “Boccanegra” from 1995, with Chernov, Dame Kiri and … Domingo!

    • Tom Phillips says:

      And given the quality of his performances for close to a decade now, I am certainly not missing him.

    • Leah Cohen says:

      Domingo has failed to legally defend himself which clearly makes him guilty on all counts.

      As for the Metropolitan Opera. They have clearly made themselves irrelevant by caving into a “diversity” narrative.

      One doesn’t even have to be an exceptional singer anymore.

      Just be the “color of the month”.

  • Cassandra says:

    Here endeth
    Last scene / Act1.

    After a short intermission – we are now entering Act2, opening tonight (Aug.6th) with the Lifetime Achievement Award function in Salzburg.

    After a period of time – will follow Act3, where we are joined by the documentary producers, the film makers, the novelists; but also by the substantial investigative writers, who do not believe in coincidence:

    If it smells like a set up,
    walks like a set up,
    talks like one … Well?

    My sincere hope is that Mr Domingo will be blessed with a resilient health, longevity and
    so that he, from a chosen distance, will be able to enjoy the whole shabang!

    For enjoy it he will.
    And so will I.

  • King of the High B Flats. says:

    Povera Marta.

  • miguel says:

    i always wonder how james levine didnt get (and still doesnt get) such vilification? what he did was epstein territory, while old domingo seems just a regular lecher who tries to use his fame and power to score with women…

  • Tom Phillips says:

    He IS guilty of abuse – if not nearly at the Harvey Weinstein level – and this was well-known throughout the opera world and enabled by many, just like Levine’s far more egregious behavior, as we also see in some of the more misogynst commentators here (sadly, many of whom are women or at least claim to be). Almost equally upsetting is his sheer narcissism in continuing to sing baritone roles that he has no business performing, and thereby depriving more worthy younger singers of employment. It is very sad to see him so determined to destroy his earlier artistic legacy by his sheer unwillingness to leave the stage. In any case, past about 2012 or so (and that may be too generous) his performances have largely been an embarrassment and the continued worship by his now cult-like following even more so.

    • sycorax says:

      Amen to that!

      He probably was no Harvey Weinstein, but behaviour towards women followed the same “spirit”. He used them for his satisfaction and that was it.

      I think celebrating him now is like a slap in the faces of all the women he harassed. It’s like saying: “Don’t nag – you’re just a woman. What are you worth compared to such a star?”

  • Emil says:

    One does not need to be on the level of Harvey Weinstein to be toxic. Just like one does not need to be Jack the Ripper to engage in reprehensible behaviour. Silly false equivalence on his part (and a predictable and tired one at that!).

  • Bash says:

    What a disgusting and bigoted bunch of comments from all sides. It seems I was very wrong to think that people in the music world were any smarter than the rest of us. As for Domingo, he is a lousy actor, a lousy conductor, and now he is a lousy baritone.

  • Karl says:

    I’ve always believed that the best defense if a good offense. Domingo made a critical error when he tried to appease the hysterical mob of morons by apologizing. He should have immediately begun filing defamation suits or making his own accusations. Trump handled it brilliantly when he had Clinton accusers show up at one of the debates.

  • Peter Borich says:

    What a POS

  • Anabel says:

    What’s really unbelievable around this basically trivial case, it’s getting everytime completely out of proportion. (Trump, World War, sexism, crime, psychology, ethical and political discussions). Poor Domingo.