Spanish Government: Placido Domingo is not wanted here

Spanish Government: Placido Domingo is not wanted here


norman lebrecht

August 07, 2020

The Spanish Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has clarified the country’s position on its most celebrated opera singer. He told newspapers that ‘when serious acts are committed and are assumed, there are consequences in public life and in social life.’

He went on to say: ‘We made a decision at the time connected to a statement from Domingo himself. Until that moment there had been no issue regarding his presence, because in this country and under any rule of law the presumption of innocence applies. [But…Domingo] said in a moment that (he) hurt a series of women, asked for their forgiveness and assumed responsibility. We agreed with the director of INAEM ( National Institute of Performing Arts and Music) that his presence was not reasonable at the time (due to) the assumption of responsibility that he himself had accepted.’

Tomamos una decisión en su momento vinculada a una declaración del propio Domingo. De hecho, hasta ese momento no había habido ningún problema en cuanto a su presencia, porque además en este país y en cualquier Estado de derecho rige la presunción de inocencia siempre”, asegura Rodríguez Uribes, quien añade: “Dice [Domingo] en un momento que hizo daño a una serie de mujeres, que les pide perdón y que asume responsabilidades. En ese contexto, entendimos con la directora del INAEM que no era razonable en ese momento su presencia y formaba parte de esa asunción de responsabilidad que él mismo había aceptado”.

More here.

UPDATE: In Salzburg last night, Domingo was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Austrian Music Theater Prize.


  • Gustavo says:

    Why doesn’t he just step down and enjoy life post-Corona within his inner circle?

    Go into exil or whatsoever.

  • Brian says:

    “Most celebrated opera singer”? Is there a “celebratometer” to ascertain this? What about José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Alfredo Kraus and so many others (to mention only a few superstars, dead and alive)?

    • Boris says:

      Sure the singers you mention are outstanding, nobody would argue with this.
      In fact there is a “meter”. A world record in the number of sung roles, the world record in openings of opera seasons, a world record in the number of sung performances, the world record in the longest applause… Like him or not but he IS the most celebrated opera singer in the world.
      Although it’s not a competition, we are not taking about sports

    • Bruce says:

      They didn’t say “greatest” opera singer, only “most celebrated.” He is their biggest celebrity opera singer.

      P.S. Don’t forget Aragall.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      He is certainly the most recorded and publicized Spanish opera singer of all time. In the history of the art form, possibly the best known of any opera singer other than Caruso and Callas.

  • Angelica says:

    Such non professional and non smart person should not take position of Minister of Culture.

    This shameful Minister kills culture, opera and music.

    • Emil says:

      So, what’s up with all the commenters who suddenly appeared on the last few Domingo articles, all ferociously making up defenses, using various female first names and all linking to some Gmail domain?

      • Bruce says:

        Purely coincidence, surely.

      • The View from America says:

        “So, what’s up with all the commenters who suddenly appeared on the last few Domingo articles, all ferociously making up defenses, using various female first names and all linking to some Gmail domain?”


        “So, what’s up with the one commenter who suddenly appeared on the last few Domingo articles, ferociously making up defenses, using various female first names and all linking to some Gmail domain?”

      • Angelica says:

        You dont like if woman post comment? You think only man can comment Slipped Disk posts, right? Wht dont you respect women? Why do you harass women?
        What a shameull person you are.

        • Nick says:

          Do not worry Angelica, “the View from America” represents only about 70% of American idiots and racists who call themselves “progressives”. It is progressive in their view to harass ANYBODY who does not agree with their narrative! The cultured and decent 30% of Americans are not like that.

        • Hamza K. says:

          Women belong in the bedroom and fully covered behind a vale for their superior male.

      • Women harassment.. even at this forum.

        • Emil says:

          Lol. Adding a last name and changing to Well played.

          • Angelica says:

            Why men at this forum are hate women and Domingo so much?

            You are ugly? You haven’t have sex for ages? Your wifes are fat and ugly? You don’t have successful career and don’t have money?

            That’s why you are so jealous of Domingo success and post all your dirty comments about women and Domingo.

            And that’s why you spend so must time here. Go to hell, muchachos.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            Nothing riles people up more, Angelica, than the booty of success; money, more money and fame. That’s enough to get any Lefty into a terminal lather. You have to get the kangaroo court out to teach these successful people a lesson; that they ought to have more morals than you do – precisely proportionate to their wealth.

            Absolutely priceless.

    • It's not Sunday says:

      Dear Angelica (or any one of your other multiple personalities),

      I don’t need you help, please stop writing in support of me, you’re giving my fan base a psychotic image.


      Not very Placid because of your rambling

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    Spanish opera’s loss. Domingo’s calendar is still pretty full until next year including Monte Carlo in December – very tempting that.

    Plus there is the Operalia competition and Europa Nostra.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    ” Until this [not “that”] moment there had been no issue regarding his presence, because in this country and under any rule of law the presumption of innocence applies.”

    This is a very worrying declaration, given that the Spanish Minister of Culture and Sports José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) has a PhD in Spanish Law. Is Spain going to make Spanish Citizen Placido Domingo unwelcome home? Stateless?

    • david hilton says:

      Yes, it is a very worrying declaration. And a misstatement of Spanish law. Spain, like most countries is bound by Human Rights Treaties forbidding it from suspending the rights of its citizens except in the most extreme circumstances. Just to remind people of the actual situation under International Law: you cannot be deprived of your citizenship because you are a convicted rapist. Or because you are a convicted murderer. Much less because you have sexually harrassed someone, or even lots of people. The US courts in recents decades clarified in the Demjanjuk cases that even a convicted Nazi, guilty of the most serious crimes imaginable, cannot for that reason alone be deprived of his citizenship.

      It should go without saying that no state apart from Spain — apparently — considers the admission that someone has touched a woman in a non-consensual manner to be a justifiable basis for a sentence of exile. Harvey Weinstein, whatever he is convicted of, and for however long he may be sentenced, will not lose his US citizenship.

      A little perspective here would be most appreciated.

      • Colin says:

        If you click on the “here” at the bottom of the article, you will see that the Minister’s comments refer to Domingo’s participation in INAEM events. No, I don’t know why a Spanish Minister is commenting on an Aragon organisation, not a national one.

  • mary says:

    Ay Placido
    It’s time to go
    To Portugal
    Or Mexico.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      And pay Mary lots of cash as you pass through customs. Compensation for Our Lady of Perpetual Offense.

  • sam says:

    At this point, any prize that goes to Domingo speaks more about the prize giver than the prize recipient.

    It’s like getting a pardon from Trump.

  • Boris says:

    I do hope Spain well wake up. If a minister (an educated lawer, I’ve heard) base such decisions based on headlines in yellow press without an investigation… God help this country!

    • Bruce says:

      Right… because there has been no investigation.


      • Angelica says:

        There was no a police investigatioon at any country. AGMA and LA Opera investigations are not legal. Only court can say if a person guilty or not.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Not in the good old USA where bush lawyers exist under every rock and resentment and grievance exist now at an industrial level.

    • V. Lind says:

      The statement makes it pretty clear that it did not decide anything based on headlines (in the respectable press — it does not become “yellow just because you do not like a story, any more than a report by a legitimate outlet is “fake news” because it does not march in lockstep with Trump’s demented policy-du-jour — or de l’heure).

      It states point blank that it based its decision on his own statement. Probably prompted by the pathetic bleating he put out a day or two ago, which largely withdraws it.

      The deniers should recall that original, unconvincing and self-damning statement.

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    To be honest, I don’t know why there is so much fuss about Domingo. I watched a 1995 transmission of “Simon Boccanegra” yesterday from when he was still a tenor, and he wasn’t very good even then. As a baritone, he falls short of the real baritones. Of the “Three Tenors”, it’s clear to me that Jose Carreras was “the best”, even though I don’t think it should be a competition.

    • Bruce says:

      I guess I can see what the fuss is about. Extremely (extremely) competent technically, which is how he’s managed to sing this long — and how he managed to have such a long career as a tenor when he wasn’t really one — and a very intelligent musician. But I’ve never been able to enjoy his singing. I always heard something calculated about his singing: how long can I hold this high B, or how much anguish can I put into this aria, without shortening my career. You can always hear the gears turning. It’s the same thing that turns me off about Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau, as wonderful as they are.

      They used to talk about him, in the 70s and early 80s, as “the next great opera conductor.” He’d been doing cute little guest conducting gigs, more as publicity stunts than anything else, and had made an impression on knowledgeable people. The idea was that, when he retired in his 50s the way tenors normally do, he would have time to devote himself to conducting and become really good at it. Sadly (IMHO), he never did either.

      I always thought the cerebral quality to his singing would serve him well as a conductor. Oh well.

      • Mvarc says:

        Bruce: You encapsulate everything about him by using the word “anguish” about his singing. I have also thought that he always had a look of anguish in his face which fans always interpreted as great acting!

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          A very perceptive observation which I think is pretty accurate. He’s the operatic version of Nicole Kidman; she conveys the full acting gamut from A to B. Whispering when afraid or angry and bland when not. I call it the “McDonald Hamburger Effect”: high on calories and low on nutrition.

      • Nick says:

        And it DOES serve him very well still. Domingo is a brilliant artist exactly because (unlike many singers) he is extremely intelligent!

  • david hilton says:

    So much for the commentators on this site who have previously stated that if Domingo would just apologise and take responsibility everything would be fine.

  • NONAME says:

    Not surprised..
    So many comments of losers who are too jealouse of Domingo success.
    Continue to post your dirty comments, losers. And we are going to enjoy Domingo in Italy and Ausria!

    • V. Lind says:

      Axis and Anschluss. Oh, yeah, best judges of character in the world, them. Great track records.

      The illogic of some of these posts makes me despair. It’s as if the Enlightenment never happened.

      • Sue sonata Form says:

        That was a revolting, below-the-belt comment. The present generations had zero to do with WW2. When are you going to repent for slaughtering so many of your own countrymen and women in the 1860s? The argument is no different.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      Thanks your two countries have always been such bastions of human rights and morality as V. Lind so wisely reminds us below.

  • Guy who knows what a baritone is says:

    Great tenor. So bad as a baritone you can’t even call him one. Put another way, you can’t be both, by definition. They’re mutually exclusive, like the 100 meters and the marathon. Anyone who says otherwise has no education in voice. And yes, an education matters, since there are objective standards in this art form. Hence conservatories. And auditions. Happy not to hear him again in this pretense, either in Spain or anywhere else. Nothing to say about the rest. We live in a mad world which shifts moral goalposts by the political minute. So what can you say? Horny guy – the sort that used to be shrugged off as a “player” – being judged retroactively by post me-too standards. What was once charm is now sleaze. What was once a come-on between grownups is now sexual harassment in the workplace, with power politics thrown in for good measure. I don’t think he’s opera’s Weinstein, though, but nuance is dead these days so many – especially woke Spanish socialists – will lump them together. Impossible to judge. It’s all so subjective. But the voice? No question.

    • Soprano says:

      You certainly know what a bariton is, but Oh my, you have never ever been on a woman sking for a minute. If you had, you would show more respect and empathy towards sexual harrasment victims. Yes, being touched without consent in a bus is sexual harrasment. Yes, being followed on the street is sexual harrasment. Yes, being phoned day by day by the same guy when you don´t want is sexual harrasment. I can assure you that so many women have suffered these examples, and that it is NOT CHARMING NOR WELCOME.

      • Guy who knows what a baritone is says:

        In which case, I have been sexually harassed by women my life. One even came to a recital of mine in Paris, all the way from the US, and flashed me from the front row all the way through. Another showed up unannounced as page turner. And I’ve had my bum pinched, and body touched without invitation a million times, especially from female chorus members on stage. Oh, and a male director saw me in my undies in a dressing room and decided on the spot that was my new costume. Point is, I don’t care about any of it, because it’s all so damned human. It’s who we are. Male and female, straight or gay. When taken as such, and with humor, it’s fine. The problem is when people cross the line into aggression, or threat, or coercion, or abuse of power. We seem to have forgotten the difference, and by god are we creating a boring world! A world in which people opt to hook up with strangers online, rather than chance a friendly chat on the train. You can keep your new world…

  • Addiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooo!!!!!!!! says:

    He could have easily avoided such a disgraceful end if he had just retired as a tenor and not made the transition to whatever he thinks he is now. There would have been a Gala in every major house in the world. Honors bestowed and lullaby’s by current divas. Now this is the end of his legacy after such an illustrious career. Caesar was warned not to go to the Senate that day, but he went anyway.

  • Karl says:

    ‘when serious acts are committed and are assumed, there are consequences in public life and in social life.’

    They are acting like he’s a serial rapist. He flirted with women too much and some were offended. For that he is banned from his own country?

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Very surprised – and quite pleased – at the Spanish Government’s response. Perhaps this is the reason that Domingo is now changing his tune (i.e. denying what he previously acknowledged).

  • Spaniard says:

    Lots of compatriots here showing how appalling the level of English as a second language is in our country…