Placido Domingo is supported by Queen of Spain

Placido Domingo is supported by Queen of Spain


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2022

Queen Sofia, 83, turned out at Domingo’s weekend recital at Madrid’s National Auditorium of Music in defiance of political measures to isolate the opera singer, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The concert was in aid of the charity Caritas, of which the Queen is patron. She has described Domingo as ‘my friend’.

Sofia’s husband, Juan Carlos, is under similar disfavour.


  • Michael P McGrath says:

    Just imagine how much more peaceful the music world would be if egomaniacs like Domingo would finally just leave the stage and tend his garden. Because at THIS point, who gives a f?
    And the Queen is most likely NOT supporting Domingo in her decision to attend this concert. Rather, she is attending because it is HER charity and not attending would be unacceptable. Thus, Domingo is putting her in a most awkward position. But megalomaniacs wouldn’t notice that.

    • Stephen Torday says:

      McGrath is a little unknown nobody compared to Domingo, one of the greatest tenor of our time. He has no reason or right to besmirch the character of this giant, loved and revered around the world.

  • dalet says:

    Juan Carlos’s crimes are far worse than Placido Domingo’s. The former had to exile in the Middle East to escape prosecution and remains persona non grata in his homeland.

    Yes, when it comes to looking good by comparison, all criminals should have a royal as a friend (*cough* Andrew).

  • Chicagorat says:

    Domingo has many important supporters.

    “With metoo, DaPonte and Mozart would end up in jail”. (Riccardo Muti)

    It is well known that the Italian Stallion bemoaned the “injustice” that has befallen his effusive and ebullient Spanish buddy.

  • Gustavo says:

    Well, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  • CRogers says:

    This is addressed to MP McGrath, but also to others with the same mindset. To live in a more peaceful yet dynamic world which gives citizens the freedom to truly live their lives requires individuals to consider their own behaviour. Your comments are clearly very angry about PD. I wonder what it is that is making you so angry? You ask: ‘Just imagine how much more peaceful the music world would be if egomaniacs like Domingo would finally just leave the stage and tend his garden. Because at THIS point who gives a f?’ Well, there are many who do give a very BIG F***. Just imagine how peaceful you could be if you could take another look at how you’re using your energy instead of hitting out with anger? Do you know PD, personally, because by your reaction it sounds like he’s done something very damaging to you! You may be a frustrated singer. You may be an angry person, generally in life. So I invite you directly to answer the question I posed above. Do you know what is it that your anger is actually about? I don’t personally know PD. But I’m very aware of the amount of ‘PROJECTION’ that is aimed at him, pre and post accusations. So I invite a conversation between you and me and other interested parties on this site…..

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Sex pests are annoying, it’s true. But from my observation they’re often sadly needy and, indeed, laughable people and this is generally known by those in the immediate vicinity. Ergo, it shouldn’t be hard to avoid these pests. “Do you want to come up and look at my etchings?”. Ah, no, but the Museum of Modern Art might be interested.

      There are still women (and men) who’ll fall for this schtick – if this weren’t the case the sex pest would certainly lose his ‘skills’ of seduction and soon become merely a court jester. To my certain knowledge, the sex pest has to have a modicum of ‘success’ to continue in his endeavours.

    • Edward Teach says:

      Conversation? You’ve made up your mind already. Do you read the news? Have you no idea of what Domingo has done? Are you such a sycophant that you can’t see the forest for the trees? Very sad indeed.

    • Michael McGrath says:

      Hi. Thanks for your considered comments. Long-distance and cross-cultural diagnosis of what gets people going is fraught with challenges. So. No. I’m far from being angry. No. I do not know personally the singer or queen in question. I have admired Mr Domingo since first experiencing him in several Verdi and Puccini operas in the mid-70s in Paris, Frankfurt and Munich. However, I strongly dislike his grandstanding and wish classical singers like him (Mick Jagger et al are not included here!) far past their prime would stand down with grace and dignity. (Examples of greats who have done do are Nilsson, Jones, Christa Ludwig, Sutherland, Bonisolli, et al). Above all, doing so would leave room and budget for younger singers with more to offer to get time on stage. A similar discuss was had here the other day about the same old guard always conducting the Vienna in their New Year‘s Day concerts.
      As for my expletive („“who gives a f…“) which you single out rather prudishly: Englidh is blessed with colourful language. And the “f word“ can be used in blissfully numerous non-hostile ways. I am reminded of a young person I know seeing Mars through a telescope for the first time. While not particularly eloquent, his comment, a single „f…“, was nonetheless a powerful and telling expression of amazement. Best wishes.

      • CRogers says:

        Thank you for your interesting comments. We’re disagreeing about an older singers retirement. My view is that while somebody wants to carry on, is able and employers wish to employ them, then the right to work and fulfill ones life is one of the things a free socity is about. It’s far to vague a notion that if PD didn’t sing anymore it would free the space for younger singers. Grandstanding? Not sure how that applies-he’s a performer. Then there is the question of PD wanting to continue and desiring to sing some baritone roles. That’s a career developmental stage. Ian McKellan has recently turned 80. Do you think he should also retire? I saw him in his one man show about 3 years ago and he was supple, energised, alive and brought the texts he was performing into an intense communication. A female friend of mine recently complained that Rod Stewart shouldn’t be singing at his age. I think she’s wrong. Opera and rock and roll are for all sorts of performers. Clearly opera is about being believable, vocally and dramatically, is it not? Grandstanding? As for the expletive, I think you’re misinterpreting what I wrote. I was quoting you. I certainly wasn’t singling it out. I have no objection about its use. I’m a poet and playwrite and the last play I wrote was called ‘FUCKING AND FUN’. Again we’re in agreement that that is part of our rich vocabulary and can be used in non hostile ways. I appreciate the fact that you’ve responded and while were disagreeing about some things, I think we’re in agreement about others and we don’t need to start a war about it. Finally, it sounded like you were angry in your original comments. I can accept what you’re saying about this in your most recent comments. Non of us get it right all the time……

        • Zee says:

          Domingo was never my favorite tenor even when he was in his prime. But I understood and did not object to his general popularity. What put me off is his determination to be everywhere and everything he can forever. He was a mediocre conductor, (and got mad when a critic said he “sabotaged” a Tosca performance) but insisted on conducting, then turning to a mediocre baritone when he could not do tenor…..Yes, he can do whatever he wants if he still has adoring fans, but when he finally goes away, for some of us it will be good riddance and not remembrance of a great singer.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    While Juan Carlos may be in disfavor in Spain, Queen Sofia is not.

  • Tesla says:

    Leave Domingo alone please in peace…

  • Dr. Shirley Rombough says:

    Domingo’s accusers never provided credible evidence of abuse. When he was cured of Covid he took a number of singers on tour to raise money for singers with Covid who had no money for treatment of the disease. Maestro Domingo is too much the professional to engage in such questionable behavior. It’s time to to end these salacious rumors.

    • Been there says:

      I was a member of the LA Opera orchestra for over a decade, during Domingo’s tenure there. The abuse was real, as the internal investigation by LA Opera proved. The behavior wasn’t “questionable” – it was actionable.

      • Elrico Roos says:

        If you knew about alligations why did you keep your mouth shut

      • CRogers says:

        Am I right in saying that the full report by LA OPERA has not been made public? You may have personal experience that leads you to your view with regard to PD, but from what I read about the points in the report you provide a link for don’t convince me. I, of course, would like to be able to read the full report. As a former worker in education with responsibilities for child protection/safeguarding, I saw first hand a number of allegations made by students against staff. And abusively, the head would cherry pick which adult they went after and which they chose to make light of. The point is, investigate in an open and transparent way. Nobody has to copy the corruption of Westminster…. We’ve got a long way to go to ENLIGHTENMENT……

    • CRogers says:

      In response to Dr SRombough. We’re in agreement. Anybody can make salacious accusations against anybody and cause havoc to their reputation, career and life. 99.9999 percent of the musically interested public knows nothing of any substance in this matter, as I myself don’t. I have just read most of the press reports. The threshold of proof is non existant in news platforms who thrive on rumour and gossip as a way of life. As I said above, PD, because of his talents, success, celebrity status, etc etc etc, is an easy target for largely unaccountable, self appointed commentators.

  • Hispa-vox says:

    Sophia of Greece is no longer queen of Spain. Keep your facts right.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      She retains the title Queen.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Mr. Lebrecht is informed and correct. Would that others would refrain from making uninformed pronouncements.

      • Sofia says:

        No she does not. The title of Queen of Spain befalls to HM Queen Letizia of Spain. Sofia of Greece is now addressed as HM the Dowager Queen or Queen Mother

        • Tiredofitall says:

          Not to beat a dead horse, but you are wrong. Sorry.

          According to the official announcement from the Presidency of the Spanish government on June 13, 2014:

          “Don Juan Carlos de Borbón, father of King Felipe VI, will continue for life in the honorary use of the title of King, with treatment of Majesty and honors similar to those established for the Heir to the Crown, Prince or Princess of Asturias, in Royal Decree 684/2010, of May 20, which approves the Regulation of Military Honors.

          Doña Sofía de Grecia, mother of King Felipe VI, will continue for life in the honorary use of the title of Queen, with treatment of Majesty and similar honors to those established for the Princess or the Prince of Asturias consorts in said Royal Decree.”

          Yes, Felipe and Letizia are the de facto King and Queen, but the titles of Juan Carlos and Sofia remain King and Queen, not “Dowager” or “Queen Mother” or “ex-King” or any other nomenclature. It is confusing for foreigners, but it is in essence honorary. Spaniards know the difference.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Of course she does. In Spain, I if married man doesn’t have one or more lovers, he’s considered a capon.

    • Paracelsus says:

      Right. And the married woman who does the same is a “puta”, right? (Same mindset in Italy)

      After all, this is the country where massacring live bulls is a cherished form of mass entertainement. They are showing us what true civilization is.

    • RENTENSUSI says:

      ” ja in Spanien, schon 1000 und drei.?..

  • Jo says:

    No word of the women who literally threw themselves at him and many other famous men. Remember the knicker throwing women at Tom Jones concerts? Some had phone numbers attached. So maybe some girls should take some responsibility for their behaviour.

    • Alan Paterson says:

      Interesting point. In my old age I have known more than a few predatory women (not in the biblical sense I must add) and wonder if some have joined the #metoo movement as an act of penance.

  • Freewheeler says:

    Medical Science is still puzzled over why Placido actually appears to work.

  • Speaking of MeToo, I don’t think I’ve seen anything on SD about Daniele Gatti being made GMD of the Maggio Musicale. (Or maybe I missed it.)

    The Intendant of the Maggio, Alexander Pereira, feels the MeToo movement persecuted people. In response, he programmed performances by James Levine, Placido Domingo, and Daniele Gatti. Now in a further step, Gatti has been named Co-GMD of the Maggio and will share the duties equally with Zubin Mehta who seems to also be a MeToo opponent.

    Manual Brug wrote about some of this in Die Welt:

    SWR2 in Germany has also written about the situation:

  • Carla Sims says:

    Maybe the Queen will send him on a sailboat to discover the new world.