Domingo withdraws from all future Met performances
NEW YORK - AFP
Placido Domingo, the legendary opera singer facing myriad sexual harassment accusations, is withdrawing from all future performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera, both he and the institution announced Sept. 24.
"Placido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately," the opera said in a statement, saying that the bankable star agreed "that he needed to step down."
Domingo, who has been a conductor and director of some of the world's most prestigious opera houses, and debuted at the Met at age 27, said in a separate statement that he had in fact "asked to withdraw."
"I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due process," the singer currently accused of harassment by 20 women said.
But "upon reflection, I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes," he said.
"As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request," he continued, saying he considered his final dress rehearsal his "last performance on the Met stage."
In August eight singers and a dancer told the Associated Press about incidents going back to the 1980s, including one in which a woman said Domingo put his hand down her skirt while three others said he forcibly kissed them.
A subsequent report by the US news agency cited 11 more women, including one who said he reached down her robe to grab her bare breast.
The reports painted a portrait of a man who acted with impunity, shielded by his power as one of opera's foremost stars, as a whisper network formed warning women of his alleged reputation.
Some classical music companies were quick to err on the side of caution, notably the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera, which immediately canceled his upcoming performances. The Dallas Opera then canceled a March 2020 gala concert featuring Domingo.
The Met previously had said it would wait for those results, and Domingo's split with the Manhattan house comes after reports of internal strife over Domingo's continued association there.