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2 Oct, 2019 21:24

Placido Domingo cancels last remaining US appearances amid #MeToo shaming after unproven anonymous accusations

Placido Domingo cancels last remaining US appearances amid #MeToo shaming after unproven anonymous accusations

American opera lovers will now have to travel to Europe to see superstar Placido Domingo. The singer canceled his last remaining US performances amid a furore over anonymous and still unproven sexual assault accusations.

Domingo resigned as general director of the Los Angeles Opera on Wednesday, and withdrew from his scheduled performances in the city. The 78-year-old tenor, who helped found the company, announced that recent sexual assault allegations had “compromised” his abilty to enjoy his work.

Also on rt.com Placido Domingo leaves Macbeth production at New York’s Met as venue pressured to fire him before sexual harassment probe over

According to an August report by AP, 20 women – among them singers, dancers, and colleagues of Domingo – claimed that the Spanish singer inappropriately touched, kissed and otherwise harassed them, and pressured some into sexual relationships. The allegations are as of yet unproven, and all but two of the women chose to stay anonymous. 

LA Opera had opened an internal investigation into the allegations.

Domingo denies any wrongdoing, and insists that all of his past sexual encounters were consensual. The septuagenarian tenor slammed the #MeToo-era “climate in which people are condemned without due process” at the time of the allegations and said on Wednesday that he will continue to “work to clear my name.”

Whether he is ever vindicated or not, the fact remains that Domingo’s five-decade American career has been effectively ended by rumor, with accusation alone enough to send producers and managers running for the hills. His retirement will surely please some of the social-justice crowd, like New York State Senator Brad Holyman, who gloated at Domingo’s departure from ‘Macbeth’ last week with a social media post captioned “Update: we won.”

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Domingo is far from the first entertainer to have his career disintegrate over unproven allegations. Nor is he even the first from the world of opera. Metropolitan Opera stage director John Copley was fired in 2018 for allegedly making a “sexually charged remark” to a chorus member, as was conductor James Levine. Florida Grand Opera co-director Bernard Uzan was fired later that year for alleged sexual misconduct, as was Opera Tampa conductor Daniel Lipton. 

None of the accusations against the above men were proven, and all deny any misbehavior.

Across the Atlantic, the accusations against Domingo have met more shrugs than gasps. The singer’s upcoming performances in Zurich, Madrid, Milan, London and Moscow are still going ahead, as are shows in numerous other European capitals. 

“We do not see any basis for a statement or reaction based on our current state of knowledge,” the Zurich Opera House said at the time of the accusations. The Royal Theater in Madrid echoed this sentiment soon after, praising Domingo’s “exemplary career” and adding that accusations with such grave consequences “must be founded, and proven in the appropriate instances.” 

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