LA Opera to investigate sexual misconduct accusations against Placido Domingo

Placido Domingo speaks during a news conference about his upcoming show Giovanna d’Arco in Madrid

A former opera administrator said he had been aware for years that Domingo was "constantly chasing" one of the women who alleged sexual harassment.

And then she said that that sort of creates a culture where people feel like this behavior is acceptable or there will be no consequences, and then others, maybe people who aren't superstar status, then have the opportunity or take advantage of that to do bad things themselves. "Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is odd - or putting their hand on your knee is a little unusual".

Following the allegations, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association withdrew its invitation for Domingo to appear in its opening night concert on September 18. The orchestra said that it will announce a replacement soloist and program at a later time. The AP report does not say whether any of the women reported their allegations to their employers or authorities.

Only one of the women, mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, agreed to be named. The news agency said it also had spoken to nearly three dozen other musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff who said they had witnessed what the report described as "sexually tinged" behavior by Domingo dating back three decades in various cities.

The Salzburg Festival in Austria said it was going ahead as planned with a performance by Domingo in the opera "Luisa Miller" on August 31.

She said she tried to avoid being alone with him so as not to suffer professional repercussions, but eventually "gave in" and slept with him twice because she "ran out of excuses".

Spanish-born Domingo was one of the most recognized opera stars of the 20th century, starring in the Three Tenors alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.

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The Salzburg Festival in Austria, where Domingo is scheduled to appear August 31, said the singer would perform as planned.

Another singer, who was just 23 when she met Domingo in 1988, started receiving calls from him after she says they shared a "sloppy, wet kiss" during rehearsals on stage at the LA Opera, after which he allegedly whispered to her, "I wish we weren't on stage".

In addition to the nine accusers, a half dozen other women have told AP that Domingo made them feel uncomfortable on several occasions.

Domingo would ask her to meet him, including in his hotel room, but she said she would only go to lunch with him, always framed as a business meal.

The LA Opera, where Domingo has been director-general since 2003, said in a statement that it would "engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations". "People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone", he said. Still, she said, his hands would wander to her knee or he would hold her hand or kiss her cheek in ways that made her uncomfortable.

The opera star said he recognised "that the rules and standards by which we are - and should be - measured against today are very different than they were in the past". She told the AP, "I was totally intimidated and felt like saying no to him would be saying no to God".

In the spirit of the Me Too era many praised the move by saying it was "high time" he was held accountable and calling the accusations in the report "strong".

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