UPDATE: Placido Domingo has withdrawn from his upcoming scheduled performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City following multiple sexual harassment allegations, Associated Press reports. The singer was scheduled to star in Verdi’s Macbeth beginning on Wednesday and also perform in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in November.
“I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 27 and have sung at this magnificent theater for 51 consecutive, glorious years,” Domingo said in a statement via AP. “While I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due process, 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.
“As a result, I have asked to withdraw,” he continued, “and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request. I am happy that, at the age of 78, I was able to sing the wonderful title role in the dress rehearsal of Macbeth, which I consider my last performance on the Met stage.”
Eleven more women have come forward accusing renowned Spanish opera singer and conductor Placido Domingo of sexual harassment, The Associated Press reports.
Following the outlet’s original report in August – in which nine women accused Domingo of forced kisses and verbal harassment – the AP stated that the additional women spoke of “unwanted touching, persistent requests for private get-togethers, late-night phone calls and sudden attempts to kiss them on the lips.”
One woman, Angela Turner Wilson, said the incident occurred during the Washington Opera’s 1999-2000 season, when she received her big break at 28 years old as the second female lead in Jules Massenet’s “Le Cid.” “I knew this was the start of big things for me,” said Wilson, now a college vocal professor in Dallas. While she and Domingo were getting their makeup done before the show one night, he stood behind her chair and groped her breast. “What woman would ever want him to grab their breast? And it hurt,” Wilson said. “Then I had to go on stage and act like I was in love with him.”
Nancy Seltzer, a spokesperson for Domingo, released a statement to CNN disputing the allegations. “The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Plácido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical,” the statement read. “These new claims are riddled with inconsistencies and, as with the first story, in many ways, simply incorrect. Due to an ongoing investigation, we will not comment on specifics, but we strongly dispute the misleading picture that the AP is attempting to paint of Mr. Domingo.”
The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, stated after the initial allegations that they would investigate the situation. Since then, the opera house has hired outside counsel. Melinda McLain, who served at the production coordinator at the LA Opera House in 1986, claimed she tried to put Domingo in his own dressing room separate from females, even when he requested otherwise. McLain also told the AP she tried to invite Marta – Domingo’s wife of 62 years – to company parties. “If Marta was around, he behaves,” she said.
Domingo is set to perform in productions of Macbeth and Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City this month, but the opera house said it is waiting on the results of the investigation in Los Angeles to take any action.
A representative for Domingo did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.