Plácido Domingo, the legendary tenor, conductor and general director of the Los Angeles Opera, has been accused of sexual harassment by nine women over the course of three decades, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Eight singers, including retired mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, and one dancer told the AP that Domingo pressured them into sexual relationships to advance their careers. Seven of the nine said they felt they were punished professionally when they refused his advances.
Three accusers told the AP he forced wet kisses on them without their consent, while another said he put his hand down her skirt. All but Wulf declined to be identified by name for fear of professional reprisal.
The accusers described a pattern of behavior that involved repeated contacts, including late-night phone calls, and requests for private meetings at his apartment or hotel room under the guise of career advice, the AP reported.
In addition, a half dozen other women told the AP that Domingo made them uncomfortable with his “suggestive overtures.”
In interviews with nearly three dozen people in the opera world — from singers to musicians to backstage staff — the AP said that they had witnessed legendary tenor behave inappropriately and pursue “younger women with impunity.”
A representative for Domingo, now 78 but still a giant force in the opera world, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, announced Tuesday that it “will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Placido Domingo.”
And on Tuesday, both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera canceled performances by Domingo that had been scheduled for this fall.
In a statement to the AP, he said, “The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate. … I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.”
In an acknowledgement that the #MeToo movement has shifted expectations for men in positions of power he added, “I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past.”