The Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera on Tuesday canceled planned performances by opera legend Plácido Domingo this fall after the Associated Press reported that nine women had accused the Spanish tenor of sexual harassment over the course of the last three decades.
The Philadelphia Orchestra withdrew its invitation to the Spanish tenor to perform at its opening night concert on Sept. 18, saying that a new performer will be named later. “We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the Orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
In addition, the San Francisco Opera canceled a scheduled October 6 concert featuring Domingo.
The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, announced Tuesday that it was hiring an outside counsel to investigate the accusations.
A rep for Domingo did not respond to a request for comment.
The Dallas Opera, where Domingo is scheduled to give a concert on March 11, 2020, “does not intend to take any immediate action while awaiting further developments,” a spokesperson said. And New York City’s Metropolitan Opera said it would await results from the L.A. Opera’s inquiry before deciding on his planned performances in “Macbeth” and “Madama Butterfly” this fall.
A rep for Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts, where Domingo is also scheduled to perform in February, said it “will weigh what is the most appropriate course of action as more information becomes available.”
In a detailed AP report on Tuesday , eight singers, including retired mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, and one dancer said that Domingo pressured them into sexual relationships to advance their careers. Seven of the nine told the AP 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 a statement to the AP, Domingo responded, “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.”