Placido Domingo said the “climate in which people are condemned without due process” has cast a shadow over his colleagues, so he’s dropping out of an upcoming production, vowing to never again perform at the Metropolitan Opera.
Domingo announced the decision on Tuesday, just one day before the opening of ‘Macbeth’ at the Metropolitan Opera, in which the renowned tenor-turned-baritone was slated to star in the title role.
While several US venues turned Domingo down when allegations of sexual misconduct first surfaced last month, the Met stood by the singer, waiting for the outcome of the investigations launched by the American Guild of Musical Artists and the LA Opera, but the pressure was on.
In run-up to his now cancelled performance, “a number” of Met staffers reached out to media to vent their frustration over being ‘forced’ to perform alongside Domingo, NPR reported Friday. Major newspapers such as the Washington Post also published stories quoting the complaints of several Met employees, some of whom slammed the company for inconsistency after its earlier firing of conductor James Levine, who also faced allegations of sexual misconduct. The ever-expanding group of critics was joined by NY State Senator Brad Hoylman, who stated in a Facebook post on Tuesday that “Placido Domingo should be removed from the show – and if he isn’t, the General Manager of the Met should be removed too.”
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It came to showdown on Saturday, when Met general manager Peter Gelb reportedly tried to reason with the employees, arguing that the evidence of sexual misconduct against Domingo was not sufficiently corroborated, but apparently failed to quell the dissent.
“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.
While the singer said he “strongly” disputes the claims of sexual harassment made about him in August, and is alarmed by a “climate in which people are condemned without due process,” he said that “upon reflection I believe that my appearance in this production of ‘Macbeth’ would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both onstage and behind the scenes.”
The Met confirmed that Domingo would not return for future performances, according to the Associated Press.
Following Domingo’s announcement that he would no longer perform, the state senator shared a link to the story, along with the caption “Update: we won.”
In mid August, AP published a story citing nine women, all but one remaining anonymous, accusing Domingo of inappropriate touching and other unwanted advances. The singer responded, saying the report was “inaccurate,” and insisted the incidents in question – some of which date back to the 1980s – were consensual.
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Macbeth would have been Domingo’s first US performance since the allegations surfaced last month. Some American institutions, such as the San Francisco Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, have already cancelled the singer’s upcoming performances over the claims of misconduct. To date, no European venues have followed suit.
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