MADRID – Opera star Placido Domingo, going through a number of allegations of sexual harassment, apologised for “the damage” prompted to his accusers on Tuesday (Feb 25), saying he accepted “full duty” for his actions.
The 79-year-old – who has been a director and conductor at a few of the world’s most prestigious opera homes – has been accused by a minimum of 20 ladies of forcibly kissing, grabbing or fondling them in incidents relationship again to a minimum of the 1980s.
“I respect that these ladies lastly felt comfy sufficient to talk out, and I need them to know that I’m really sorry for the damage that I prompted them. I settle for full duty for my actions,” he stated in a press release launched by his publicist in Los Angeles.
The assertion didn’t particularly verify any of the allegations.
Domingo had beforehand denied all of the claims, referring to them as “inaccurate” and saying all his interactions and relationships had been “all the time welcomed and consensual”.
The accusations first started to floor in August and two months later, he stepped down from the Los Angeles Opera and withdrew from additional performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, successfully ending his US profession.
Domingo’s assertion was launched because the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) wrapped up an unbiased investigation into the storied tenor-turned-baritone, which was launched in early September over members’ allegations about sexual harassment and discrimination.
“The investigation concluded that Mr Domingo had, in actual fact, engaged in inappropriate exercise, starting from flirtation to sexual advances, in and out of doors of the office,” a press release from the opera, choral and dance union stated.
“Lots of the witnesses expressed concern of retaliation within the industry as their purpose for not coming ahead sooner,” it stated, indicating its board had “accepted the findings of the report and can take acceptable motion”.
PUNISHED FOR SAYING NO?
Many followers and fellow performers leapt to Domingo’s defence when the allegations first emerged, with many describing him as an harmless “girls’ man” whom ladies adored.
However experiences drew a starkly totally different image of a person who acted with impunity, shielded by his energy as one in every of opera’s foremost stars as a whisper community advanced warning ladies about his alleged popularity.
A number of of the ladies stated Domingo tried to strain them into sexual relationships by dangling jobs, after which typically punished them professionally once they refused his advances.
However in his assertion, the “King of Opera” stated that had “by no means” been his intention.
“I perceive now that some ladies might have feared expressing themselves actually due to a priority that their careers can be adversely affected in the event that they did so.
“Whereas that was by no means my intention, nobody ought to ever be made to really feel that manner,” stated Domingo, who was one of the recognised tenors of the 20th century however has since remodeled himself right into a baritone.
Domingo stated he needed to have an effect on “optimistic change within the opera industry in order that nobody else has to have that very same expertise”, expressing his “fervent want that the end result can be a safer place to work for all within the opera industry”.
EMPOWERING ARTISTS AGAINST HARASSMENT
The AGMA union stated it could not let up in its efforts to guard its members, calling for an industry-wide initiative to “positively change the tradition” within the fields of opera, choral music and dance.
“This may be sure that artists really feel revered and empowered to handle sexual harassment and associated points going ahead,” stated AGMA’s nationwide govt director Leonard Egert.
The union additionally stated it could run a promotional marketing campaign each on- and off-line in addition to coaching programmes to empower its members to talk out and forestall harassment.
Domingo’s assertion was launched a day after Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault however acquitted of essentially the most severe predatory prices in a verdict hailed as a victory by the #MeToo motion.
For the reason that sexual misconduct allegations towards Weinstein first emerged in October 2017, greater than 80 ladies have come ahead, igniting a world reckoning over males who’ve abused positions of energy.
In Europe, the Madrid-born singer’s profession has been much less affected by the scandal than within the US, with European opera homes taking extra of a wait-and-see stance.
For the reason that allegations first surfaced, the Spanish mega-star has carried out in Austria, Hungary and Russia and he nonetheless has a string of upcoming concert events in Europe that stay unchanged.