They are nine to blame the singer and director of the Los Angeles Opera and Washington, Placido Domingo, for sexual harassment. In an article published Tuesday, the Associated Press details the testimonies of the eight singers and the dancer who evoke harassing facts from 1980 until today.
For decades, the legend of the opera put pressure on his collaborators to have sex with him, sometimes going as far as punishing them professionally if they refused his advances. Seven of the nine complainants felt that their professional life was affected after they refused the singer's advances.
"It was sexual harassment"
Patricia Wulf, a mezzo-soprano who worked with Placido Domingo at the Washington Opera, is the only woman to testify without being anonymous . "It was sexual harassment," she recalls as she recounts her story from 1998. "When a man stands so close to you with a smirk and repeatedly asks you if you have to go home, I can not find any other conclusions than the fact that he wanted to put me in his bed, even more when he has the reputation of doing that. "
The other complainants wished to remain anonymous, for fear of reprisals, for fear of being publicly humiliated or even harassed, while still working in the opera world. Patricia Wulf explained that the "well-known secret about Domingo's behavior lasted too long", and that she wanted her voice to help other women say "no" or to denounce inappropriate behavior. which they would be victims.
Advances disguised by a professional interest
Highly respected by his peers, the baritone is considered one of the best singers in the profession, which earned him the nickname "king of opera". At 78, the Spanish maestro still attracts crowds around the world, thanks to the fame given to him by his 150 roles, his 4,000 performances and his 14 Grammy Awards.
The complainants' testimony has striking similarities. According to them, Placido Domingo used to contact the artists, sometimes insistently, calling them home at night. He showed an interest in their careers and offered to come and talk over a drink or dinner, or even in a hotel room or at home. All under the pretext of offering them professional advice. Most of her accusers were young and started their career at the time of the events they denounce.
"I thought all my relationships were consensual"
The international star was quick to respond to the statements of his peers. "These accusations by these anonymous women, some dating back to 30 years, are really disturbing, and as they are presented, inaccurate," he said in a statement sent to the Associated Press . "Still, it is painful to learn that I was able to upset anyone or that I was uncomfortable with them - no matter when the facts came back and despite my best intentions." I thought all my interactions and relationships have always been consensual People who know me or have worked with me know that I am not someone who will intentionally hurt, offend, or embarrass someone. "
"However, I must admit that the rules and standards by which we are - and should - be judged today are really different from what has been in the past," he added.
The accusers of Placido Domingo have since been supported by about thirty women from the world of opera. These singers, musicians, dancers, staff members, and professors claimed to have witnessed inappropriate behavior on the part of the singer.