The Spanish opera star Plácido Domingo has rejected allegations of sexual assault. "The allegations of these unnamed persons, which are up to thirty years ago, are deeply disturbing and - as they are presented - incorrect," said the 78-year-old singer, according to a statement.

It is painful to hear that he may have hurt someone or cause discomfort, Domingo continues. "I believed that all my actions and relationships were always desired and consensual." He acknowledges, however, that today's rules and standards differ from those of the past.

According to a report by the news agency AP, several singers and a dancer have accused the opera star sexual assault. The women reported hugs, kisses on their mouths, nocturnal phone calls, and that Domingo had pushed for private meetings.

Negative consequences for the career

Those affected have also reported negative consequences for their careers after denying Domingo's advances. The women concerned were anonymous, with one exception. The alleged abuses therefore last up to three decades.

Plácido Domingo is one of the greatest classical stars of the present. For decades, the tenor was at all major opera houses in the world. Several years ago he switched to the baritone fold. He denied as an opera singer claims to more than 4,000 performances. Last year he sang his 150th opera role at the Salzburg Festival.

Domingo celebrated great success as one of the "Three Tenors" along with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras. As a conductor he conducted more than 500 opera performances and concerts. Since 2003, Domingo has been General Manager of the Los Angeles Opera.