Opera singer Placido Domingo was forced to defend a series of sexual harassment charges on Tuesday (August 13th), prompting the Los Angeles Opera to open an investigation. The Philadelphia Orchestra, meanwhile, canceled a performance.

In an investigation published Tuesday by the Associated Press, nine women - eight singers and one dancer, only one who wanted his name to be published, the others remaining anonymous - claim to have been sexually harassed by the legendary Spanish singer, considered the biggest living star of the lyrics.

Over a period of three decades

The nine women accuse Placido Domingo of harassing them over a period of three decades, beginning in the late 1980s. One says he has put his hand under his robe, three others he has imposed on them. kisses. They also evoke inappropriate gestures, such as a hand on the knee during a lunch.

Seven of the nine women reported that their careers had taken a hit, after they had rejected his advances, and that they had never been able to work with him again. They were all young and early career at the time of the alleged events, according to the US press agency.

Half a dozen other women spoke of advances that made them uncomfortable. And about 40 other women interviewed by the agency said they witnessed the star's inappropriate behavior.

"Inaccurate allegations"

"The allegations of these anonymous individuals, sometimes dating back thirty years, are deeply troubling and, as presented, inaccurate," responded Placido Domingo, 78, who is chief executive of the Los Angeles Opera, in a statement by his agent.

"It is painful, however, to hear that I was able to trouble or embarrass anyone - even if it was a long time ago and despite my intentions," continued the singer, who was married for a long time dated.

"I thought that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcome and accepted People who know me or have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally hurt, offend or embarrass someone" .

The tenor turned baritone, who has recorded more than 100 albums and has performed more than 4,000 times, also argued that "the rules and standards we are - and must be - held today are very different from what they were in the past ".

The reactions were not long in the United States, where the #MeToo movement has already knocked out many power men, including the powerful Metropolitan Opera music director, James Levine.

Philadelphia withdraws his invitation

The Los Angeles orchestra announced it would "hire a lawyer to investigate the disturbing allegations" against its star. "Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in Los Angeles opera and Los Angeles arts culture for over thirty years, but we are committed to doing everything we can to foster a professional environment where all our employees and artists also feel comfortable, valued and respected, "added the spokesperson of the institution in a statement.

The Philadelphia Orchestra, where Placido Domingo was scheduled to perform for the opening of the season on September 18, also announced that he had withdrawn his invitation, citing the need to ensure "a respectful environment" for the orchestra, its staff and its staff. public.

The Met of New York, where Placido Domingo was to appear in the next few months, said he would "wait for the results of the Los Angeles investigation" before "making final decisions about Mr. Domingo's future at home. Met ".

With AFP