- Scandal: Nine women accuse Plácido Domingo of sexual harassment
"I recognize that the rules and scales by which we measure ourselves today are very different from how they were in the past." From that phrase hangs now the career of the "best tenor of all time" , as the BBC named him at the time. Plácido Domingo (Madrid, 1941) made this Monday in a statement sent to the Associated Press (AP) agency in response to the accusations collected by it: eight singers and a dancer signal him for having sexually harassed them during the 80s and 90s .
Before the confessions of his alleged victims, Domingo has sent a brief statement in which he does not deny having had relations with other women, although they were "well received and consented" by them. However, it is that justification, that of the change in the perception of these behaviors, the main obstacle in Sunday's difficult race to defend himself against accusations .
Sources from the New York music scene consulted by this newspaper and preferring to maintain anonymity confirm that Domingo's behavior was 'vox populi in the largest city in the US': "He tried to support young singers when they began their career", after Access your requirements . These same sources indicate that there are well-known names of interpreters among the favored.
However, in Spain the vision is completely different. People from various fields who have worked with him over time have underlined his attentive, close and affectionate character, although without propagation in any case and without any hint of reprisals , much less out of spite.
For now, the Philadelphia Orchestra has withdrawn its invitation to the tenor converted into a baritone for it to perform at the inaugural gala of its season, on September 18. "We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our public and communities," explained the musical training in their respective statement. The same has done the San Francisco Opera , with a recital scheduled for October 6: "Although the alleged incidents reported did not take place at the San Francisco Opera, the company cannot present the artist on stage."
On the opposite side, the Salzburg Festival has ratified through its president, Helga Rabl-Stadler, the support of the Austrian summer event to the tenor to act on the 25th. That day he has scheduled the first of the two functions ( the other is 31) from 'Luisa Miller', the opera by Giuseppe Verdi.
"I have known Plácido Domingo for more than 25 years. From the beginning he has impressed me, along with his artistic ability, his respectful ways with all the workers of the Festival," Rabl-Stadler said in a statement collected by Efe. The president also defended the principle of 'in dubio pro reo' in the absence of evidence against the Spanish singer: "I consider it objectively incorrect and humanly irresponsible to take a final judgment at this time and make decisions on that basis ."
Those who have not yet manifested are the other great American opera houses in which Plácido Domingo is scheduled to perform in the coming months: the Metropolitan of New York (from September 25 to October 1 with 'Macbeth' and from 6 to 16 November with 'Madama Butterfly') and, especially, the center where he has been general director since 2003: the Los Angeles Opera . There, other dates marked in red: from February 22 to March 14, with six functions of 'Roberto Devereux', by Donizetti.
In addition, the Sunday calendar has stops at the Zurich Opera (October 13, with 'Nabucco'), the Vienna Staatsoper (from October 25 to November 1, with 'Macbeth'), La Scala in Milan (a concert on December 15), or the Staatsoper in Berlin (from January 16 to 19 with 'La Traviata', the same title that will close the next season of the Royal Theater of Madrid, in May 2020).
In Spain, the first scheduled appointment is on December 2, in the first of the four functions of 'Nabucco' in the Palau de les Arts in Valencia . The management of the space also sent the subsequent statement announcing that it will wait for "the resolution of the case" for the accusations published to "act accordingly and adopt some convenient measure, thus preserving the presumption of innocence." In the same text, he stresses that "he has no direct employment relationship with Plácido Domingo", but that "he only collaborates in the selection of students of the Center of Perfecting, together with a commission of experts formed by eight more people" and that " strongly condemns any kind of workplace harassment or sexist violence in society, and in the world of culture in particular. "
But what sexist violence is it? The statements collected by the AP are explicit in this regard and speak of a circle of reprisals or favors in relation to the more or less sexually receptive attitude of women. "Someone trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange, or putting your hand on your knee is a bit strange. I was always touching you in some way and always kissing you," says one of the anonymous voices. Another, after numerous requirements, says he agreed to have sex with the tenor: "I gave up and slept with him."
Another voice tells how, after having sex in a hotel, Domingo gave him $ 10 to pay for parking. "I don't want you to feel like a prostitute , but I also don't want you to have to pay to stay," he said then.
Of all of them, the only one who has wanted to show her face is the American soprano Patricia Wulf, 61, who sang with Domingo at the Washington Opera House. "Every time I left the stage, he was waiting for me. He approached me, as close as possible, put his face on my face, lowered his voice and said: 'Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?'", the singer remembered AP. " You have to understand that when such a powerful man is almost like God in my business, he gets so close and says that, the first thing that goes through your mind is 'What?'. But you also think that as soon as you walk away you're ruining your career. "
In statements after Efe, Wulf reaffirmed what was said: "My account of what happened is accurate." And he added another detail: "I have a witness who will support this ." His statement also emphasizes that this behavior was well known.
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