New York (AFP)

Placido Domingo has resigned to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Tuesday announced the opera and the famous Spanish tenor, accused of sexual harassment by several women.

Placido Domingo, 78 years old and first seen on the New York scene more than half a century ago, was expected from Wednesday at the Met in a new production of "Macbeth" by Giuseppe Verdi.

The tenor again refuted on Tuesday the charges against him, in a statement sent to AFP, saying "worried about the climate in which people are sentenced without trial" fair.

"After reflection, I think that my performance in this + Macbeth + production would distract from the hard work of my colleagues, on stage and behind the scenes," he said.

"So I asked to withdraw and I thank the leaders of the Met for having acceded to my request," he continued, adding that he considered the dress rehearsal as his "last performance on the Met stage. ".

"The Met and Mr. Domingo agreed on the fact that he had to give up," commented the opera where he began at 27 years. "Placido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, with immediate effect".

- caught by #MeToo -

The tenor was overtaken in August by the #MeToo movement which brought down since October 2017 many men of power including in the entertainment world.

In a mid-August investigation by the US Associated Press (AP), nine women, including one with a face-lift, said they were sexually harassed by Placido Domingo from the late 1980s. AP released a second survey on September 7, claiming that 11 other women, including one named, also claimed to be victims.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera had already canceled its scheduled performances this season. The Dallas Opera then canceled a concert scheduled for March 2020.

The Los Angeles Opera, which he has been managing director since 2003, has suspended it as a precautionary measure and has launched an investigation into the charges, the findings of which have not yet been released. Initially, the Met had indicated that it would be determined after their publication.

Placido Domingo is scheduled to perform on February 22 at the Los Angeles Opera who has not responded to a request to comment on the tenor's decision to forgo singing at the Met.

The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) has also launched a tenor investigation, its director Len Egert announced in September.

Many fans and colleagues supported the tenor in August. The mezzo-soprano Maria José Suarez, who has performed several times at her side, said she saw women "chasing after him", saying to a Spanish radio: "What I saw is someone a good one, who is a man who loves women, just as I love men, and that's not a problem. "

According to US public radio NPR, Met director Peter Gelb held a closed meeting this weekend to explain to employees that they had not suspended the tenor because AP's information was not sufficiently corroborated. According to the radio, many Met employees complained that the tenor was staying and one had gone on sick leave to avoid working with him.

The Met was recently shaken by charges of sexual assault by nine men against its music director, James Levine, initially suspended and then fired after internal investigation in March 2018, after more than 40 years of career.

Placido Domingo has several commitments planned in Europe, in particular October 13 in Zurich and October 17 in Moscow. In August, he was applauded at the Salzburg Festival and Szeged in Hungary.

© 2019 AFP