Spain cancels Placido Domingo performances over sexual misconduct allegations

Spain's culture ministry on Wednesday cancelled performances by Placido Domingo in Madrid in May following allegations of sexual harassment by the opera star.

Others reviewing upcoming performances by opera star

Spain's culture ministry has cancelled upcoming performances by Spanish opera star Placido Domingo in Madrid, following allegations of sexual harassment against him. (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain's culture ministry on Wednesday cancelled performances by Placido Domingo in Madrid in May, following allegations of sexual harassment by the opera star.

The ministry said it had called off the Spanish singer's performance in the operetta Luisa Fernanda at the Zarzuela Theatre on May 14 and 15, in solidarity with women who had been affected by his alleged sexual misconduct.

The publicly funded theatre will still stage the shows, but without Domingo.

The ministry's National Institute of Performing Arts and Music expressed "strong support" for the women who have accused Domingo of sexual misconduct and rejected "all types of harassment, abusive and dominating behaviour."

Domingo apologized to the women who have accused him of sexual harassment on Tuesday after an investigation by the American Guild of Musical Artists (the U.S. union representing opera performers) concluded he had behaved inappropriately with female performers.

According to the investigation, more than two dozen singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff said they witnessed or experienced such acts by the 79-year-old singer at different opera houses over a span of at least two decades.

The guild's investigation was the first of two independent inquiries launched after multiple women accused Domingo of sexual harassment and abusing his power in two Associated Press stories published last year.

The second inquiry, which is still ongoing, was launched by LA Opera, where Domingo had been general director since 2003 before resigning in October.

Performances under review

Spain's Teatro Real opera house said it will hold a meeting to discuss whether or not to continue with Domingo in its staging of La Traviata in May. Teatro Real press chief Jose Maria Noguerol said the theatre's executive commission would hold the meeting soon, but could not say exactly when.

He also said the theatre has requested a copy of the U.S. investigators' findings.

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo is seen arriving at the 2017 Salzburg Festival. Domingo had long been one of opera's most popular stars in Europe. (Franz Neumayr/AFP/Getty Images)

The Salzburg Festival said Tuesday it will also seek further information from the U.S. investigation in light of Domingo's scheduled concert performances in an August 2020 production of I Vespri Siciliani.

"The Salzburg Festival intends to obtain comprehensive information on the investigations currently underway in the U.S. before it considers further steps, and will then inform the press of its decision," organizers said in a statement.


With files from The Associated Press