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Opera star Placido Domingo withdraws from all future Met performances

The Spanish opera star is facing numerous allegations of sexual harassment.

Image: Adam Davy

OPERA SINGER PLACIDO Domingo, who is facing numerous sexual harassment accusations, is withdrawing from all future performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

The 11th-hour decision comes just one night before the 78-year-old Spaniard dubbed the “King of Opera” was scheduled to perform the title role in the Met’s sold-out first production of Macbeth.

“Placido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately,” the opera said in a statement, adding that the bankable star agreed “that he needed to step down.”

Domingo - who has been a conductor and director of some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, and debuted at the Met at age 27 – said in a separate statement that he had in fact “asked to withdraw.”

“I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due process,” the singer, currently accused of harassment by 20 women, said.

But “upon reflection, I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes,” he said.

“As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request,” he continued, saying he considered his final dress rehearsal his “last performance on the Met stage.”

In August, a number of women said that they were sexually harassed in incidents going back to the 1980s. One accuser said Domingo had put his hand down her skirt while three said he had forcibly kissed them.

Some said they felt their careers had been damaged by rejecting his advances.

“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate,” Domingo said in a statement following the accusations. 

“Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions,” he added.

Domingo has made more than 100 albums and picked up 14 Grammy awards. Earlier this year, he celebrated his 4,000th performance in a career that stretches back 60 years.

The allegations are the latest in a series made against high-profile entertainment personalities as part of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

© AFP 2019  

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