The L.A. Opera might not be here if it wasn’t for Placido Domingo. However, Domingo and the organization will be parting ways to due accusations of inappropriate behavior made against the singer.
On Tuesday afternoon, investigators substantiated 10 inappropriate conduct claims against Domingo. The incidents were said to have occurred between 1986, right around the time the singer was working on getting the L.A. Opera on its feet and positioning himself as the organization’s artistic advisor, and last year when Domingo resigned as their general director.
A total of 21 women came forward saying Domingo displayed inappropriate behavior in their presence.
The investigators pursuing the case are from the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. The group found the allegations to be credible due to the fact that many of them had “similarities in their account”. A total of 44 people were interviewed including the women involved, representatives from the L.A. Opera and Domingo himself.
The Associated Press started reporting the accusations last year. Since then, Domingo has gone back and forth on the issue, apologizing and then denying the claims. His last official statement was released Tuesday when he “denied all allegations of unwanted contact and maintained that all his interactions were consensual.”
Gibson Dunn reports that the singer seemed, “to be sincere in his denials but found some of them to be less credible and lacking in awareness”.
The investigators added that because multiple people were involved in the hiring process at the L.A. Opera, Domingo never retaliated against the women on a professional level due to the accusations they made against him. However, Debra Katz, the lawyer who represents three of the women who are filing suit, including singer Angela Turner Wilson, had this to say:
"This conclusion, while demonstrably false, was reached in an effort to protect the LA Opera from liability. I sat through the investigatory interview with Angela Turner Wilson, who detailed how Domingo repeatedly dangled roles in front of her for the LA Opera, and even connected her agent to casting opportunities as part of his efforts to pressure her into a sexual relationship with him. However, as Ms. Wilson told the investigators, as soon as she rejected his advances, she was never again hired. ... He had absolute influence over the company."
Domingo’s representatives declined to comment on this issue.
The L.A. Opera is not the only one who has severed ties from Domingo in the wake of the investigation. The New York Metropolitan Opera also said they were uncomfortable working with the singer. The American Guild of Music Artists had legal issues with Domingo due to inappropriate behavior issues and several of his public appearances have been canceled.
Whether Domingo is persecuted or not, it is clear that he has been professionally affected by the allegations made against him. We can only wait to find out about further developments.