Placido Domino: Opera singer denies abusing power and says he has spent 'whole life helping'

August 24, 2020

Placido Domingo, one of the world's biggest opera stars, has denied abusing his power following allegations of inappropriate conduct over several years.

The Spanish tenor and baritone, who is known for performing with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti as the "Three Tenors" in the 1990s, has spoken out following the claims made in 2019.

It comes after he apologised in a statement released earlier this year, in which he said: "I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I have grown from this experience."

But in a new interview with the Associated Press (AP) news agency, Domingo - who received a lifetime achievement award in Austria at the beginning of August - denied abusing his management positions at two US opera houses.

''I never promised a part to a singer, or never take a part from a singer," he said. "I have spent my whole life helping, and you know, encouraging and driving people."

He added: ''People that deserved to sing were singing."

Several performers said Domingo harassed them and abused his power while in management positions at Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera.

Investigations by LA Opera and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) union found the sexual harassment allegations to be credible, according to AP.

LA Opera did not find he had abused his power, but AGMA found a clear pattern of such abuse, sources told the news agency on condition of anonymity.

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Domingo was asked to respond to the findings of both investigations - but the interview was briefly cut off by his managers and a spokesperson at this point, AP said.

AGMA has never released the full report of its findings, but the star's team referred to two written statements by the union, neither of which mentioned abuse of power. They also said Washington Opera had never launched an investigation.

When asked again if he had misused his power as a manager, Domingo replied: "Never, never, never."

Domingo, who was treated in hospital for coronavirus in Mexico in March, initially responded to the allegations in the original AP story by saying he recognised ''the rules and standards by which we are - and should be - measured'' had changed over the years.

Several opera houses around the world cancelled appearances by the singer after the claims were made public.

He resigned as the general director of Los Angeles Opera and withdrew from performances at New York's Met.

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