Placido Domingo gets standing ovation in first performance since sexual harassment claims

Concert in Salzburg marks opera singer’s first outing since nine women accused him of harassment

Opera singer Placido Domingo on Sunday received a standing ovation at the Salzburg festival, his first performance after being accused of sexually harassing women.

“Triumph in Salzburg, standing ovation for Domingo despite the Me Too affair,” read a headline in the regional daily Kleine Zeitung, following his performance in the Giuseppe Verdi opera Luisa Miller at the annual music and drama festival in Austria.

According to reports, Domingo received an ovation alone at the start of the show, and shared in another with his cast-mates at the end.

Eight singers and a dancer told the Associated Press earlier this month they were sexually harassed by the former member of the much-lauded Three Tenors, in incidents that date back to the 1980s.

In the AP report, several women – one of whom was identified – accused Domingo of using his position as one of opera’s most celebrated singers to pressure them into sexual relationships.

In a statement, Domingo said the allegations “are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate”.

He continued: “I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual … However, I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are – and should be – measured against today are very different than they were in the past.”

The Los Angeles Opera, of which Domingo is director, has opened an investigation into the “concerning allegations”.

Following the claims, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association withdrew its invitation for Domingo to appear in its opening night concert on 18 September.

However, the head of the Salzburg festival in Austria said Domingo would perform there as planned.

Madrid-born Domingo was one of the most recognised tenors of the 20th century, starring in the Three Tenors alongside Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras.

In recent years the opera star has transformed himself into a baritone and still performs to packed audiences at the age of 78.

He 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.

• Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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