The Royal Opera House has announced that Plácido Domingo is to withdraw from scheduled appearances in Verdi’s Don Carlo in July. The 79-year-old singer, facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, has found his career in the US effectively ended, but has continued to perform in Europe. There had been much criticism of the London opera house’s failure to act.
Domingo issued a statement last week in which he apologised to his accusers “for the hurt that I caused … I accept full responsibility for my actions,” but his apparent mea culpa triggered a backlash and cancellations in Spanish opera houses, and in a subsequent statement he sought to row back and clarify.
“I know what I haven’t done and I will deny it again. I never behaved aggressively with anyone and I have never done anything to obstruct or impede anyone’s career,” he said. “My apology was sincere and from the bottom of my heart to any colleagues whom I could have hurt in any way by something I said or did. As I have demonstrated on many occasions, it was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone.”
In a statement on Friday, the Covent Garden opera house made clear that it had not received complaints against the singer during his time there, and that the withdrawal was a mutual decision.
“The Royal Opera House and Maestro Plácido Domingo have mutually decided that he will withdraw from the Royal Opera House’s upcoming performances of Don Carlo in July 2020. We would like to confirm that we have received no claims of misconduct against Maestro Domingo during his time at the Royal Opera House and are sympathetic of his reasons for stepping down. Plácido is an outstanding singer and artist and we are hugely grateful for his support and commitment over many decades. We will announce the casting for his role in Don Carlo in due course.”