The Downfall of the Legendary Placido Domingo


Sebastian Maldonado, Opinons

The possibility of seeing Placido Domingo in person at an opera has recently been deprived of everyone who plans to, or already go to the LA Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera.  The recent news of Placido Domingo leaving those facilities have broken out and struck the public opera world with the same surprise that Harvey Weinstein’s allegations struck fans of Hollywood. In fact, there are more similarities between the two than one would think.  CBS News details on what the women who underwent Domingo’s power, saying that “Eleven women … [have accused Domingo] of sexual harassment or inappropriate, sexually charged behavior and of sometimes damaging their careers if they rejected him…”  


Harvey Weinstein, on the other hand, did similar devilish actions such as proposing a kiss to Lisa Esco, and when she brushed him off, he threatened her career.  Weinstein even invited Romola Garai, an English actress, into his hotel room during the audition process for Havana Nights. She was told to go alone, with Weinstein answering the door in his bathrobe.  Garai said. “I was only 18. I felt violated by it, it has stayed very clearly in my memory.” 


Domingo’s actions have never hit the same level as Weinstein, but he did stick his hands down one woman’s skirt and forced wet kisses on other women’s lips.  The problem with Domingo’s actions, both the reveal of them and the actual performance of them, is that it taints the image of opera as a whole. Many operas are having trouble influencing the younger audience of modern-day to come to their performances, and having something like Domingo making the opera industry appear as corrupt as Hollywood, lessens the desire to go to operas for younger audiences even more.


While there is almost no way for a modern young member of the audience to avoid viewing Hollywood movies, it’s more than easy to avoid viewing operas, making the desire for operas less attractive.  Fortunately, for the opera industry, there are a lot fewer cases of these allegations. There have been little to no other reports of opera singers in recent history actually going out of their way to sexually assault another member of the industry.  


On Domingo’s side, his spokeswoman states that the allegations are “riddled with inconsistencies”, and Domingo himself in a statement to AP News even says, “The allegations from these unnamed individuals … are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate … People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone…”.  There is no saying for sure on this topic. We were able to get specific names for Weinstein’s case, and for many others, but for Domingo… all of his allegations come from nameless people. There’s still a lot of vagueness throughout Domingo’s allegations, but for the time being, they are being accepted as truth until any counter-evidence is presented.