Spanish authorities have scrapped two upcoming performances by embattled opera star Placido Domingo “in solidarity” with his alleged sexual misconduct victims.
The singer’s career has taken a hit ever since a pair of exposes, published by The Associated Press last summer (19), uncovered historic allegations of inappropriate behaviour from more than 20 women.
The 79 year old previously denied claims of unwanted touching and kissing, maintaining his belief that all encounters were consensual, but on Tuesday (25Feb20), he issued a new statement, in which he apologised to his victims and accepted “full responsibility” for his actions, which spanned at least two decades.
Domingo’s remarks emerged following the completion of an investigation by representatives at the U.S. Opera Union, who found him guilty of sexual misconduct and abuse of power.
In light of the developments, Ministry of Culture officials in Spain have decided to drop the musician from a pair of special shows scheduled to take place in May (20) at the Zarzuela Theatre in Domingo’s native Madrid to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tenor’s first performance in the city.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture explained, “Faced with the difficult situation and after Domingo’s own statements in which he took complete responsibility for his actions, the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escenicas y de la Musica (National Institute of Performing Arts and Music), in solidarity with the women affected, has taken the decision to cancel his performances at the Teatro Nacional de la Zarzuela (Zarzuela Theatre) on May 14 and 15.”
The news comes as a new accuser, soprano Luz del Alba Rubio, stepped forward and added her voice to the growing number of women reportedly subjected to the opera superstar’s inappropriate behaviour. She told The Associated Press she was stunned to hear the singer say sorry, and his confession gave her the strength to share her story: “I felt like we have conquered Goliath. Now we don’t have to be scared to speak out,” said Rubio, who hails from Uruguay.
She claims she was in her 20s in 1999, when Domingo spotted her talent in Rome, Italy and invited her to travel to the U.S., where he was artistic director of the Washington National Opera.
Rubio alleges he began harassing her with late night phone calls and then tried to seduce her after inviting her to his apartment to review her work, kissing her repeatedly as she pushed him away.
After snubbing Domingo’s advances, Rubio reveals she was not invited back to work at the Washington National Opera, and the roles he had promised her disappeared.
Rubio appreciates Domingo’s public apology, but suspects the public move is designed to help him salvage his career.
“Before, he was a denier. Then, he was a victim. Now, he is looking for redemption,” Rubio reflected. “If he means it, if he is really sorry, I would ask him to apologise to us, face to face. There have been women suffering for 20 years. He should ask for our forgiveness.”