Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

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jserraglio
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:14 am

The accusations go back years – so why has the opera world rallied round Plácido Domingo?

by Martin Kettle
The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/ ... do-domingo

lennygoran
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by lennygoran » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:49 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:14 am
The accusations go back years – so why has the opera world rallied round Plácido Domingo?

by Martin Kettle
The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/ ... do-domingo
I read this article and have to say I think his question certainly should be addressed. Thanks for the article! Regards, Len

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:56 am

lennygoran wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:49 am
I read this article and have to say I think his question certainly should be addressed. Thanks for the article! Regards, Len
Yes, and one apparently must go beyond narrow politics to understand and deal with sexual abuse, as well as the physical abuse of a partner, as the following shocking article, based on a Cambridge, MA shelter's 40+ years of experience helping battered women, shows time and again:

The New Yorker
The Radical Transformations of a Battered Women’s Shelter
Transition House had to be true to its principles and then it had to leave them behind.
By Larissa MacFarquhar
August 12, 2019

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019 ... ns-shelter

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by Lance » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:27 pm

Interesting about Domingo. Several people I know that know him well simply say to me "it's about time this is brought into the open … it is well known by those that work with him." In his golden years, like Cosby and others, is he going to pay the price now? How will this affect his late career and legacy (doubtful it would be like Levine's).
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by lennygoran » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:34 pm

Another NY Times article.

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Accusations Against Plácido Domingo Divide the Opera World

Reports of sexual harassment against one of opera’s most revered stars have brought opposing reactions from singers, and continents.
I

By Michael Cooper

Aug. 18, 2019

For half a century Plácido Domingo has been one of opera’s most beloved figures: a celebrated tenor, a leader of opera companies and an ambassador for the art form who, at 78, continues to be a box-office draw in an era of diminished star power.

So when a report last week revealed that nine women were accusing Mr. Domingo of sexual harassment, it became the latest high-profile example of the complexities of the #MeToo era — and it divided the classical music world.

Some of the fault lines were geographic. Two American institutions, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera, swiftly canceled their upcoming concerts with him, citing their need to provide safe environments. But none of Mr. Domingo’s many upcoming performances in Europe were canceled, as presenters there decided on a wait-and-see approach.

Singers were divided, too. More than two dozen rallied to Mr. Domingo’s defense, offering testimonials about his kindness and professionalism. One of opera’s biggest divas, Anna Netrebko, wrote on Instagram that she was looking forward to sharing the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera next month “with fantastic Placido Domingo!”

But some others took to social media to urge that the accusations should be taken seriously in light of classical music’s belated reckoning with harassment and abuse.

The tenor Paul Appleby said that while he had long admired Mr. Domingo, he was troubled by the way some people, including colleagues, had been quick to dismiss or even mock the accusers. He asked on Twitter: “1. Do you think the women whose stories were published are lying or being ‘inaccurate’? 2. If not, do you find the behavior of PD described in the reporting defensible?”

The allegations against Mr. Domingo, which were reported by The Associated Press, were made by eight singers and a dancer, all but one of whom spoke anonymously, who said that he had used his immense power in the opera world to try to pressure them into sexual relationships. Some described repeated, harassing phone calls; several said that they believed their careers had been harmed when they rebuffed him.

In a statement, Mr. Domingo called the allegations “as presented, inaccurate,” but called it “painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions.” He said that he believed that “all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual,” and added 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 Domingo case is reviving some of the most difficult questions of the #MeToo era: how to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, particularly those from unnamed accusers; when to cut ties with the accused and when to defer judgment; and what punishments, if any, are called for. Mr. Domingo’s stardom — as one of the Three Tenors, along with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, he sang on the best-selling classical recordings of all time — only heightens the stakes.

Like their counterparts in Hollywood, politics, journalism and other fields, some of the classical music titans accused of sexual misconduct have effectively disappeared from the world stage, while others have gone on to second acts. The conductor James Levine has not performed in public since he was fired by the Metropolitan Opera last year after it found evidence of sexually abusive and harassing conduct; he settled a breach-of-contract and defamation lawsuit against the company this month. But within months of the conductor Daniele Gatti’s firing by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam last year amid allegations of sexual harassment, he was appointed music director of the Rome Opera.

Now Mr. Domingo’s fate will hinge on several factors.

Most critical will be the outcome of an investigation by the Los Angeles Opera, which Mr. Domingo was instrumental in founding in 1986. Since 2003 he has been its general director, making him the public face of the company and its top administrator, although with his travel schedule, many of the day-to-day responsibilities of running it fall to Christopher Koelsch, its president and chief executive. Several of the accusations against Mr. Domingo concern encounters in Los Angeles, including as he began assuming power there.

The Met and several leading European companies said they would await the results of that inquiry before taking any actions of their own. But Mr. Domingo’s future will also be determined by a more intangible question: whether the good will he has built up with audiences over the decades will neutralize the damaging accusations against him.

Several colleagues who worked with him for years said that they were genuinely surprised by the accusations — saying that they had seen him as a someone who might flirt or make a pass at women, but not harass them. In this era, many people now see that as a distinction without a difference when it comes to workplace interactions when one of the people involved is in a position of power.


When a group of women in the chorus of Washington National Opera — a company Mr. Domingo led for 14 years, until 2011 — had a party last summer, the talk turned to the #MeToo movement in opera, recalled two of the choristers who attended.

The consensus that day had been that Mr. Domingo would not turn out to be a person accused of wrongdoing, said the choristers, who declined to be identified because they still worked for the company and were describing a private event.

They said several women in the chorus regarded Mr. Domingo, who has been married for more than 50 years, as someone who might proposition women or have an affair — but not as someone who would abuse his position, or fail to take no for an answer.

Then another singer spoke up: She told the others that she had had a different, more troubling experience with him. Some choristers began to rethink their assumptions.
I
After the allegations were made public last week, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union representing opera soloists, choristers and ballet dancers, announced that it had contacted opera companies to demand investigations and that it would “closely monitor this situation, making the safety of our members our first priority.”

But Mr. Domingo’s next appearances, in a concert version of Verdi’s “Luisa Miller,” on Aug. 25 and 31 at the Salzburg Festival in Austria, are going on as scheduled. Helga Rabl-Stadler, the festival’s president, said that Mr. Domingo was entitled to a presumption of innocence, using the Latin phrase “in dubio pro reo,” or, when in doubt, for the defendant.

“I would find it factually wrong and morally irresponsible to make irreversible judgments at this point,” she said in a statement on Tuesday, the day The A.P. published its report.

That same day, two American institutions severed ties with Mr. Domingo — not an easy decision, given how much of a star he is, even after he gave up his high-flying tenor repertory to sing lower baritone roles.

When the Philadelphia Orchestra rescinded its invitation for Mr. Domingo to star at its season-opening gala next month, it said that it was “committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities.” A few hours later the San Francisco Opera canceled his highly anticipated October concert there.

It followed something of a pattern. Europeans are seen as generally more willing to separate the artist from the art. Woody Allen, for example, has had trouble finding distributors for his films in the United States amid renewed focus on allegations that he had molested his daughter, which he has consistently denied, but he continues to work in Europe.

In the United States, where gender inequality is a foremost concern, harassment accusations are often considered toxic. RT, the Kremlin-backed news site, remarked on the split with a piece headlined: “Innocent until proven guilty? Not for Plácido Domingo: Americans race to condemn, Europeans hesitant.”

Mr. Domingo’s next scheduled American engagement is perhaps his biggest of the year: singing the title role of Verdi’s “Macbeth” on Sept. 25 at the Met, and sharing its stage for the first time with Ms. Netrebko. It is nearly sold out.

The Met is an important artistic home for Mr. Domingo, who has starred in more opening night performances there than anyone else (21, beating Enrico Caruso’s 17). The company spent last season celebrating the 50th anniversary of his Met debut; he was presented with a piece of its stage.

He is still on the bill for “Macbeth.” But the company said in a statement that it is awaiting the results of the Los Angeles investigation “before making any final decisions about Mr. Domingo’s ultimate future at the Met.”




https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/18/arts ... sment.html

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by Lance » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:46 pm

Well, I hope it all proves to be untrue. I have been a Domingo fan for as long as I can recall. I just did a count on the number of entries he appears on - CDs in my collection, and the count is nearly 200 entries (not total discs, which would thus be higher). Does all this mean radio stations NPR and Sirius XM won't be playing his recordings any longer if these charges have some credence? I will say the Sirius XM Radio does play operas and I hear James Levine's name being mentioned. Domingo spent some time in Binghamton, New York with Tri-Cities Opera in his early life. I was too young to know him at that time. Of the Three Tenors, the only one that doesn't seem to have any blemishes is José Carreras as far as I know.
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by John F » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:48 pm

It's a good thing that this #metoo isn't happening in the Japan of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Mikado":



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lTgUnOp6f8
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by John F » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:05 am

Placido Domingo Gets Standing Ovation at Salzburg Festival
8/26/2019
by Associated Press

Plácido Domingo received a standing ovation as he took to the stage at the Salzburg Festival on Sunday, a concerted show of support at his first performance since nine women accused him of sexual harassment in a report by The Associated Press.

Domingo and his co-stars in a concert of Verdi’s tragic opera “Luisa Miller” all shared in 10 minutes of applause at the end of the show -- but a standing ovation at the start of the show was for the 78-year-old opera legend alone. The singers walked out single file and the applause intensified as Domingo, second to last, appeared from behind the curtain, growing to a crescendo until most of the house was on its feet.

“Wonderful public, good performance all, I mean so much love from the public,” Domingo said after the show as he signed autographs at a side entrance for dozens of fans, many whom said they have followed the opera legend for decades.

The Domingo accusations have divided the opera world. Two U.S. opera houses immediately canceled planned appearances. European opera houses have so far confirmed engagements scheduled through November 2020, in what some see as an effort to slow a perceived rush to judgment in the #MeToo movement.

At the Salzburg Festival, the divide was largely viewed as geographical, with many seeing the seeing the case as a virulent form of particularly American political correctness and expressing outrage that U.S. engagements had been canceled without any judicial evidence of the claims, and with eight of the accusers maintaining anonymity.

“Domingo has wiped aside all the lies. He was great,” said Michael Burggasser, a German literature teacher in Vienna, who says he has appeared as an extra in productions featuring Domingo in the past. “It was an outstanding performance,” Burggasser said. “But it was also a public rehabilitation of Mr. Domingo. Because when the people stood up in the beginning and cheered for him - that expresses their support for him. And this great man deserved it. These accusations are ridiculous and just not true.”

Domingo received unwavering support from the festival, as well as his co-stars. Both soprano Nino Machaidze and tenor Piotr Beczala praised Domingo and the audience for their support as they greeted fans after the show. “He was concentrated on the work. He was wonderful, everything was dazzling,” Beczala said.

The AP story published last week detailed extensive allegations of sexual harassment by nine women against Domingo that spanned decades, starting in the 1980s. The women accused Domingo of using his power at the LA Opera, where he has been the longtime general director, and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships. Several of the woman said he dangled jobs and then sometimes punished them professionally if they refused his advances. Allegations included repeated phone calls, invitations to hotel rooms and his apartment, and unwanted touching and kisses.

In a statement to the AP, Domingo called the allegations “deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate” and said he believed his interactions with the women to be consensual. He hasn’t spoken publicly about the allegations since the article was published.

As he greeted fans, Domingo declined to discuss the accusations saying, “No, I cannot.”

Culture writer Hedwig Kainberger wrote in the Salzburger Nachrichten this week that there was no reason for Domingo not to sing at the festival. She noted that he has never had the sort of political power at the Salzburg Festival that he has in some U.S. opera houses. “However, Plácido Domingo has benefited a lot from public fame,” Kainberger added. “Therefore, in addition to the jubilation, he should also bear the criticism, listen to the protests, participate in the clarification and muster the courage to make any confessions.”

Domingo’s super fans were hearing none of that, persuaded that the U.S. reaction was an exaggeration. They shouted “Bravissimo” and “Victory” as Domingo crossed the street with his wife Marta and son Alvaro, who had accepted flowers before the show from fans waiting outside. Marta took a cellphone video of the adoring crowd.

Anne-Marie Lindauer, who says she has seen more than 200 Domingo performances over three decades, said she will never again go to the U.S. opera houses that have canceled him. “That’s prejudice,” she said. “Such anonymous allegations would not work like that in Europe.” American Kathleen Carlson said the “Luisa Miller” concert featuring Domingo was part of a five-opera European tour she is on, but that she never considered skipping after hearing of the allegations. “It didn’t bother me,” Carlson said. “The #MeToo movement in the United States, is kind of getting on my nerves as a female. People are coming out of the woodwork, and I mean, I understand it, but why did we wait so long. Is it just because it is the thing to do now?"

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news ... n-salzburg
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by diegobueno » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:34 am

Belle wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:07 pm
Half a dozen 'toxic males' saved the lives of Sydney-siders yesterday when a nutcase wielding a knife went on the rampage in the CBD killing 1 woman and badly injuring another. They held him down with cafe chairs and a milk crate over his head until police arrived. So enough of the politically-motivated epithets!!

Sorry, no use in making historic claims of abuse. It is a denial of the most basic justice in our societies: the presumption of innocence. Away with the witch hunts. BTW, I'm sure my hero Kleiber did much the same. Obviously it worked and there were willing participants. There is nothing "brave" about making allegations unlikely ever to be tested in court. Unless you subscribe to the idea of somebody doing the same to you. I am no fan of this power abuse from anybody but I am a fan of Justice and the rule of law.
So a man with a knife killed a woman and injured another. And you can't see any toxic males? This man was quite literally toxic. And I'm glad there were other good men around to stop him, but the term is still apt for the man who does violence against women. No one is saying "toxic masculinity" applies to all men.

Since Placido Domingo is not on trial, there is no "presumption of innocence" to invoke. What there are are a lot of women who've been treated very badly and will never see justice. They deserve to have their story told. And the men who behave like women are just sexual playthings for their own gratification need to understand that no matter how much power they hold, they too will be called to account.

"Placido Domingo, al cenar teco".

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by John F » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:03 am

diegobueno wrote:What there are are a lot of women who've been treated very badly and will never see justice.
Correction: they claim they have been treated badly, but that's not good enough. Mere accusation is not evidence, and opinions differ on what is or is not bad treatment. They can "see justice" if they bring a civil suit against Domingo, as was successfully done against Bill Cosby, in his case both civil and criminal. But talking to investigative news reporters is easy; proving a case in a court of law, not so much. As far as I'm concerned, the alleged perpetrators should indeed be thought innocent until proven or at least decisively shown to be guilty.

Understand that I'm not excusing the kind of behavior alleged against Domingo, James Levine, and any number of other celebrities. And I'm not saying that those women are lying, though we really can't rule that out from the little we know. I'm just saying that this is no way to deal with an important social problem, and that those who make accusations against wealthy celebrities from whatever personal motives, potentially ruining their careers, should not necessarily be taken at their word. That's not justice.
Last edited by John F on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:25 am

I'm waiting to see what the LA investigation comes up with. Len

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by John F » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:14 am

That's the least we should do, keeping an open mind - and the investigation's conclusions should be the beginning of whatever process follows, not the end of it.
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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:50 am

John F wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:14 am
That's the least we should do, keeping an open mind - and the investigation's conclusions should be the beginning of whatever process follows, not the end of it.
John Placido's Macbeth's are coming up-first one is scheduled for sept 25-wonder how gelb will handle it? Len

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by jserraglio » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:09 pm

The presumption of innocence cannot inoculate Domingo from public accountability for his actions any more than it did William Preucil (fired as concertmaster by the Cleveland Orchestra for repeated sexual misconduct). LA Opera should see what a professional investigation turns up and go from there.

And if it were easy to talk to investigative journalists on the record about their claims of Domingo's misdoings, then more than one of his nine accusers would have done so. What the AP report uncovered from different and independent firsthand sources was a pattern of alleged abusive behavior with a similar MO. Is that proof positive? No. Is it significant evidence of wrongdoing? You bet.

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Re: Women: Placido Domingo abused his power to sexually harass us

Post by jserraglio » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:54 am

So the AP and the Times report that Old Europe applauds Placido while America, my new-found-land may be shunning him.

Which gives me hope that American exceptionalism is not dead yet, though it does appear to be on life support.

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