LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Opera star Placido Domingo resigned Wednesday (Oct. 2) as general director of the Los Angeles Opera and withdrew from all future performances, following allegations from more than 20 women who say the legendary tenor sexually harassed them there and at opera companies around the country over a period of decades, according to The Associated Press.
Many said Domingo tried to pressure them into sexual relationships and sometimes punished them professionally if they rejected him. All said they feared reporting him because of his power to make or break their careers, and that his behavior was an open secret in the opera world, reports the AP.
In a statement Wednesday, Domingo said that his ability to continue at LA Opera, which he helped found during the 1980s, was “compromised” by the accusations against him.
“I hold Los Angeles Opera very dearly to my heart and count my work to create and build it as among my most important legacies. However, recent accusations that have been made against me in the press have created an atmosphere in which my ability to serve this company that I so love has been compromised.”
Domingo went on to say that he would continue to work to clear his name but has decided “it is in the best interests of LA Opera for me to resign as general director and withdraw from my future scheduled performances at this time.”
The resignation comes a week after the Metropolitan Opera’s announcement that Domingo would not be taking the stage in the season premiere of “Macbeth.” Three other companies – the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera – had already removed Domingo from upcoming performances in the wake of the AP stories.
Domingo has denied any wrongdoing, and has called the claims “in many ways, simply incorrect.”