Plácido Domingo drops upcoming shows at Spanish opera venue


FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2019 file photo, opera star Placido Domingo salutes spectators at the end of a concert in Szeged, Hungary. The Spanish government on Wednesday Feb. 26, 2020 has decided to cancel the participation of tenor Placido Domingo in Madrid’s La Zarzuela opera theater in May 2020 in light of the latest developments in the sexual misconduct allegations against the legendary singer. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh, File)

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MADRID (AP) — Global opera star Plácido Domingo has canceled his upcoming performances at one of Spain’s main opera houses as officials and music venues in the tenor’s home country reassess their ties after he apologized for sexually harassing women over the course of two decades.

A statement from the Teatro Real in Madrid said that Domingo himself had taken the step of canceling his part in the upcoming “La Traviata,” with five shows scheduled in May, ahead of a meeting on Thursday in which the venue’s patrons were to decide on his case.

Domingo “won’t be taking part in the upcoming production of La Traviata that opens in May,” said the brief statement.

The theater, it added, “reaffirms in its policy of zero tolerance of harassment and abuse of any kind, and in its permanent solidarity with the victims.”

A musical association in the Spanish city of Úbeda also announced Thursday in a statementon its Facebook page that it was canceling Domingo’s scheduled performance for May 3 in light of this week’s developments.

On Wednesday, the Spanish government canceled two other upcoming performances by Domingo in the Spanish capital, making Spain the first country in Europe to cancel on the megastar since the allegations from women surfaced last year in the United States.

The Culture Ministry said the cancellation was in support of the women who have accused the tenor of misconduct and take a stand against sexual harassment.

That came a day after Domingo said he accepted “full responsibility” for his actions and apologized for “the hurt” he had cause women in response to an investigation by the main U.S. union representing opera performers that found the opera star had behaved inappropriately when he held senior management positions at the Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

People familiar with the probe by the American Guild of Musical Artists, one of the two independent inquires launched last year, told The Associated Press that 27 people are claiming they were sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behavior by Domingo.

Domingo’s response marked a stunning reversal from the megastar’s initial statements in which he had denied wrongdoing. Many commentators, politicians and fellow artists in Spain came to his defense when AP first reported on the allegations last year.

U.S. companies swiftly moved to cancel performances and severe their ties with Domingo, but barring Spain’s recent moves there have so far been no other cancellations in Europe. His next scheduled show is on March 22 in Hamburg, Germany.

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