Harassment allegations against Placido Domingo
Accusations of harassment against Placido Domingo have prompted several operas to cancel the Spanish tenor's performances. In a media report nine women have accused Domingo of using his power and fame to try to pressure them into sexual relationships. The 78-year-old superstar has denied the allegations in a written statement. Not all commentators believe this will help his situation.
Pride comes before the fall
Domingo is too sure of himself, Polityka comments:
“He ended his statement with the arrogant words that he 'was very grateful for the more than 50 years of his opera career and will continue to set the highest standards for himself.' The question is, however, whether he will have the opportunity to do so. A few hours after the scandal was made public Placido Domingo's performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra were cancelled. There is already speculation online that managers [of the operas] in San Francisco and New York could follow suit. Although he is defended by friends of many years who publicly question the singer's guilt, he may have trouble ridding himself of the sexual offender label.”
A major victory for courageous women
The debate about the opera singer shows what the MeToo movement has achieved, El Periódico de Catalunya comments:
“In his defence, Domingo stressed that the 'rules and codes of conduct according to which we are, and should be, judged today are very different from what they were in the past.' Fortunately this is true. And this progress was not spontaneous but came thanks to the courage of the many women who have dared to publicly denounce situations in which they were harassed and abused. Campaigns like MeToo have made the suffering of countless women who were victims of a macho mentality that wanted to dominate their bodies and careers visible. ... Faced with the impunity of the aggressors and the silent complicity, feminism is pointing out new paths towards a more just and fair society.”
A vile conspiracy?
Music journalist Dimitar Sotirov suspects Domingo is the victim of a conspiracy. He writes in e-vestnik:
“The extraordinary position Domingo occupies on the opera Olympus has long been a source of mixed feelings. Again and again attempts have been made to dethrone him and his family - referred to by some as the Domingo clan. So would it be so surprising if those who are annoyed that he has occupied opera's most illustrious throne for so long now resorted to different means to compromise him publicly? ... What's more, the accusations are also shrouded in anonymity. Of the nine women who have made accusations against him and the dozen more who support their claims, only the mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf has allowed her name to be used.”