Opera star Plácido Domingo has resigned as the Los Angeles Opera’s general director in the wake of a string of sexual harassment allegations against him, which he has denied.
Domingo’s resignation on Wednesday included his withdrawal from all future scheduled performances at the opera, where he’s performed over the span of five decades.
In a statement to the opera that was obtained by HuffPost, Domingo said the recent accusations “have created an atmosphere in which my ability to serve this Company that I so love has been compromised.”
Domingo, 78, said in his statement that while he works to clear his name, he resigns “with a heavy heart and at the same time wish to convey to the company’s dedicated board and hard-working staff my deepest wishes that LA Opera continues to grow and excel.”
The performances at the LA Opera were his last remaining scheduled events in the United States, after the Spanish-born singer withdrew last week from all future performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he’s performed for 51 years.
Several other prominent ensembles in the U.S. ― such as the San Francisco Opera, the Washington National Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra ― have also canceled his appearances. He still has scheduled performances in Europe.
The withdrawals and cancellations occurred after several women within the industry came forward in August with allegations of sexual misconduct against the opera superstar, some dating back to the 1980s. Eight singers and one dancer told The Associated Press that Domingo had a history of pressuring women into sexual relationships in exchange for jobs, and would sometimes punish women professionally if they refused his advances. Nearly three dozen people in the industry told AP they witnessed Domingo behaving inappropriately toward younger women.
In September, 11 additional women came forward with new allegations that for years they’ve experienced unwanted touching, attempted kissing, phone calls late at night and repeated pressuring for private get-togethers from Domingo. That report put the number of accusers at 20.
Domingo, who for decades has been considered one of the most powerful men in opera, has denied the allegations in the past, calling them both “deeply troubling” and “inaccurate.”
The American Guild of Musical Artists, a union representing opera singers, announced last month that it has launched an independent investigation into the allegations. The LA Opera said in August that it had hired outside counsel to investigate the allegations.
The executive committee of the LA Opera board of directors released a statement Wednesday in response to Domingo’s resignation, saying his “contributions to the cultural life of Los Angeles have been unprecedented and profound.” Domingo gave more than 300 performances in 31 different roles during his time at the opera, according to the committee.
“We thank Plácido for popularizing opera in the consciousness of Los Angeles and are deeply grateful for his inspiration and dedication to our institution and our community,” the committee said.