Placido Domingo Steps Down From L.A. Opera Amid Harassment Allegations

Placido Domingo
Placido Domingo at a concert in Szeged, Hungary, in August Laszlo Balogh/AP/Shutterstock

Placido Domingo, the famed singer and conductor who has been the general director of LA Opera since 2003, resigned Wednesday amid an investigation into claims he sexually harassed more than 20 women over the past 30 years.

Domingo, 78, has denied the accusations, first reported in exposés by the Associated Press in August and September.

“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,” Domingo said  in a statement to media outlets. “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. While I will continue to work to clear my name, I have decided that it is in the best interests of LA Opera for me to resign as its general director and withdraw from my future scheduled performances at this time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that a letter to LA Opera staff from president and CEO Christopher Koelsch about Domingo’s departure noted the “painful and challenging period” for the company. He also wrote that the internal investigation will continue despite Domingo’s departure.

In its own official statement today, LA Opera did not mention the ongoing probe.

“Placido Domingo’s contributions to the cultural life of Los Angeles have been unprecedented and profound,” it read. “We thank Placido 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 news today comes after Domingo exited his role in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Met Opera in New York last week, just before the opening performance. He said it would not return to the famed venue, where the 12-time Grammy winner had performed each season for decades.

Time’s Up was among the groups that responded to the news Wednesday. “Sending gratitude to the silence breakers, and to many in the opera community who demanded accountability,” it wrote in a tweet.

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