Spain canceled Wednesday for the first time the participation in a performance by the lyric singer Placido Domingo, after he admitted Tuesday his “responsibility” in a sexual harassment scandal, according to a statement from an official body.
The National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (Inaem), under the authority of the Ministry of Culture, has announced that it has canceled the artist’s participation in the performances of May 14 and 15 at the Zarzuela National Theater in Madrid, “out of solidarity with the women concerned”.
Since the affair broke out in August, no theater or opera in Spain has yet canceled the famous Madrid tenor who has become baritone. Placido Domingo is a national monument of culture in his native country, where several lyrical singers who sang alongside him took public defense in August.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the 79-year-old artist, who had so far denied, first apologized to the 20 or so women who accused him of sexual harassment in the United States. “I am sincerely sorry for the suffering I caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he wrote.
This mea culpa coincided with the publication of an independent investigation commissioned by the American Union of Opera Artists (AGMA) and concluding that he had “behaved inappropriately, ranging from flirting to sexual advances, breastfeeding and outside his workplace. “
In an investigation published in August by the Associated Press (TEH), nine women claimed to have been harassed by him from the end of the 1980s. AP had published in September a second investigation affirming that eleven other women, also saying they victims, had come forward.
Placido Domingo was to be on May 14 and 15 one of the interpreters of the lyrical comedy “Luisa Fernanda” by Federico Moreno Torroba, in the Madrid theater where he made his debut 50 years ago. The show is maintained but without it.
Inaem explains that it has decided to cancel it “faced with the gravity of the facts and after the declarations of Placido Domingo by which it assumes + full responsibility for its acts +”.
INAEM and the Ministry of Culture jointly expressed in the press release “their support for women and the rejection of any type of harassment, abusive behavior or expression of domination”, while the government of the union of the left led by the socialist Pedro Sanchez wants to be at the forefront of feminism.
The Royal Theater of Madrid (Teatro Real), one of the most important opera houses in Spain, told AFP on Tuesday that the program including Placido Domingo was maintained. His participation is announced in “La Traviata”, scheduled from May 9.
The artist had been applauded in December for Verdi’s “Nabucco” at the Valence Opera House (south-east). Now, the Palau de Les arts de Valence must assess “the potential consequences” of the new information, said Tuesday Jesus Iglesias, artistic director of the institution, whose development center is named after the singer.