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Placido Domingo Will Never Again Appear at the Met

Opera singer withdraws from all future performances
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2019 5:40 PM CDT
Opera star Placido Domingo performs during a concert in Szeged, Hungary, on Aug. 28, 2019.   (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

(Newser) – On Friday, NPR published a story about employees at New York's Metropolitan Opera who are peeved they still have to work alongside Placido Domingo after he was accused by 20 women of sexual misconduct. On Monday evening, a new article from the outlet emerged, after it spoke to four longtime Met workers. Those employees told NPR that Peter Gelb, the opera house's general manager, held a 45-minute meeting Saturday with members of the orchestra and chorus, in advance of Wednesday's opening of Verdi's Macbeth that Domingo was to star in. The purpose of the meeting was reportedly to address why Gelb had not yet suspended Domingo, or even canned him altogether, and after the meeting it still didn't appear such action was coming. But on Tuesday, the Met announced Domingo had agreed to withdraw from all future performances, the AP reports.

Gelb's biggest beefs, per the Met workers who talked to NPR about the Saturday meeting: that Domingo's accusers remained anonymous—which isn't true, as two so far have agreed to be named—and that they went only to the AP with their stories. Because they didn't talk to any other media, Gelb felt the AP story didn't have "corroboration." Gelb wouldn't talk to NPR, but in a statement, the Met acknowledged the meeting, said that Gelb "reiterated how seriously the Met takes accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power," and that if "corroborated evidence" came to light from probes by other opera houses or otherwise, "the Met would take prompt action." One chorus member's take: "Placido Domingo is a huge cash cow, and sometimes I feel like management cares more about money and reputation." For more on the reversal Tuesday and Domingo's withdrawal, see the AP. (Read more Placido Domingo stories.)

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