Opera legend Plácido Domingo denied ever abusing his power during his management tenure at two US opera houses in an interview with the AP on Sunday, as he embarks on a full-throttle campaign to clear his name after two investigations found credible accusations he had engaged in "inappropriate conduct" with multiple women over a period of decades. Domingo deflected direct questions about whether he ever sexually harassed women, accusations that were first reported by the AP last summer. The allegations have crippled his career in the US as well as his native Spain. "I never promised a part to a singer, or never take a part from a singer," he said. "I have spent my whole life helping, and you know, encouraging and driving people."
He added that responsibilities within opera companies are divided, meaning he never had sole sway over casting decisions. Multiple performers said Domingo harassed them and abused his power while he held management positions at Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera, dangling career opportunities as he pursued sexual relationships with them. But Domingo, who was hospitalized with the coronavirus for 10 days, says he hopes to smooth out what he sees as a misunderstanding with Spanish officials and return to singing in the country. A US return seems less likely to him: "It's very sad for me not to be able to sing ... in the United States. I enjoy it so much," the 79-year-old said. "For over a half-century ... the public has been really, really extraordinary." (Domingo and the Met have indeed parted ways.)