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Plácido Domingo Leaves Met Opera Amid Sexual Harassment Inquiry


Plácido Domingo Leaves Met Opera Amid Sexual Harassment Inquiry

For decades, Mr. Domingo was one of the Met’s most valuable stars. It was a unique partnership between singer and company: Mr. Domingo starred in more opening-night performances than anyone else — 21, beating Enrico Caruso’s record of 17. He sang on its stage hundreds of times in a wide variety of roles, moving to lower baritone parts when he could no longer hit a tenor’s high notes, and was also a regular presence in the pit conducting its orchestra. Last year, when the Met celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mr. Domingo’s debut, Mr. Gelb presented him with a piece of the Met stage.

In the wake of the published reports, the Met said that it would await the results of an investigation by Los Angeles Opera “before making any final decisions about Mr. Domingo’s ultimate future at the Met.” And some people rallied behind Mr. Domingo, including his “Macbeth” co-star, the soprano Anna Netrebko, who wrote on Instagram that she was looking forward to sharing the stage “with fantastic Plácido Domingo!” Even after the accusations surfaced, he was greeted with standing ovations at appearances in Europe, including at the prestigious Salzburg Festival.

But things at the Met came to a head on Saturday afternoon, after Mr. Domingo appeared at the final dress rehearsal of “Macbeth.” Mr. Gelb called the meeting after NPR published an account of the concerns of some members of the company.

Mr. Gelb told the gathering that no formal complaints against Mr. Domingo had been made to the Met; that he thought the multiple accusations reported so far had lacked sufficient corroboration; and that he believed the right course was to await the results of investigations underway elsewhere — including at the Los Angeles Opera, where Mr. Domingo is the general director, and by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union representing many opera house employees — before taking any action, according to five people who attended.

At the meeting, one member of the chorus expressed support for Mr. Gelb’s approach, several people who attended said. But all the other speakers were critical. Several company members told Mr. Gelb that they were being put in an uncomfortable situation by having to rehearse and perform with Mr. Domingo, and questioned whether the Met’s wait-and-see stance was appropriate.

Patricia Wulf, a mezzo-soprano who described to The Associated Press repeated, unwanted propositions by Mr. Domingo when she sang with him in Washington, noted in an interview with The Times on Tuesday that her account had been corroborated — by her husband, whom she told at the time, and a colleague who used to walk her to her car at work because she feared going alone.

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