In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations reported Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra has withdrawn its invitation for Plácido Domingo to appear with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the season’s gala opening concert on Sept. 18. It has not announced a replacement.
The Associated Press reported that the multiple-Grammy winner, 78, one of the most powerful and celebrated figures in the opera world, had sought sexual favors from women, pressured them to provide sexual favors by holding out job prospects, and punished them professionally if they refused.
Specific allegations from eight singers and a dancer claim the misconduct took place over decades beginning in the 1980s.
In an unsigned statement, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association affirmed a commitment to provide “a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment” for staff and artists:
“The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has withdrawn its invitation to Plácido Domingo to appear as part of its Opening Night concert on Sept. 18, 2019. We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities. Information about Opening Night artist and program changes will be announced at a later date.”
In addition to the action taken by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Opera also announced Tuesday the cancellation of an October concert featuring Domingo. The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, announced that it has undertaken an independent investigation.
The Philadelphia concert, which the orchestra hoped would punctuate Nézet-Séguin’s eighth season as music director, is to feature highlights from the Italian opera repertoire.