NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Placido Domingo has stepped down from the Metropolitan Opera amid sexual harassment allegations.
After 51 consecutive seasons with the Met, tonight’s opening performance of “Macbeth” will go on without the world-renowned tenor’s booming voice.
The 78-year-old singer and conductor has denied the claims.
“I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 27 and have sung at this magnificent theater for 51 consecutive, glorious years,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
“While I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due process, upon reflection, I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes. As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request.
“I am happy that, at the age of 78, I was able to sing the wonderful title role in the dress rehearsal of Macbeth, which I consider my last performance on the Met stage. I am grateful to God and the public for what they have allowed me to accomplish here at The Metropolitan opera.”
The news elicited mixed emotions from opera fans.
“I think it’s good that women have the courage to come out,” one woman said.
“I wrote to them a couple of weeks ago and said could you please change him?” said Stephen Mead.
“He is not only the best opera singer, but also he’s the nicest person. Always so generous to the opera goes and also to all the people I saw around him,” another fan added.
“I think it’s a very sad occasion for his audience and for people who care about opera,” said another man.
While some of the accusers say they’re relieved Domingo is leaving, their attorneys say it took public pressure for the Met to address their allegations.
One alleged victim’s attorney is demanding the Met revoke earlier statements that questioned the validity of the claims because most of the women chose to remain anonymous.
“It appears that while the pain and indignity of more than 20 women who were sexually harassed by Mr. Domingo was not enough for the Met to do the right thing, but the public outcry was,” attorney Debra Katz said in a statement.
“The fact that women perceived Mr. Domingo as all-powerful in the opera world – such that they feared attaching their names to their accounts of sexual harassment — is quiet understandable. That you chose to ignore them and write them off because their victimization has made them too scared to use their names is not.”
Now, a new singer’s name is taped over where Domingo’s was for tonight’s performance.