Opera icon Placido Domingo announced to The New York Times that he is dropping out of his performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York following a series of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
"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," Domingo said in a statement to the Times. "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 onstage 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."
Domingo was set to sing the titular role in Verdi's "Macbeth" for three performances at the Met starting Wednesday night. He had an additional engagement with the Met this season to perform a minor role in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly."
He went on to say in his Tuesday statement that he considers the dress rehearsal of "Macbeth" to be "my last performance on the Met stage."
In early August, the Associated Press published a report detailing nearly a dozen women's accusations of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior and retaliation. Domingo told the AP in a statement that the allegations were "deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate," adding that he "believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."
Three weeks later, the AP published a new round of reports with additional accusations, which a spokesperson for Domingo called an "ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo" that was "not only inaccurate but unethical."
LA Opera, where Domingo serves as general director, announced they were launching an independent investigation on him following the first AP report. The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) also announced they were launching their own wide-ranging independent investigation.
The Met had maintained that it would await the results of LA Opera's investigation before acting to change his appearances this season.
The company told The New York Times Tuesday, "The Metropolitan Opera confirms that Plácido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately. The Met and Mr. Domingo are in agreement that he needed to step down."
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.