Plácido Domingo stepped down from performing at the Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday amid mounting pressure for the New York opera house to respond to allegations of sexual harassment against the legendary singer.
Domingo and the Met each announced the split the day before opening night of Verdi’s “Macbeth,” in which Domingo was slated to star.
“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, according to The New York Times.
He continued: “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 said he would consider the last dress rehearsal for “Macbeth” as his final performance on the Met stage.
“The Metropolitan Opera confirms that Plácido Domingo has agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately,” the opera company said in its own statement on Tuesday. “The Met and Mr. Domingo are in agreement that he needed to step down.”
Domingo has faced scrutiny since August when several women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Eight singers and one dancer told The Associated Press that the opera star had a history of pressuring women into sexual relationships in exchange for jobs and on occasion punished women professionally when they refused his advances. Three accusers said Domingo forcibly kissed them, and one woman said the singer stuck his hand down her skirt.