ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
75°
Mostly Cloudy
H 80° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 80° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Today
    Mostly Cloudy. H 80° L 69°
  • heavy-rain-day
    80°
    Tomorrow
    Chance of Rain. H 80° L 69°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

News
LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations
Close

LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations

LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dwayne Newton
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 1994 file photo, Placido Domingo performs in the San Francisco Opera's production of "Herodiade" in San Francisco. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, the San Francisco Opera said it is canceling an October concert featuring Domingo after the publication of an Associated Press story that quoted numerous women as saying they were sexually harassed or subjected to inappropriate behavior by the superstar. (AP Photo/Dwayne Newton)

LA Opera to investigate Placido Domingo over accusations

Two music companies canceled appearances by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades.

Domingo has been general director of the LA Opera since 2003 and previously served as the company's artistic director, jobs that gave him the power to cast roles and — his accusers say — make, or break, careers.

Some of the women told the AP that Domingo used his power at the LA company and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships, with several saying that he dangled jobs and then sometimes punished them professionally if they refused his advances.

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera announced they would cancel upcoming performances featuring the star, regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of all time.

New York's Metropolitan Opera said it would await the results of LA Opera's investigation "before making any final decisions about Mr. Domingo's future at the Met," where he is scheduled to appear next month.

The 78-year-old Domingo is one of the industry's most powerful figures and more than three dozen people in the opera world told the AP that his behavior has long been an open secret.

The accusers who spoke to the AP — all but one of whom requested anonymity — said they had feared speaking out previously would kill their careers due to his immense standing.

Domingo issued a statement to the AP calling the allegations "deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate," adding "I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."

The LA Opera said it would hire outside counsel to investigate the "concerning allegations" against Domingo.

"Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of LA opera and the artistic culture of Los Angeles for more than three decades," the company said in a statement. "Nevertheless, we are committed to doing everything we can to foster a professional and collaborative environment where all our employees and artists feel equally comfortable, valued and respected."

Three women quoted in the story detailed encounters that they said occurred while working with Domingo at LA Opera, including one woman who told the AP that he stuck his hand down her skirt after urging her to come sing an aria for him at his apartment.

In canceling its invitation for Domingo to sing at its Sept. 18 opening gala, the Philadelphia Orchestra issued a statement saying: "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."

The San Francisco Opera said it would scrub a sold-out Oct. 6 concert featuring Domingo, which had been to mark his 50th anniversary with the company. It was promoted as a "special one performance-only event" with "one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera" and was one of several gala events this year to celebrate his legendary career.

The Met held a black-tie dinner in April for Domingo, where seats started at $2,500. He is scheduled to play the lead of "Macbeth" in three Met shows in September and October.

"We take accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power with extreme seriousness," the opera house said in a statement, noting that "Mr. Domingo has never been in a position to influence casting decisions for anyone other than himself" at the Met.

At the Salzburg Festival in Austria, where Domingo is scheduled to appear Aug. 31 — his next scheduled performance — festival president Helga Rabl-Stadler said organizers agreed he should appear as planned.

"I have known Placido Domingo for more than 25 years," Rabl-Stadler said in a statement. "In addition to his artistic competence, I was impressed from the very beginning by his appreciative treatment of all festival employees."

"I would find it factually wrong and morally irresponsible to make irreversible judgments at this point," she said.

Domingo served as artistic director for the Washington Opera from 1996-2003 and as the company's general director from 2003 to 2011, during which time its name was changed to Washington National Opera. In 2011, the company merged with the Kennedy Center.

In a joint statement to AP, the institutions said the allegations against Domingo predated the merger.

"The Kennedy Center did not receive any documented complaints about Mr. Domingo's behavior prior to WNO's affiliation with the Kennedy Center, and we have not received any since then," the statement said, adding that the company has "zero tolerance policies with regard to harassment, discrimination or abuse of any kind, and we take allegations of this nature very seriously."

Retired mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, the sole accuser to allow her name to be used, told the AP that Domingo behaved inappropriately with her when she worked at the Washington Opera.

Even after she repeatedly rebuffed his advances, she said, his persistence continued and he would often knock on her dressing room door, causing her to fear emerging if he was in the hallway.

Wulf recalled the compassion of a male colleague who offered to stand up for her if she wanted to report him. "They're not going to fire him — they'll fire me," she remembered telling him.

Too fearful to complain about Domingo at the time, Wulf said she spoke out now to end the culture of silence about abuse in the opera world.

"I'm stepping forward because I hope that it can help other women come forward, or be strong enough to say no," she said.

Read More

News

  • A new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio is pledging $5 million in aid to the Amazon, which has been swept by wildfires. >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, Earth Alliance, an environmental foundation that was created last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, launched the Amazon Forest Fund.  The alliance is also seeking donations to help repair the Brazilian rainforest, called the “lungs of the planet.” Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84% over the same period in 2018. The funds will be distributed to five local groups working to combat the problem: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni and Instituto Socioambiental. Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops are deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he wants to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms, won office after channeling outrage over the corruption scandals of the former government. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A large crowd gathered Sunday morning at RiverScape MetroPark for a service hosted by Kanye West. >> Read more trending news  Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and their children held the Sunday Service in support of the victims and survivors of the mass shooting at the city of Dayton’s historic Oregon District. Several other celebrities, including Dave Chappelle and Michael Che, of “Saturday Night Live,” also were seen at the service, which lasted about two hours. “The best way we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before,” Chappelle told the crowd. “We won’t let those people die in vain.” Two attendees said they had a great time at the service this morning. “It was really fun. I actually got to be a part of the Sunday Service choir,” Chaelyn Allen said. “We been rehearsing for, like, a few days this week, so it was really fun.” “I think it was awesome, a great cause,” Shantel Wilder said. “It feels good to be a part of it.”
  • Disney is completely reinventing Epcot. At its D23 expo in Anaheim, California, this weekend, the company announced some major changes coming to the park. >> Read more trending news  The company kicked off its announcements with Journey of Water, Inspired by 'Moana.' The attraction will let guests 'interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.' The upcoming 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride finally has a name. The company announced it will be called 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Cosmic Rewind. It will feature 'the first reverse launch into space.' In the park's Mission Space pavilion, the company announced a new restaurant called Space 220. It will open this winter and is described as 'an out-of-this-world culinary experience with celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.' The United Kingdom pavilion in the World Showcase will welcome the first attraction inspired by 'Mary Poppins' in Cherry Tree Lane, the company announced. We don't know a lot about this attraction other than it will be the first for the United Kingdom pavilion. The park also announced a new pavilion at World Celebration. It will be the home base for Epcot's signature festivals, providing a view of the World Showcase. The company said it will be a three-level structure and will become a new icon for Epcot. Finally, the company announced a new nighttime spectacular called 'HarmonioUS.' It is said to be the largest nighttime show created for a Disney park. Disney said it will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people around the world. For more information, visit the Disney Parks Blog.
  • Firefighters came to the rescue of a dog that got stuck on a roof overnight Saturday in Everett, Washington.  South County Fire tweeted that the dog went out an open window onto a narrow roof and couldn't turn around to get back in. Firefighters were able to get the scared pup back inside.
  • The Cocoa Beach Police Department arrested Joseph McKinney, 40, of Texas, after he allegedly threatened to conduct a shooting at a hotel. >> Read more trending news  Investigators said McKinney was taken into custody after he got off a cruise ship at Port Canaveral on Sunday morning.  Police responded to the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel on Friday after the hotel received an electronic guest review expressing McKinney’s displeasure about his recent stay, according to police. Officers said McKinney’s review contained threatening language and made reference to an “active shooter style” event at the hotel. McKinney was charged with making written threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. He was transported to the Brevard County Jail and is being held on $25,000 bail.
  • Atlanta police last week released a video showing a suspect in a shooting at a block party at the Atlanta University Center that wounded four students. No one has stepped forth to identify that man, so on Sunday, Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow said she is adding $3,000 more in reward money to better incentivize someone’s good citizenship. The reward will now be $5,000. “This is personal,” Winslow said after a short press conference near the AUC campus. “Parents send their children to our town. They need assurance that they are safe.” Four women — two students from Spelman College, two from Clark Atlanta University — were shot or grazed Tuesday night outside the Robert W. Woodruff Library during a party before the first day of school. Police believe the young man in the video was involved in a confrontation in which four or five shots were fired in the plaza crowded with 200 students. Police said that perhaps a second possible gunman was targeted by the suspect but that the women were not intended targets. One of the victims was shot in the chest, but all are expected to recover. Police said they are getting some tips but have not gotten enough information to make an arrest. Longtime civic activist Michael Langford said, “I want to appeal to the community at large because no crime occurs without someone knowing, hearing or seeing something. “And while the money is there, I want to appeal to your moral conscience to come forward because the only thing it takes for evil to exist in our community it for good people to sit back and do nothing.” Winslow said she had just met with student leaders to assure them of their safety. Both Atlanta and Atlanta University Center police said they have beefed up patrols in the areas that area. » RELATED: Concerns on Atlanta campuses after shooting » RELATED: Tighter campus security