LA Opera Hires Outside Counsel to Manage the Placido Domingo Crisis

Placido Domingo during an LA Opera educational initiative (photo: LA Opera)

The LA Opera is now responding to a full-blown crisis involving its General Director Placido Domingo.

The famed opera star is now besieged with allegations rampant sexual abuse involving nine different women.  That has put at least two major organizations in a pickle, including the LA Opera (the other being the global recording industry trade group, IFPI, where Domingo sits as Chairman).

Both groups have hoisted the legendary Domingo as their chief ambassador and public face.  Accordingly, both are now grappling with high-prile PR disasters.

On Tuesday, the LA Opera issued a formal statement on the matter.  As General Director, Domingo is the most recognizable face the LAO, though the Opera has quickly hired outside counsel to advise on next steps.

Here’s the LA Opera’s formal statement on the matter, which is also posted on their website.

August 13, 2019

We believe all employees and artists should be treated respectfully and feel safe and secure within their work environment.

LA Opera has robust human resources policies and procedures in place. In accordance with those policies, LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Plácido Domingo.

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

As for the IFPI, a formal announcement has yet to be issued, though the group has indicated that a formal investigation is underway.  Placido Domingo has been an Honorary Chairman at the trade group since 2011.

In all fairness, Domingo himself has also issued his own statement on the allegations.

The opera singer has stated that the facts have not been properly presented, as that he isn’t guilty sexual abuse or sexually aggressive behavior.  Here’s his statement, also issued with the last 24 hours.

“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.

“Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, fend, or embarrass anyone.

“However, I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past. I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”

More as this develops.