MILAN – While two U.S. opera houses immediately canceled performances by famed tenor Placido Domingo following sexual harassment allegations, European opera houses are taking stances ranging from supportive to wait-and-see.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera immediately announced they would cancel upcoming performances featuring the star.
The Los Angeles Opera opened an investigation following an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades and relating to incidents in the U.S.
In Europe, there were no immediate cancellations of the 78-year-old Domingo's performances and even some words of support for the star.
Opera world officials noted that no charges had been brought against Domingo and no formal judicial investigations were underway that might provide legal underpinning to cancel any contractual obligations.
The stark differences in the levels of urgency in the responses underline the differences in the footing of the #MeToo movement on both sides of the Atlantic.
Opera houses in the United States might consider the possibility of damaging protests outside their venues if they maintained the scheduled performances.
But in Europe, Domingo's status as one of the most popular and influential figures in the opera world could trigger a backlash against venues if performances were canceled without due process, said one opera official.
Domingo did not respond to detailed questions from the AP about specific incidents, but issued a statement calling the allegations “deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.”