Domingo apologises after harassment probe

An investigation has found opera star Placido Domingo behaved inappropriately with female musicians.
An investigation has found opera star Placido Domingo behaved inappropriately with female musicians.

Opera singer Placido Domingo has apologised to the women who accused him of sexual harassment after an investigation found he behaved inappropriately with female musicians.

One of the most feted and powerful opera stars of the modern era, Domingo said in a statement he had spent several months reflecting on the allegations made by his musical colleagues.

"I respect that these women finally felt comfortable enough to speak out, and I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them," he said on Tuesday.

More than three dozen singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff have said they witnessed or experienced inappropriate behaviour by the 79-year-old Spanish singer towards women at different opera houses over the last three decades.

A former prosecutor was hired to investigate the complaints last September by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the labour union that represents performers and producers in opera houses and concert halls across the United States.

The union, of which Domingo is a member, announced its findings on Tuesday.

"The investigation concluded that Mr Domingo had, in fact, engaged in inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace," the statement said.

"Many of the witnesses expressed fear of retaliation in the industry as their reason for not coming forward sooner."

Domingo said in his statement he now understood the women's fear.

"While that was never my intention, no one should ever be made to feel that way," he said.

"I am committed to effecting positive change in the opera industry so that no one else has to have that same experience."

The union declined to make public its full report. Its board of governors will take "appropriate action," the union statement said.

Union spokeswoman Alicia Cook declined to discuss what action it would take regarding Domingo.

Australian Associated Press