February 26, 2020 / 5:39 PM / a month ago

Spain cancels Placido Domingo performances over sexual misconduct allegations

FILE PHOTO: Opera singer Placido Domingo speaks during an event at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, U.S., May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s culture ministry on Wednesday cancelled performances by Placido Domingo in Madrid in May following allegations of sexual harassment by the opera star.

The ministry said it had called off the Spanish singer’s performance in the operetta “Luisa Fernanda” at the Zarzuela Theatre on May 14 and 15 in solidarity with women who had been affected by his alleged sexual misconduct.

The publicly funded theatre will still stage the shows, but without Domingo.

The ministry’s National Institute of Performing Arts and Music expressed “strong support” for the women who have accused Domingo of sexual misconduct and rejected “all types of harassment, abusive and dominating behaviour”.

Domingo apologised to the women who have accused him of sexual harassment on Tuesday after an investigation by the American Guild of Musical Artists concluded he had behaved inappropriately with female performers.

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

The Spanish decision contrasts with the Salzburg Festival directorate, which said on Tuesday it would go ahead with a scheduled performance by Domingo pending more information from the investigation in the United States.

Reporting by Jessica Jones and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Inti Landauro and Giles Elgood

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