Tenor Domingo blames accusations on cultural differences

International
Placido Domingo

FILE- In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, opera singer Placido Domingo performs during a concert in Szeged, Hungary. In an interview published Wednesday Dec. 4, 2019, in a leading Spanish newspaper, Domingo has sought to blame allegations of sexual harassment against him, on cultural differences between countries. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh, File)

MADRID (AP) — Plácido Domingo has sought to blame the allegations of sexual harassment against him on cultural differences between countries, adding that there are places nowadays where “one can’t say anything to a woman.”

In an interview published Wednesday in Spanish leading daily El País, the Madrid-born tenor said “here (in Spain) it’s not like that but in other places, and specifically in those groups from where the accusations come, it is.”

The Associated Press reported earlier this year allegations in the United States by more than 20 women of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. Some claimed that rejecting his advances hurt their musical careers.

Domingo, 78, denies the allegations.

While most of his U.S. dates were canceled in the wake of the reports and an investigation is under way at the Los Angeles Opera, European venues have supported Domingo and he has been greeted with ovations.

Some opera managers, notably at the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera, countered the reports by saying that the opera star had always behaved well in their venues.

Domingo told El País he believed harassment “should be punished in every moment and in all periods” but felt rules and standards had changed.

“What I meant, as a Spaniard, is that the use of the compliment, for example ‘what a nice suit you have, how well you look,’ that was something you could say 30 years ago, even two years ago.”

Domingo initially responded to the allegations, saying they were “in many ways, simply incorrect” and that at the time he believed his “interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.”

Domingo told El País that he wanted to continue singing and did not rule out performing again in the U.S.

‘‘If the opportunity arises, of course,’’ he said. “There are some offers. Not everywhere is (like) the Los Angeles or the Metropolitan (in New York).”

He ruled out taking legal action in the matter.

“You know it’s useless. Against a media outlet you have everything to lose, and as regards the accusers, I don’t intend taking reprisals against anybody.

“As I have said, I have not been accused of any crime and I don’t intend taking a case against anybody,” said Domingo.

Domingo has given several interviews recently in Europe.

“The accusations they make against me make no sense,” he said. “What I want is to stop talking about all of this.”

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This story corrects position of accent in El País.

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