Singer says opera's Domingo harassed her, grabbed her breast

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The singer said Domingo then turned and walked away, leaving her stunned and humiliated.

The glittering production was a high point of the Washington Opera's 1999-2000 season: Jules Massenet's"Le Cid," about a legendary Spanish conqueror, starring a tenor legendary in his own right — Placido Domingo, then the company's artistic director.

Wilson, now 48 and a college voice teacher in the Dallas area, was one of 11 women to come forward after an Aug. 13 AP story in which numerous women accused the long-married, Spanish-born superstar of sexual harassment or inappropriate, sexually charged behavior and of sometimes damaging their careers if they rejected him.

The AP obtained a copy of an email sent Thursday to LA Opera employees saying that administrators, who hired outside counsel to investigate after the initial accusations,"are very troubled by the ongoing allegations raised by the Associated Press, and take them very seriously." The email noted that Domingo would not be involved in day-to-day management until the investigation concluded and asked employees not to comment publicly.

"We created these elaborate schemes for keeping him away from particular singers," McLain said."I never would have sent any woman of any sort into his dressing room." Another costume employee described narrowly avoiding a wet kiss on the lips from Domingo by turning her head at the last minute so it landed on the side of her mouth. She said she reported it to a supervisor who told her to avoid being alone with Domingo.

Domingo's sometimes brazen backstage pursuits were an open topic of discussion, according to a number of singers and others in the industry. Baritone Robert Gardner said he was surprised the star's behavior hadn't become public sooner"given his reputation inside the industry." Though she strenuously tried to avoid him, she said his pursuit seemingly had no bounds and that she feared leaving her dressing room if he was in the hallway. Though Domingo did not physically touch her, she said there was no mistaking his intentions.

"I would say 'No, maestro.' I said that a lot. I felt like if I put 'maestro' on it, it would still be respectful," she said. For the rest of the run, she said,"I would lock my dressing room door. My dresser would tell me if he was outside. She would tell me if he was in the hall and if it was safe."

 

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