Embattled opera star Placido Domingo resigns from LA Opera

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Legendary opera singer Placido Domingo, who is facing myriad sexual harassment accusations, has resigned as general director of the Los Angeles Opera.

"Recent accusations that have been made against me in the press have created an atmosphere in which my ability to serve this company that I so love has been compromised," Domingo, 78, wrote in a statement to AFP on Wednesday.

"While I will continue to work to clear my name, I have decided that it is in the best interests of LA Opera for me to resign as its general director and withdraw from my future scheduled performances at this time.

"I do so with a heavy heart and at the same time wish to convey to the company's dedicated board and hard-working staff my deepest wishes that the LA Opera continue to grow and excel."

The LA Opera issued a statement thanking the legendary singer, who has been at the helm of the institution since 2003, and crediting him for cultural contributions to the city that are "unprecedented and profound."

His resignation comes a week after Domingo announced that he was withdrawing from all performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

The 11th-hour decision came just one night before the Spaniard dubbed the "King of Opera" was scheduled to perform the title role in the Met's sold-out first production of "Macbeth."

In August, eight singers and a dancer told the Associated Press about incidents going back to the 1980s, including one in which a woman said Domingo put his hand down her skirt while three others said he forcibly kissed them.

A subsequent report by the US news agency cited 11 more women, including one who said he reached down her robe to grab her bare breast.

The reports painted a portrait of a man who acted with impunity, shielded by his power as one of opera's foremost stars, as a whisper network formed warning women of his alleged reputation.