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Opera legend Plácido Domingo quits Metropolitan Opera after sexual harassment allegations

Plácido Domingo steps down from the Met

Legendary opera star Plácido Domingo has stepped down from the title role in the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Macbeth," one day before opening night, and has withdrawn from all future performances, the opera confirmed in a statement. Multiple women initially accused Domingo of sexual harassment and others have come forward since, according to The Associated Press.

"I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 27 and have sung at this magnificent theater for 51 consecutive, glorious years," wrote the 78-year-old. Domingo added that while he strongly disputes the allegations and is "concerned" about the current climate where individuals are "condemned without due process," he thinks his appearance would distract from the "hard work" of his colleagues.

"As a result, I have asked to withdraw and I thank the leadership of the Met for graciously granting my request," the performer confirmed. "I am happy that, at the age of 78, I was able to sing the wonderful title role in the dress rehearsal of Macbeth, which I consider my last performance on the Met stage. I am grateful to God and the public for what they have allowed me to accomplish here at The Metropolitan opera."

Plácido Domingo Getty

Tensions rose backstage at the Met in the days before the decision, reports The New York Times. The company's general manager, Peter Gelb, held a meeting with the production's orchestra and chorus after the dress rehearsal Saturday. During the meeting some questioned what the legend's appearance at the Met indicated about the organization's commitment to protecting women and uncovering sexual harassment, according to the Times.

The San Francisco Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra canceled the star's upcoming performances in August, soon after the reports.

The Los Angeles Opera, where he is now the director, said it will hire outside counsel to investigate the allegations after they came to light. The opera, which is now conducting an internal investigation, opened its 34th season earlier this month without the star, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Eight singers and one dancer told the AP they were sexually harassed by Domingo in the August 13 story. In addition to the nine accusers, a half-dozen other women said that suggestive overtures by Domingo made them uncomfortable.

Eleven women have since come forward after the story, accusing the star of sexual harassment or inappropriate, sexually charged behavior and of sometimes damaging their careers if they rejected him, reports the outlet.

Retired opera singer and alleged victim Patricia Wulf spoke with CBS News in August. She starred with Domingo in the Washington Opera in 1998 and said he did the same thing after every performance.

 "He would come up to me very close to my face and very clearly say, 'Patricia, do you have to go home tonight,'" Wulf said.

She had heard the rumors that Domingo relentlessly pressured women to sleep with him.

"I don't think he wanted to play dominoes or cards. I feel very sure it was sexual harassment," she said.

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