Scandal-hit Placido Domingo withdraws from Tokyo Olympic event
Scandal-hit opera star Placido Domingo, who is facing multiple sexual harassment accusations, announced Friday he would withdraw from a cultural event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, citing the project's "complexity".
In a statement released by the 2020 organizers, Domingo made no mention of the allegations, which he denies.
"After thoughtful consideration I have made the decision not to participate in the Kabuki-Opera event due to the complexity of the project," he said.
He saluted the performance planned for April 2020 as "a wonderful cultural initiative" that would "unite the two cultures on the same stage, in perfect harmony with the Olympic spirit."
The organizers said the decision was made by Domingo "after thoughtful consideration" and "mutual consultation." The panel had accepted Domingo's decision not to take part in part of a "Tokyo 2020 Nippon Festival" to promote Japanese culture.
Domingo has already withdrawn from all future performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera in September, and said he would never perform there again.
Effectively ending his U.S. career, he also stepped down as general director of the Los Angeles Opera, saying accusations of sexual misconduct had compromised his ability to continue.
The famed singer has been accused by 20 women of forcibly kissing, grabbing or fondling them in incidents dating back to at least the 1980s.
Reports have painted a portrait of a man who acted with impunity, shielded by his power as one of opera's foremost stars.
Domingo, who has been a conductor and director of some of the world's most prestigious opera houses, and debuted at the Met at age 27, has called the allegations against him "deeply troubling and, as presented, inaccurate."
He has argued that "all my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."
So far, Domingo's career has been less affected by the scandal in Europe than in the United States.
He has performed in Austria and Hungary since the allegations were published, and expressed his joy last month over a concert in Moscow.
(With input from AFP and Reuters)
(Cover image: Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo speaks onstage during his 50th anniversary celebration at the season premiere of Puccini's "Il Trittico" in the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, U.S., November 23, 2018. /VCG Photo)