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Plácido Domingo leaves Met Opera over sexual harassment claims

Placido Domingo singing on stage with an orchestra behind him Image copyright AFP
Image caption A total of 20 women accused Placido Domingo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour

The Metropolitan Opera has ended its relationship with the renowned tenor Plácido Domingo over allegations of sexual harassment by several women.

Domingo, 78, was due to sing the title role in the Met's production of Verdi's Macbeth, opening on Wednesday evening.

But the singer, who denies the allegations, said in a statement on Tuesday that his 51-year relationship with the opera house was over.

Several other companies had already cancelled his concerts over the claims.

A total of 20 women have now accused the Spanish singer of harassment, inappropriate sexual behaviour and of sometimes using his position in the industry to harm their careers if they rejected him. Their claims were published in two reports by the Associated Press news agency.

The Met Opera said in a statement that Domingo had "agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, effective immediately", adding: "The Met and Domingo are in agreement that he needed to step down. The Met has no further comment at this time."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Domingo, left, performed with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti as The Three Tenors - pictured in concert in LA in 1994

AP reports that the opera house's general manager, Peter Gelb, had told performers at a dress rehearsal on Saturday that he was waiting for the results of investigations by the LA Opera - which Domingo directs - before cancelling the singer's appearances.

He had been scheduled to perform in Macbeth on 25 and 28 September and 1 October, as well as four dates in Madama Butterfly in November.

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Domingo said he considered the Macbeth dress rehearsal to be his "last performance on the Met stage".

"I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 27 and have sung at this magnificent theatre for 51 consecutive, glorious years," he said.

"While I strongly dispute recent allegations made about me, and I am concerned about a climate in which people are condemned without due process, upon reflection, I believe that my appearance in this production of Macbeth would distract from the hard work of my colleagues both on stage and behind the scenes."

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