Internationally-renowned opera singer Plácido Domingo is returning to Israel for a concert at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena, on September 4.
The 12-time Grammy winner spent three years at the beginning of his career as an opera singer in the Israeli Opera, in the 1960s. The concert is touted as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of that collaboration, which he says helped him develop the necessary technique and voice to succeed in the largest opera houses in the world.
The production will feature the widely-acclaimed Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, led by Domingo’s good friend, American maestro Eugene Kohn.
Sexual assault allegations
The 81-year-old Domingo’s arrival comes amid the backdrop of sexual assault allegations against him.
The Los Angeles Opera, co-founded by Domingo, had announced in February 2020 that investigators had received 10 accusations against the singer involving inappropriate conduct with women. Following investigations, Domingo withdrew from all US performances but continued to perform in Europe.
Protesters and defenders of the #MeToo movement expressed concern following the Israeli Opera’s announcement that year to host a week-long singing competition starring Domingo. Some accused the opera to be outdated and disconnected from the reality of women in the 21st century. Before the event was cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Israeli Opera posted a statement arguing that “since many leading opera houses around the world decided to continue inviting Mr. Domingo to their stages, [the opera] saw no reason not to act in the same way.”
Earlier this year, Domingo addressed the allegations for the first time, telling El Mundo that he never harassed anyone and said he felt that he had been convicted in the court of public opinion because he did not speak out.
“The main mistake I made was to remain silent for too much time,” he said in written answers to questions from the paper. “I don’t like controversy. For that reason, I stood aside and kept my counsel, while watching how, in an instant, years of work and effort were erased.”
It remains to be seen whether news of his upcoming performance in Israel may spark protests similar to those that greeted the 2020 shows.
Reuters contributed to this report.