LA Opera Determines Allegations of Sexual Harassment Against Domingo Are Credible

With all the COVID-19 news, you may have missed the LA Opera’s announcement that their investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against former General Director Plácido Domingo confirmed 10 counts of credible accusations.

An article written by Jessica Gelt in the 3/10/2020 edition of the LA Times provides a good bit of detail. Here are some highlights that should catch your attention:

  1. Only a summary of the report will be released but it will include no details about the nature of inappropriate conduct.
  2. Even the LA Opera board will not receive copies of the report. Instead, they received an oral report via closed session meeting.
  3. While investigators found all the accusers to be credible, they found “no evidence that L.A. Opera ever ignored, failed to address, or covered up sexual harassment complaints.”

It is unknown if the LA Opera have been in talks with Domingo’s representatives to structure any sort of deal that provided a donation in exchange for keeping details of the report hidden.

We know this could be a very real possibility given what transpired with the case with the other investigation into accusations against Domingo conducted by the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). That arrangement fell apart shortly after former AGMA board member, Samuel Schultz, turned whistleblower and made those discussions known.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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