Opera legend Placido Domingo was greeted with a standing ovation in Salzburg, Austria, at his first appearance on stage since nine women accused him of sexual harassment dating back three decades.
Even before he sang a single note, Domingo was greeted with a thunderous applause that grew to a crescendo until most of the house was on its feet.
“Wonderful public, good performance all,” the Spanish-born singer said as he signed autographs after the performance of Verdi’s tragic opera Luisa Miller. “I mean, so much love from the public.”
The Associated Press reported last week that nine women accused Domingo of using his position as general director at the Los Angeles Opera and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships. Several of the woman said he offered them jobs and then punished them professionally if they refused his advances. Allegations included repeated phone calls, invitations to hotel rooms and his apartment, and unwanted touching and kisses.
In a statement to the AP, Domingo called the allegations “deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate” and that he believed his interactions with the women were consensual.
Two U.S. opera houses, in Philadelphia and San Francisco cancelled performances by Domingo after the allegations surfaced, while others, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, took a wait-and-see attitude pending an investigation.
As of Sunday, Domingo was still booked to star in Macbeth at the Met in New York next month.