AGMA official resigns over handling of Domingo investigation; union files disciplinary charges against Domingo

Posted on: March 3, 2020

“An officer of the union representing American opera performers resigned on Monday, citing concerns that the union had kept details of its sexual harassment investigation of the opera star Plácido Domingo confidential as part of negotiations for a $500,000 settlement from him,” writes Michael Cooper in Monday’s (3/2) New York Times. “ ‘This is a quid pro quo—silence in ex-change for money,’ Samuel Schultz, the fifth vice president of the union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, wrote in his resignation letter. Leonard Egert, the union’s national executive di-rector, denied the allegation…. Mr. Schultz, a baritone, said that he had provided [information] to The Associated Press because he believed the union’s lack of publicly available details about what Mr. Domingo had done amounted to a betrayal of the women who had been harmed…. A spokeswoman for Mr. Domingo declined to comment. Mr. Schultz … said in his letter that as a ‘sexual assault survivor,’ he felt he could not be a party to its actions…. With settlement talks with Mr. Domingo off, the union announced that formal disciplinary charges had been filed against him.”

Separately, on Tuesday the Washington National Opera, where Domingo was formerly general director and had created the company’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, announced that the program will henceforth be known as the Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera.