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By Inviting Placido Domingo, Israeli Opera Proved It Has a Lot to Learn About Sexual Harassment

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16.02.2020

The Israeli Opera is making efforts to remain relevant, but it’s enough to glance at their embarrassing PR announcement welcoming opera star Placido Domingo, who has been accused of sexual harassment by 20 women, to understand how disconnected and outdated this institution is. The tenor is due to come to Tel Aviv in October for the Operalia competition, which he established in 1993 – a kind of “The Voice” reality talent show for beginning opera singers – and he is even expected to conduct the Israeli Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion during the finals.

About the accusations, the Israeli Opera said that “The articles published in the newspaper about Domingo have yet to become an official complaint, no investigation has been opened because of them, no indictment or civil suit has been filed” and “there is no place for a field court-martial.”

This astonishing statement, tossed into the air as though there was no such thing as the #MeToo movement, takes on an ironic note after we read what the new general director of the opera house, Zach Granit, told Haaretz in an interview last October, when he spoke about the importance of fostering a trusting relationship with the audience. Granit claimed that he intends to attract new, younger audiences with “up-to-date and relevant opera,” and even went as far as to indirectly compare himself to director Quentin Tarantino.

But by blindly siding with Domingo, Granit is choosing to place himself and the institution he heads on the wrong side of history. On the way, it seems like he’s telling all those women who plucked up their courage and exposed the harassment that they suffered: “We don’t believe you.”

As opposed to the Israeli Opera, opera houses in the United States have actually demonstrated a moral backbone. Since the eruption of the affair, Domingo has been forced to leave his position as the general........

© Haaretz