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Placido Domingo cancels shows at Spanish opera venue

By Aritz Parra, Associated Press

Placido Domingo has cancelled his upcoming performances at one of Spain's main opera houses after he apologised for sexually harassing women.

A statement from the Teatro Real in Madrid said that Domingo himself had taken the step of cancelling his part in the upcoming La Traviata, with five shows scheduled in May, ahead of a meeting in which the venue's patrons were to decide on his case.

It stated that the theatre "reaffirms in its policy of zero tolerance of harassment and abuse of any kind, and in its permanent solidarity with the victims".

A musical association in the Spanish city of Ubeda also announced on its Facebook page that it was cancelling Domingo's scheduled performance for May 3 in light of this week's developments.

On Wednesday, the Spanish government cancelled two other upcoming performances by Domingo in Madrid, making the singer's home country the first in Europe to cancel on the megastar since the allegations from women surfaced last year in the United States.

The Culture Ministry said the cancellation was in support of the women who have accused the tenor of misconduct and take a stand against sexual harassment.

That came a day after Domingo said he accepted "full responsibility" for his actions and apologised for "the hurt" he had cause women in response to an investigation by the main US union representing opera performers that found the opera star had behaved inappropriately when he held senior management positions at the Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

People familiar with the probe by the American Guild of Musical Artists, one of the two independent inquiries launched last year, told The Associated Press that 27 people are claiming they were sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behaviour by Domingo.

Domingo's response marked a stunning reversal from the megastar's initial statements in which he had denied wrongdoing. Many commentators, politicians and fellow artists in Spain came to his defence when AP first reported on the allegations last year.

US companies swiftly moved to cancel performances and sever their ties with Domingo, but barring Spain's recent moves there have so far been no other cancellations in Europe. His next scheduled show is on March 22 in Hamburg, Germany.

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