By Alejandra Silva
Salzburg, Austria, Aug 10 (efe-epa).- Spanish opera singer and director Placido Domingo feels “good and strong” nearly a year since sexual harassment accusations against him first surfaced and after beating Covid-19 in March.
He admits it has been a very hard year but promises he will never retire from music.
The 79-year-old appeared in Salzburg on Thursday to receive the Austrian Music Theatre Prize 2020 for his professional career.
The award recognized a long, multifaceted and influential career with more than 150 operatic roles and outstanding achievements as a conductor, musical director and promoter of new talent.
“It is a real honour for me to be here, my relationship with the Austrian public has always been extraordinary,” Domingo told Efe.
The trip to Mozart’s hometown was his first after recovering from coronavirus at his home in Acapulco, Mexico.
“It’s been a very hard year for me and my family,” he says.
“I feel good and strong. With a lot of determination and the support of my family, I have regained my physical and vocal strength.”
While Domingo was celebrated in Austria and will perform in Italy this month, he has not been able to do so in Spain due to sexual harassment allegations against him.
Spain’s Ministry of Culture and Sport canceled the singer’s performances in May at the Teatro de la Zarzuela following an investigation by the American Guild of Musical Artists.
The singer says the president of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music contacted his agent shortly before culture and sport minister José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes announced the decision.
The musician regrets not having the opportunity to speak to government representatives and criticises the fact that the minister made the decision in a few hours.
“It hurt me to hear in his statements that he had made the decision based only on what he had read in the press,” he says.
The Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid was the first Spanish venue to cancel performances scheduled for the tenor, which would have marked 50 years since his debut in the capital.
“I hope that one day all this will be cleared up, Madrid is my city,” says Domingo, who is hopeful that time will prove his innocence.
He says he may have to retire at some point but vows never to withdraw from music.
“I may have to retire from the operatic stage at some point but I will never retire from music,” he adds.
“I will continue singing concerts, I have record projects and I want, above all, to conduct.”
The singer refuses to discuss the harassment accusations and refers to an interview he gave with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.