The anniversary fell during a year when U.S. opera houses canceled Domingo’s appearances following reports that more than 20 women accused the star of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
Opera star Placido Domingo received a standing ovation for his 50th anniversary gala concert at La Scala on Sunday (Dec. 15) and returned the appreciation with a rare a cappella performance. Standing alone on the stage holding three yellow roses, Domingo serenaded the audience with a favorite Spanish zarzuela, “Non Puede Ser.” By then, after more than half an hour of applause and a standing ovation rare for the storied Milan opera house, Domingo and his co-stars for the evening, the choir and orchestra had already performed two encores. He alone emerged for the third.
Domingo, 78, appeared overwhelmed by the reception, and at one point kissed the stage where he performed for the first time on Dec. 7, 1969, in the title role of Verdi’s Ernani. In all, he has sung 135 times on the La Scala stage, in 22 operas.
The La Scala anniversary fell during a year that has seen U.S. opera houses cancel Domingo’s scheduled appearances, following reports by The Associated Press that more than 20 women had accused the star of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexually charged behavior.