Wow… “I’m shocked!” Really? Are any of my Opera, Opera Theatre, Musical Theatre or Theatre friends surprised and shocked by this? So, Plácido Domingo, certainly one of the single greatest and most powerful stars in opera, accused of decades of sexual harassment… I mean really?
Now don’t get me wrong… I am in no way minimizing the behavior – It is abhorrent. As has been so many for so long… But when are we gonna stop being “Shocked” by this kind of history and start focusing on the types of “Stars” and “Role Models” we really want in our lives. Perhaps we should start with what constitutes a “Star” or “Role Model” — the behaviors that are to be emulated and applauded…
Whether or not a guy can sing a flawless “Nessun Dorma,” or has untold wealth, or can put a round ball through a hoop, win an Academy Award, or any of a hundred other relatively super-human things while living an unethical, unprincipled, dishonorable, dishonest, corrupt, depraved, vile, underhanded, devious, immoral life and still be “A Star” is our fault, more than theirs… We get to decide that.
So, unless and until a person is truly judged solely by what Martin Luther King Jr. called “…the content of their character,” the concept of “Star and “Role Model” and even “Leader” will continue to be tragically flawed and their behaviors completely out of line. But anyone of my friends with a background in Opera, Opera Theatre, Musical Theatre and Theatre feigning surprised by this article is just being disingenuous. We get what we tolerate — as we have for many, many millennia.