News & Politics

Washington National Opera Drops Plácido Domingo’s Name From Its Young Artist Program

It will now be known as the Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera.

Domingo directs the Washington Opera Orchestra and Chorus in January 2001. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The Washington National Opera has renamed its young artist program, removing a reference to Plácido Domingo, who created it.

Domingo helped lead the opera for 14 years and was its artistic director in 2002, when he launched the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Last month, the Associated Press reported that the American Guild of Musical Artists had investigated his work and found a “clear pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of power by Domingo spanning at least two decades,” including at WNO.

The opera’s current leadership—general director Timothy O’Leary, artistic director Francesca Zambello, and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter—expressed gratitude for the investigation in a statement and said it would join a coalition “to improve workplace culture and create best practices in the opera field.”

The program will henceforth be known as the Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera, the opera says, for the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, which has funded the program.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.