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Christopher Koelsch To Take Over Plácido Domingo’s Duties

October 15, 2019

The Los Angeles Opera has announced that the organization’s president and CEO, Christopher Koelsch, will take over the duties of Plácido Domingo, who resigned Oct. 2 as general director amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Instead of replacing Domingo, LA Opera’s board of directors said in a statement that it was “consolidating the duties” of general director with Koelsch’s current jobs and that his title will remain the same.

Koelsch has held several positions at LA Opera since 1997 and was appointed president and chief executive in 2012. In a letter sent to LA Opera employees, he expressed his thanks to Domingo for the opera star’s decades of service to the company.

“As we look forward,” Koelsch wrote, “we have already secured some of the world’s most dynamic artists for upcoming programming and have made exciting repertory plans for the mainstage and for Off Grand, our experimental laboratory where we forge the future of our art form. I look forward to sharing many of those plans when we announce the 2020–21 season in January.”

The embattled Domingo, who held the position of general director since 2003 and delivered more than 300 performances in 31 different roles and conducted more than 100 times in Southern California over five decades, said his ability to continue with LA Opera had been “compromised.” Koelsch confirmed that the company’s investigation into Domingo’s alleged misconduct, which is being led by the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, remains ongoing.

Victoria Looseleaf is an award-winning international arts journalist who covers dance, music, theater and the visual arts. Publications she has contributed to include the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and KCET Artbound. Her feminist novella in verse, Isn’t It Rich? is being adapted for the stage, and her children’s/coffee table book, Russ & Iggy’s Art Alphabet, will soon be published by Red Sky Presents. In addition, Looseleaf co-founded the online magazine ArtNowLA.