Luz del Alba Rubio is a soprano and was one of the three women who dared to make her identity known after the allegations of sexual harassment against Plácido Domingo collected by the Associated Press (AP) agency in 2019. Since then, she says that he was unable to work any longer due to retaliation. When in April of this year the tenor was in Argentina and gave a concert at the Teatro Colón (date from which the listenings arise in the cause of the Buenos Aires Yoga School sect) she warned about the musician’s behavior. Today, from Uruguay, where she lives, she considers that time proved her right and she asks to sing opera again.
The call that the Argentine Justice attributes to Plácido Domingo to contact an alleged trafficking network
After the AP investigation, in which 20 women initially gave testimony and were joined by many others, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union of opera artists and producers in the United States, ordered an investigation that in 2020 confirmed the facts. “The investigation has concluded that Mr. Domingo engaged in inappropriate behavior, which ranges from flirting to sexual propositions, both within and outside the work context,” the statement said. The report also noted the fear of the victims to expose their situation: “Many of the witnesses alleged the fear of possible reprisals in the industry to justify that they had not proceeded with the accusations beforehand.”
Luz del Alba Rubio was one of the only three women who made their identity known along with Patricia Wulf and Angela Turner Wilson. Something that cost her years of silence and absence in theaters, as she explains.
What does it make you read the news about Plácido Domingo’s involvement as an alleged client of the sect investigated in Argentina?
Most people need to see to believe, and they are seeing something they didn’t want to believe. The easiest thing is to say, as they said, that we are frustrated women looking for a minute of fame. I have difficulties to work because I made the decision to show my face, something that the other 121 people did not do because they are afraid of revenge. The important thing is that with this they see that what we were all saying is real, it’s true. This man has important problems with his sexual appetites and with the lack of conduct that he has to carry as a public figure. The problem is when there is abuse of power, and lives and jobs fall by the wayside.
In Spain no pianist is going to accompany me because they are afraid
How was your life after giving your testimony?
I gave my identity when, from Europe, Placido was convincing us that we were all ghosts and that those statements were not fair because they did not have faces. Above all, when we found out that he had tried to cover the result of the investigations of the United States Artists Union [cuya investigación llevó a la comisión a decidir que el cantante ya no podía formar parte del sindicato ni trabajar más en el territorio americano]. We were not looking for an economic reward, we were not after the money but behind these abuses of power and to show that the voices that had something to denounce were heard. These are events that happened many years ago, or not so many, and that have crippled careers and affected many lives. People who have a lot of power play with the lives of people below them and destroy them.
I did not agree to the repetitive invitations and harassment and told him: ‘Teacher, I am worth more, I have a voice and a talent.’ When she got tired of trying, work was done in her circle
How was it in your case?
I did not agree to the repetitive invitations and harassment and told him: “Teacher, I am worth more, I have a voice and a talent.” When he got tired of trying, the work in his circle ended, but then I continued with my career. I am not a loser, I am a strong woman who now asks to be given the opportunity to prove that I am worth it. I am a defender of the right to tell the truth. Now I am asking them to let me show that Luz del Alba has talent, that she can sing and earn her bread with what she has prepared. In Spain no pianist is going to accompany me because they are afraid; it happened to me last year. People are afraid. Maybe it wasn’t a smart move on my part, but I can’t act any differently. We are idealists who want and hope that something will change, that something has been worth all the struggle that has been carried out for so many years.
You were in Argentina in April, when Plácido Domingo sang at the Teatro Colón after 24 years. There he sought to make visible what had happened. It was just on that date that the wiretaps linking him to the sect were made.
It caused me much confusion and sadness that the voices of so many women were not heard. It had been said for a long time, but nobody listened. I was in Uruguay and colleagues asked me to please speak in Argentina, where the Ni Una Menos movement began. I had given my face and had played it. They welcomed him as a hero. That was brutal for me. I spoke on behalf of people who asked me for help, of women who have also gone through what I went through but who do not have the strength or cannot speak, because when you do, your paths are cut off. The news was forgotten or hidden and on April 7 Plácido was singing at the Colón and received with the highest honors.
What do you expect after the latest news?
Hopefully soon he will be able to sing publicly. Maybe I’m just an idealist looking to leave my child a better world. But you have to have courage. Now I am going to try to sing again, I hope that in Spain and Argentina they receive me again, I want to believe that they do.