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Andrea Bocelli is "appalled" by the way his fellow opera icon Placido Domingo has been shunned by industry professionals amid allegations of sexual harassment.
A number of performances set to feature the Spanish tenor were cancelled in the wake of The Associated Press expose in August (19), while Domingo has since pulled out of a string of public engagements and stepped down as director of the Los Angeles Opera as he faces historic accusations of sexual misconduct with multiple women.
At the time, his representative blasted the reports as "simply incorrect", and now Bocelli has spoken out in his peer's defence, insisting he should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.
"I am still appalled at what happened to this incredible artist," Bocelli tells The Associated Press in a new interview.
"I don't understand this. Tomorrow a lady can just come up and say Andrea Bocelli molested me 10 years ago, and from that day on, no one wants to sing with me anymore; the opera houses won't call me anymore. This is absurd."
The Italian singer believes an artist's work should be separated from their private life, at least until any conviction and sentence is handed down.
"Whenever that (a conviction) happens, then the moral judgment against this person would of course change on my end, but not the artistic judgment, because they are two different things," he explained.
"There have been in the past many artists who have dubious morality," he continued. "One is the moral one, which must be dealt with in courts and here on Earth and by our good Lord up in the skies. Then there is an artistic judgment, which is subjective, and up to each one of us."
Bocelli's comments emerge days after Domingo withdrew from pre-Olympics cultural events in Japan, where he had been due to perform at the Nippon Festival in April (20).