Andrea Bocelli is 'appalled' that fellow opera singer has faced backlash for alleged sexual misconduct

Renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli is coming to the defense of another musician accused of sexual misconduct by 20 women, pointing out that many artists have "dubious morality."

Bocelli, perhaps the most famous classical singer in the world, said it is "absurd" to issue "moral judgment" against one of his longtime contemporaries, Spanish singer Plácido Domingo. Bocelli, who is Italian, spoke to the Associated Press with the help of a translator.

"I am still appalled at what happened to this incredible artist," Bocelli reportedly said before indicating that the situation made him nervous about his own career. "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."

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 9, 2017: Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (L) and Russian singer Zara seen ahead of the 2017 Muz-TV Music Awards ceremony at Olimpiyskiy[Olympic] Stadium. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 9, 2017: Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (L) and Russian singer Zara seen ahead of the 2017 Muz-TV Music Awards ceremony at Olimpiyskiy[Olympic] Stadium. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 24: Andrea Bocelli and his wide Veronica Berti attend the Vhernier launch with Andrea Bocelli in Design District on April 24, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images).
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Andrea Bocelli (R) and Veronica Berti attend the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Andrea Bocelli performs in concert at Prudential Center on December 18, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - DECEMBER 08: Singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli performs in concert at the Frank Erwin Center on December 8, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 03: Singer Andrea Bocelli performs at MGM Grand Garden Arena as he kicks off his U.S. tour on December 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 21: Producer Lady Monika Bacardi, Andrea Iervolino, singer Andrea Bocelli, actor Toby Sebastian and Roberto Sessa attend 'The Music of Silence' by Michael Radford. On set with Andrea Bocelli and AMBI Media Group producers at Cinecitta on November 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 09: Opera singer Andrea Bocelli and partner Veronica Berti attend the ECHO Klassik 2016 at Konzerthaus Am Gendarmenmarkt on October 09, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
VERONA, ITALY - OCTOBER 07: Veronica Berti, Andrea Bocelli and Amos Bocelli attend Intimissimi On Ice at Arena on October 7, 2016 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Nicole Scherzinger and Andrea Bocelli perform a duet on stage at The O2 Arena on October 1, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Andrea Bocelli performs at a VIP preview of the new site for Annabel's, 46 Berkeley Square, on September 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Annabel's)
SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 23: Andrea Bocelli performs at Sheffield Arena on September 23, 2016 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Neil Kitson/Redferns)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Andrea Bocelli sings at the start of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, September 20, 2016 in New York City. According to the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, the most pressing matter to be discussed at the General Assembly is the world's refugee crisis. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Andrea Bocelli and Valerie Berti attend the 2016 Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Andrea Bocelli (R) and Veronica Berti attend the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Veronica Berti (L) and recording artist Andrea Bocelli arrive at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Veronica Berti and Andrea Bocelli arrives at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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Alleged "sexually inappropriate" behavior by Domingo, 78, was described to the Associated Press by orchestra musicians, backstage staffers, vocal coaches, dancers and others in his field. Many accusers said Domingo "tried to pressure them into sexual relationships and sometimes punished him professionally if they rejected him."

One female singer described an incident during which Domingo allegedly "grabber her bare breast under her robe."

Bocelli, 61, said that the accusations should have no effect on Domingo's career unless he is convicted of a crime. In that event, he said, he would re-evaluate his standing on Domingo as a person, but not as a musical artist.

“Whenever that 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,” Bocelli said. “There have been in the past many artists who have dubious morality. 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.”

After the allegations were made public, Domingo withdrew from all of his U.S. performances and resigned as general director for the Los Angeles Opera, but his European schedule is still intact: "We do not see any reason why we should change our opinion if there are no new facts," said Helga Rabl-Stadler, the president of the Salzburg Festival, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year with Domingo as a headlining performer.

Bocelli will begin his U.S. tour next month.

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