Placido Domingo Tenor

Plácido Domingo

Plácido Domingo José Plácido Domingo Embil (born January 21, 1941), better known as Plácido Domingo, is a world-famous Spanish operatic tenor. He is known for his versatile, strong voice that possesses a ringing and clear tone throughout its range. In addition to his singing roles, he has also taken on conducting opera performances as well as acting as the General Director of the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC and the Los Angeles Opera in California.

Plácido Domingo was born in Madrid, Spain, and moved to Mexico at age 8 with his family, who ran a zarzuela company. In Mexico City he studied music at the National Conservatory. He provided backup vocals for Los Black Jeans in 1958, a rock-and-roll band lead by César Costa. He learned piano and conducting, but made his stage debut in 1959 (May 12) at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara as Pascual in Marina. It was followed by Borsa in Rigoletto, Padre Confessor (Le dialogue des Carmelites) and others. In 1962 he joined the Israeli National Opera in Tel Aviv, where he spent two and a half years, singing 280 performances.

On September 19, 1985, the biggest earthquake in Mexico's history devastated the whole Mexican capital. Domingo's aunt, uncle, his nephew and his nephew’s young son were killed in the collapse of the Nuevo León apartment block in the Tlatelolco housing complex. Domingo himself labored to rescue survivors. During the next year, he did benefit concerts for the victims and released an album of one of the events.

In 1966, he sang the title role in the US premiere of Ginastera's Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera, with much acclaim. He first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on September 28, 1968, in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, singing with Renata Tebaldi. (Since then, he has opened the season there 21 times, surpassing the previous record of Enrico Caruso by four.) He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1967, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1968, at both La Scala and San Francisco Opera in 1969, and at Covent Garden in 1971, and has now sung at practically every other important opera house and festival worldwide.

Perhaps the most versatile of all living tenors, Domingo has sung 92 roles onstage to date (and as many as 123 roles when also counting recorded roles), ranging from Mozart to Ginastera. His main repertoire however is Italian (Otello, Il Trovatore, Don Carlo), French (Faust, Werther, Don José in Carmen, Samson in Samson et Dalila), and German (Lohengrin, Parsifal, and Siegmund in Die Walküre). He continues to add more operas to his repertoire, such as recently Franco Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House in London.

With José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, he participated in The Three Tenors concert at the opening of the 1990 World Cup in Rome. The event was originally conceived to raise money for the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation and was later repeated a number of times, including at the three subsequent World Cup finals (1994 in Los Angeles, 1998 in Paris, and 2002 in Yokohama). Alone, Domingo again made an appearance at the final of the 2006 World Cup in Berlin.

In what has been called his 'final career move', Placido Domingo announced on January 25, 2007 that in 2009 he would switch ranges to baritone by taking on one of Verdi's most demanding baritone roles, as the Doge of Genoa, Simon Boccanegra, in the opera of the same name.
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