Plácido Domingo - Biography
PLACIDO DOMINGO'S CAREER HAS INCLUDED NEARLY 130 STAGE ROLES, A NUMBER UNMATCHED BY ANY TENOR IN HISTORY. 'PLACIDO DOMINGO: MY GREATEST ROLES' IS A UNIQUE COLLECTION ENCOMPASSING TELEVISED PERFORMANCES OF TWELVE OF HIS GREATEST ROLES, EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY BY THE GREAT MAN HIMSELF AND A DOCUMENTARY FILMED WITH DOMINGO ABOUT HIS GREATEST WORK.
Born in Madrid in 1941 to parents who were zarzuela performers, Plácido Domingo was brought to Mexico at the age of eight. He attended Mexico City’s Conservatory of Music, where he initially studied piano and conducting, but when his vocal talent was discovered he began to take voice lessons as well. At eighteen, he made his debut in a small role (Borsa in Rigoletto) at Mexico’s National Opera, and his first performance as a leading tenor (Alfredo in La Traviata) took place in the city of Monterrey when he was twenty. After having spent three seasons with the Israel National Opera in Tel Aviv, where he sang 280 performances of twelve different roles, he launched his major international career in 1965, and since then he has performed at all of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.
Placido Domingo is now in his late sixties and is recognized as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera. He is also a respected conductor and a major force as an opera administrator, in his role as General Director of Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs include Deutsche Grammophon’s anthology of the complete Verdi arias for tenor and EMI’s albums of Wagnerian roles that he has not sung on stage: Siegfried in both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, and Tristan in a complete recording of Tristan und Isolde.
His extensive work in the recording studio has earned him eleven Grammy Awards and two Latin Grammy Awards, and he was won Emmy awards for the television film “Homage to Seville” and for the Met’s “Silver Gala” program. He has also made more than fifty music videos in addition to four feature films of operas: Carmen, La Traviata, Otello and Tosca. He has conducted many opera performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and Los Angeles Opera, among many other ensembles, and symphonic concerts with the Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, London Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and numerous other orchestras. In 1990, Domingo and his colleagues José Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti spontaneously formed the Three Tenors, which performed from time to time and with enormous success all over the world and attracted many new fans to opera.
In 1993, Domingo founded Operalia, an annual international voice competition, which has helped to start the careers of many singers who have since become major figures on the world’s stages. He was also the prime mover behind Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program and Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, both of which are designed to nurture and support the careers of opera’s future standard-bearers. Domingo is also Artistic Advisor for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.
Plácido Domingo has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States as well as the titles of Commandant of the Legion of Honor in France, Honorary Knight of the British Empire, and both Grande Ufficiale and Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Order of Merit.
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