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Plácido Domingo

© Greg Gorman

Plácido Domingo was born in Madrid, and grew up in Mexico. After studying the piano, he turned to singing, in firstly the baritone, then the tenor repertoire. After being discovered at New York City Opera in 1965, he began an international career that took him to the top houses alongside the most illustrious stars in opera. He sang the great Verdi tenor roles (Otello, Alvaro in La Forza del Destino, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra), Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West, Don José in Carmen, Samson in Samson and Dalila, the title role of Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac, Rodrigue in Le Cid, Canio in I Pagliacci, Loris in Fedora and Hermann in The Queen of Spades. He then began to sing the Wagner repertoire: Siegmund in Die Walküre (which he sang at the Bayreuth Festival), and the title roles of Lohengrin and Parsifal. In the Seventies, he began to work as a conductor as well. In 1984, he sang Don José in Francesco Rosi's film of Carmen. In 1990, he joined forces with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti as the “Three Tenors”. In 1996, he was appointed Artistic Director at Washington Opera then took over as General Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2001. Over the past few years, Plácido Domingo has returned to the baritone repertoire, singing the title role in Simon Boccanegra at the Berlin State Opera, then at the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Zurich Opera. He sang the title role of Rigoletto for the live broadcast from Mantua in 2010, Francesco Foscari in I due Foscari and Athanael in Thaïs at Los Angeles Opera, the title role in Nabucco at Covent Garden, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata and Don Carlo in Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera, the Count of Luna in Il Trovatore at the Berlin State Opera and the Salzburg Festival in 2014, and the title role of Macbeth at the Berlin State Opera. Since 1993 he has been the president of the Operalia Competition: an opportunity to discover young and talented singers each year.

Creations at the Opera

  • Manrico

    l Trovatore - 1973, 1975

  • Mario Cavaradossi

    Tosca - 1974, 1994, 1995

  • Arrigo

    I Vespri siciliani - 1974

  • Alvaro

    La Forza del destino - 1975

  • Otello

    Otello - 1976, 1978, 1990, 1992

  • Rodolfo

    La Bohème - 1977, 1980

  • Don José

    Carmen - 1980

  • Parsifal

    Parsifal - 2001


International Music Press Grand Prix in 2000 Knight Commander of the British Empire Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit in Spain Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur The Kennedy Centre Honours The Hispanic Heritage Award for Arts Baltika Grand Prix for Outstanding Achievement of the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg Alma Awards 1998

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