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Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo  Meet The Artist
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Singer, conductor, performer - The King of Opera. Read more.

Meet The Artist
  Watch an exclusive video interview with Placido Domingo

  Listen to an audio version

  On Covent Garden, before its closure for renovation…

Domingo has performed regularly at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House since his debut in 1971, and says that it is always a great pleasure to sing there. He describes the English crowds as 'extraordinary' - they are always warm, their applause coming from their hearts.

Before singing at Covent Garden, one of his first English performances was at Festival Hall, where he sang the Verdi Requiem under the direction of Carlo Mario Guilini. He had always looked forward to singing at Covent Garden, and has now developed what he describes as a love relationship with the English public.

Domingo saw the closure of Covent Garden as both a sad and happy time, but agreed that it was time for improvement, and he looked forward to returning and performing there once more.

  Premiere performances…

The opening of a new production requires a great lot of effort. Domingo describes the day of the premiere - you work all day, and it is very exhausting. He says many people do not realize that rehearsals start at about 10am and run through until 6pm, the concert then following. Whilst you have a lot of time to rehearse, you also need time to rest the voice, it is very constant work.

  The role of Don José in Carmen…

Domingo always enjoys playing the role of Don José. The opera itself has a very dramatic feeling, and many of the characters are drawn from Northern Spain. Domingo's mother was born in that area, so he feels a kind of rapport with the characters. They are a very timid kind of people, 'nice, innocent, pure people.'

Audiences these days are very different. Domingo explains how a hundred to a hundred and fifty years ago, expectations on performers were much less. Over time people have come to expect more and more - performers don't just have to sing, but they also need to act, and audiences expect the two to be done well.

  On Saint-Saens: Samson and Delilah…

Domingo loves the opera and his part as Samson. He believes it to have a very different story to the typical love triangle plots that are used in many operas.

The plot is stronger and more interesting than most, his character (Samson) has to make a decision between the beautiful Delilah and his duty to God.

  Verdi: Stiffelio…

Stiffelio has been neglected over the years for many different reasons, but is now becoming more popular. Domingo has found London audiences to love and enjoy the production.

Over half of all of Domingo's performances comprise works by Verdi and Puccini. Verdi is known for his difficult and often high tenor parts, and he finds role of Samson to be no exception.

  On being a performer…

Living the life of a performer is more difficult than most people realize. Many think that it is great to travel and get to know places around the world, but Domingo describes how in all reality, what you really get to see is the airport, the hotel and the theatre. At the same time, he believes it to be a very rewarding existence.

After almost thirty years of coming to London, Domingo is only now starting to feel like he is getting to know the city. His timetable is always hectic, and there are usually more performances than he has time for. He loves London though, so tries to schedule as many performances as possible.

  Life after performing…

Domingo talks about relaxing with his family - he enjoys going to the beach, swimming, watching films and playing sports. He also enthuses about one of his favorite sports - paddle tennis!

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Mon, Aug 19, 2019 1:10:25 PM US EST
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