Biography of Plácido Domingo (1941-VVVV)

Placido Domingo.

Spanish opera singer. The tenor Placido Domingo Embil was born in Madrid on January 21, 1941, in a family of singers in zarzuela committed to the lyrical world. A few years after birth Placido, the family went to Latin America, where her parents had to make a tour in the company of Moreno Torroba. After the tour, in 1950, they decided to stay in Mexico, where the future tenor was formed. There was a student of director Igor Markevich.

Plácido was attending functions in which acted their parents on what the world of music was very familiar. Five years left the theater humming the intermediate of the hamlet who had just heard. While he/she attended his primary school he/she began to study music theory with the maestro Manuel Barajas and came up several times to play roles of child in some works. Although his voice was not yet formed, he/she began to sing zarzuelas as a baritone. His temperament led him, in the following years, from one activity to another: it was soccer player, wanted to be a bullfighter, took part in musical comedies, accompanist of singers in boites and received any other offer to make cinema. His friend Manuel Aguilar suggested that it proved luck in the opera, and although he/she thought had no voice for it, Placido learned several romances and gave an audition at the Academy of the Opera of Mexico. He/She played Borsa in Rigoletto, Antoum and Bas in Turandotte, to Spoletta in Tosca, Goro in Madame Butterfly, and even 60 parts of secondary tenor. In 1961 would debut as a protagonist in Monterrey, in the role of Alfredo in La Traviata; from this time he/she began a brilliant career that would lead him to the main stages of the world. His friend, the Hebrew Mexican pianist José Cahan, informed him that in the theatre of the Opera in Tel Aviv they needed a tenor and a soprano and a baritone; Placid he/she spoke with his wife, Marta Ornella, also singer and together marched to Israel, on December 21, 1962. Although the contract was for six months, remained two and a half years term where he/she sang 280 functions and Marta 150, until he/she left the race on behalf of her husband and his family. The stay of Placido in Tel Aviv starts their learning and their repertoire, which then prodigaría the world. He/She made his debut in Europe at la Scala in Milan in 1969, with Verdi-Hernani.

Some key dates in his career are on February 22, 1966, when Don Rodrigo de Ginasterra sang in the Opera of New York, which opened the United States theatres; on January 8, 1967, singing Aida in Hamburg; on May 19, 1967, with Don Carlo, in Vienna; on May 31, 1967, playing Un ballo in maschera, in Berlin, opera which had to learn in three days; on July 16, 1969, singing Turandot in Verona; on December 21, 1969, opening the season with Hernani at la Scala; on May 14, 1970, with the Mona Lisa in the Zarzuela of Madrid; his interpretation of the role of Cararadorsi in Tosca by Giacomo Puccini was memorable in 1971 at Covent Garden, London; on December 18, 1972, he/she sang the forza del destino at the teatro Colón of Buenos Aires; on May 20, 1973, came up with Il trovatore at the Paris Opera; and on June 8, 1984, in Russia he/she sang Tosca at the Bolshoi in Moscow. Since then he/she has travelled these theatres several times in different seasons, has been at the forefront of the orchestras on many occasions, he/she has recorded countless albums and remains at the forefront.

Domingo has the gift of giving great realism to his interpretations and his voice has great beauty and color, and has specialized in the opera by Verdi and Puccini. Zeffirelli has said of him: "is a balanced dramatic artist who sings". Thanks to its flexible and noble voice can play roles of dramatic tenor as Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, interpretation that was famous. Domingo has also tackled Wagner roles, as in Lohengrin.Considerado as one of the great tenors of his generation, has sung in the most important world concert halls and has performed more than eighty-five different operatic roles. His musical training is very comprehensive, and is master of everything that has to do with the world of music: advises theatres, organizes events, involved in films, grown light genres. He/She starred in the film version of some operas (La Traviata, Otello, Carmen). At the theatre of la Maestranza presented in 1992 his version of Un ballo in maschera by Verdi; He/She also participated in the opening of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. His operatic repertoire is very extensive, includes from Donizetti and Verdi to Wagner and Strauss. Interpretative qualities and its ability to communication lead to improvement in works with great emotional especially Puccini's. They say those who have witnessed his interpretation of the "farewell to the life" of Tosca that terrorised the walls of theaters, because by strength and realism with which interprets it or by the power of his voice. Followers of the publics of masses of Europe and America, intervenes frequently at outdoor festivals. The naturalness of his voice comes to almost everyone. On April 16, 1998 he/she received in the second edition of the music awards the award for the best artist of classical music in 1997. In 1983 published his autobiography, my first forty years. In 2002 he/she was appointed Honorary Knight by the British Government and a year later was elected an honorary member of the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando.

Less famous, but equally important, is his role as artistic director and musical, in particular of the Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Also, in January of 2006, took charge of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the reopening of the Theater an der Wien; and it premiered in addition the opera Cyrano de Bergerac at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, for whose representation had to manufacture a special false nose, allowing facial movements normally perform, vocalize to tenor and be seen by all viewers of the theatre (which has 4,000 locations), a challenge for those in charge of makeup of the prestigious Auditorium.

On August 21, 2007, in recognition of his artistic work and its contribution to the victims of the earthquake of 1985, the artist was honored in the city of Mexico City with a statue in his honor, cast from keys donated by the population. The piece, work of the sculptor Alejandra Zúñiga, measures two meters, weighs about 300 kg and is part of the project "Grandes valores" ·.

He continued adding operas to his extensive Repertory, repeated Cyrano de Bergerac at the Royal Opera House in London, and presented the first emperor of China (Qin Shihuang), Tan Dun (2006), with staging of Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

Baroque opera has also become part of his repertoire, to debuting in this genre of March 26, 2008 playing the role of Bajazet in work Tamerlano, Georg Friedrich Händel (Teatro Real in Madrid).

He participated in the concert of the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. He/She appeared in the Chilean city of Santiago to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Municipal Theater, with the Chilean singer Verónica Villaroel, in March 2007. He/She also participated to singing songs from the pop and rock music, such as his collaboration with the guitarist Carlos Santana on Shaman, with the Mexican vocal group "Pandora", the ranchero singer Alejandro Fernández, as well as the American singer Michael Bolton, which made a heartfelt version of "Ave Maria".

Recipient of several awards, including was the medal international of the arts of the community of Madrid (2006). In May of the same year, Placido Domingo was awarded two prizes 'Brit Award', one by his entire career and the criticism, Tristan and Isolda from Wagner, recording with the Orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House in London, under the direction of Antonio Pappano, awards that were collected at a gala held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Mexican Government granted the award of the order Aztec Eagle, the highest award given by the Government of Mexico, for his great work in 2007 to help those affected by the earthquake of 1985.

On September 28, 2008 he/she was honored at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, for the 40 years of its premiere in the theatre.


GIRBAL HERNÁNDEZ, f.-hundred Spanish singers of opera and zarzuela. Madrid. Ed. Lira. 1994.