Plácido Domingo

José Plácido Domingo Embil KBE (born January 21, 1941), better known as Plácido Domingo, is a Spanish operatic tenor, known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. He is considered to be a talented and hard working musician: in March 2008, he debuted in his 126th on-stage role. In addition to the 126 roles in his official repertoire, he has also recorded four others, giving Domingo more roles than any other tenor. He is also admired for his acting ability, his musicality and musical intellect, and the number and variety of opera roles that he has mastered. In addition to his singing roles, he has also taken on conducting opera and concert performances, as well as serving as the General Director of the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles Opera in California. His contracts in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have been extended through the 2010–2011 season.

Biography and career

Early years

Plácido Domingo was born near the Barrio de Salamanca section of Madrid, Spain, and moved to Mexico at age eight with his family, who ran a zarzuela company. Domingo was often asked to perform with his parents' company when they needed a child role. He studied piano at first privately and later at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City.

In 1957, Domingo made his first professional appearance performing with his mother in a concert at Mérida, Yucatán. He made his opera debut performing in Manuel Fernández Caballero's zarzuela, Gigantes y cabezudos, singing a baritone role. At that time, he was working with his parents' zarzuela company, taking parts in baritone roles and as an accompanist for other singers. Among his first performances was a minor role in the first Mexican production of My Fair Lady where he was also the assistant conductor and assistant coach. The company made 185 performances which included a production of Lehár's The Merry Widow where he performed as either Camille or Danilo.

In 1959, Domingo auditioned for the Mexico National Opera as a baritone but was then asked to sight-read some arias and lines in the tenor range. Finally he was accepted in the National Opera as a tenor comprimario and as a tutor for other singers. 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 acting in a minor role in 1959 (May 12) at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara as Pascual in Marina. It was followed by Borsa in Rigoletto (with Cornell MacNeil and Norman Treigle also in the cast), Padre Confessor (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and others.

In addition, he played piano for a ballet company to supplement his income. Domingo also played piano for a program on Mexico cultural television which was newly founded at that time. The program consisted of excerpts from zarzuelas, operettas, operas, and musical comedies. He acted in a few small parts while at the theater in such plays by Federico García Lorca, Luigi Pirandello, and Anton Chekhov.

1960s - 1980s

In 1961, he made his operatic debut in a leading role as Alfredo in La traviata at Monterrey and later in the same year, his debut in the United States with the Dallas Civic Opera where he played the role of Arturo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor opposite Joan Sutherland as the title role. In 1962, he returned to Texas to play the role of Edgardo in the same opera with Lily Pons at the Fort Worth Opera. At the end of 1962, he signed a six month contract with the Israel National Opera in Tel Aviv but later extended the contract and stay for two and a half years, singing 280 performances of 12 different roles.

In June 1965, after finishing his contract with Hebrew National Opera, Domingo went for an audition at the New York City Opera and scheduled to make his New York debut as Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen but his debut came earlier when he was offered to fill in for an ailing tenor at the last minute in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. On June 17, 1965, Domingo made his New York debut as B F Pinkerton at the New York City Opera. In February 1966, he sang the title role in the US premiere of Ginastera's Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera, with much acclaim. The performance also marked the opening of the City Opera's new home at Lincoln Center.

He official debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York occurred on September 28, 1968 when he substituted for Franco Corelli, in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur singing with Renata Tebaldi. Before Adriana Lecouvreur, he had sung in performances by the Metropolitan Opera of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci in 1966. Since then, he has opened the season at the Metropolitan Opera 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. In 1971, he played the role Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera and continued with the same role for many times. He has played this role more than any other tenor.

Throughout the years, Domingo has also turned his hand to conducting opera (as early as La traviata on October 7, 1973, at New York City Opera) as well as, occasionally, symphonic orchestras. In 1981 Domingo gained considerable recognition outside of the opera world when he recorded the song "Perhaps Love" as a duet with the late American country/folk music singer John Denver. In 1987, he and Denver joined Julie Andrews for an Emmy Award winning holiday television special, The Sound of Christmas, filmed in Salzburg, Austria.

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.

1990s - present

Throughout 1990s until today, Domingo continued performing in many of the same but also new operas, among them Wagner's Parsifal and Mozart's Idomeneo as the title role, Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia as Figaro, Wagner's Die Walküre as Siegmund, Lehár's The Merry Widow as Danilo and Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac as Cyrano. Between the middle of 1990 to the early of 2008 only, he has added 38 new roles into his repertoire covering opera in six different languages (English, Italian, French, German, Russian and Spanish). The latest was the Italian opera by George Frideric Handel, Tamerlano.

Also see: Domingo's complete repertoire.

Giving him even greater international recognition outside of the world of opera, he participated in The Three Tenors concert at the opening of the 1990 World Cup in Rome with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti. 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, along with rising stars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. On August 24, 2008, Domingo performed a duet with Song Zuying, singing Ài de Huǒyàn (The Flame of Love) at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in Beijing.

He holds a world record for the longest ovation on the operatic stage with 101 curtain calls and 80 minutes non-stop applause after performing Otello, Verdi's operatic version of Shakespeare's Othello, as the Moor of Venice in Vienna on July 30, 1991. In 2006, Domingo recorded an album Italia Ti amo, dedicated himself to Neapolitan and Italian songs, which include Stanislao Gastaldon's "Musica Prohibita" and the famous "Core N’Grato" by Salvatore Cardillo accompanied by Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Kohn.

In what has been called his 'final career move', Plácido Domingo announced on January 25, 2007 that in 2009 he would take on one of Verdi's most demanding baritone roles, the Doge of Genoa, Simon Boccanegra, in the opera of the same name. He would, however, continue to sing tenor roles beforehand and afterwards.

On 16-17 April 2008 he sang during the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park and at the Italian embassy in Washington DC.

From 1990 to 2008, Domingo has received many awards and honors for his effort in music, benefit concerts and charity. On August 21, 2007, in Mexico City, a two meters tall statue and weighs about 300 kg (660 lbs) was build in his honor. On March 23, 2008, the New Orleans City Council honors his contribution at the Gala Benefits Concert by naming the city theatre's stage, the "Plácido Domingo stage". In April 2008, he was voted as the greatest tenor in history in BBC Music Magazine judged by 16 renowned opera critics.

On March 15, 2009, The Metropolitan Opera will pay tributes to Domingo's 40th anniversary with the company with the on-stage gala dinner at the Met’s 125th anniversary, after his debut in Adriana Lecouvreur as Maurizio opposite Renata Tebaldi on September 28, 1968


He was born to Plácido Domingo Ferrer (March 8, 1907 - November 26, 1987) and Pepita Embil (1918 - September 1, 1994), two Spanish zarzuela stars who nurtured his early musical abilities. Domingo's father is half Catalan and half Aragonese while his mother is a Basque. His father, Plácido Domingo Ferrer was a violinist performing for opera and zarzuela orchestra. He was a baritone and actively taking roles in zarzuela. However his promising career as a baritone ended after he damaged his voice by singing with a cold. Domingo's mother was an established singer who made her zarzuela debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. She met her husband at age 21 while performing in Federico Moreno Torroba's Sor Navarra. In 1946 Moreno Torroba and Domingo's parents formed a zarzuela company and travelled frequently to Mexico. His parents later stayed permanently in Mexico and established their own zarzuela troupe, the Domingo-Embil Company. In addition to their son, they also have a daughter, Mari Pepa Sanchez.

At age 16 in 1958, Plácido Domingo married a fellow piano student, and his first son, José Dominguez was born within the year. However, the marriage didn't last long, the couple separated shortly thereafter. In 1962, Plácido Domingo married Marta Ornelas, a lyric soprano from Veracruz, Mexico, whom he met during his conservatory days. In the same year, Marta had been voted "Mexican Singer of the Year" but she gave up her promising career to devote her time to her family. They have two sons, Plácido Jr born in 1965 and Alvaro Maurizio born in 1968. After a period of time living in Israel, he and his family resided in Teaneck, New Jersey. During vacations, he usually spends his time with family in their vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico.


He has made well over 100 recordings, most of which are full-length operas, often recording the same role more than once. Among these recordings is a boxed set of every tenor aria Verdi ever wrote, including several rarely-performed versions, in different languages from the original operas, which Verdi wrote for specific performances.

In August 2005, EMI Classics released a new studio recording of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in which Domingo sings the title role of Tristan. A review of this recording, headlined "Vocal perfections", that appeared in the August 8, 2005 issue of The Economist begins with the word "Monumental" and ends with the words, "a musical lyricism and a sexual passion that make the cost and the effort entirely worthwhile". It characterized his July 2005 performance of Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walküre at Covent Garden as "unforgettable" and "luminous". The review also remarks that Domingo is still taking on roles that he has not previously performed.

New recordings that have been released in the first half of 2006 include studio recordings of Puccini's Edgar, Isaac Albéniz's Pepita Jiménez, as well as a selection of Italian and Neapolitan songs, titled Italia ti amo (all three with Deutsche Grammophon). Amongst many television appearance in many countries over the years (a large number for charitable purposes), Domingo appeared as the star act in the New Orleans Opera Association's A Night For New Orleans with Frederica von Stade and Elizabeth Futral, in March 2006. The concert was to raise funds for the rebuilding of the city.

Appearances on film and television

See Domingo's opera recording in DVD/VHS format and audio CD format.

Domingo has appeared in numerous opera films, among them are Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's Madama Butterfly, Francesco Rosi's Carmen (Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording), Gianfranco de Bosio's Tosca with Raina Kabaivanska, Brian Large's Tosca with Catherine Malfitano (Emmy Award), Franco Zeffirelli's Otello with Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci, and La traviata (with Teresa Stratas, which received a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording).

He has also appeared on television in the 1978 La Scala production of Puccini's Manon Lescaut which marked the Scala debut of Hungarian soprano Sylvia Sass, as well in zarzuela evenings, and Live at the Met telecasts and broadcasts. In 2007, Domingo had a cameo in "The Homer of Seville", an episode of The Simpsons which revolves around Homer Simpson becoming an opera singer. In his cameo, Domingo sang briefly. Domingo appeared on The Cosby Show Season 5 as Alberto Santiago, a colleague of Dr Cliff Huxtable. He is also sang as the operatic moon in 2001 film Moulin Rouge!.

He is the executive producer of the critically acclaimed 1998 Mexican film, The Other Conquest, produced by his son Alvaro, in which Domingo also performs the original aria "Mater Aeterna", composed by Samuel Zyman.

Christmas in Vienna

In 1990, the idea for a Christmas-themed concert, involving the collaboration of Domingo, fellow operatic tenor and friend José Carreras, and pop music legend Diana Ross was first brought up. Then in 1992, Vienna was chosen to host the event due to its international reputation as the capital of music and the particular charm of Austria during Christmas time. The world-famous Wiener Symphoniker under the direction of maestro Vjekoslav Šutej provided the orchestral music, and the Gumpoldskirchen Children's Choir provided choral vocals. On December 23, 1992 the first in what would turn out to be a series of Christmas in Vienna concerts was held.

The first Christmas concert proved to be a rousing success, being seen worldwide by several hundred million people. Plácido Domingo returned to Vienna for many more equally successful Christmas in Vienna concerts, performing with many of music's greatest luminaries and his friends from the music industry, such as Dionne Warwick, Charles Aznavour, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Sarah Brightman, Riccardo Cocciante, Patricia Kaas, Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, and many others.

Complete repertoire

Perhaps the most versatile of all living tenors, Domingo has sung 126 roles on stage and as many as 130 roles (when also counting studio recorded roles) in Italian, French, German, English, Spanish and Russian. His main repertoire however is Italian (Otello, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don Carlo, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, Radames in Aida), 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, the latest was Handel's Tamerlano as "Bajazet" on March 26, 2008 at Teatro Real.

Year # Title Composer Role Debut date Opera house /
Studio recording
1959 1 Rigoletto Verdi Borsa September 23, 1959 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
2 Dialogues of the Carmelites Poulenc Chaplain October 21, 1959 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
1960 3 The Merry Widow Lehár Danilo,
1960 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
4 Turandot Puccini Altoum September 11, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
5 Turandot Puccini Pang October 1, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
6 Lucia di Lammermoor Donizetti Normanno October 5, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
7 La traviata Verdi Gastone October 8, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
8 Carmen Bizet Remendado October 15, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
9 Otello Verdi Cassio October 17, 1960 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
1961 10 La traviata Verdi Alfredo May 19, 1961 Teatro de la Ciudad Monterrey
11 El Ultimo sueno Vázquez Enrique May 28, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
12 Amelia goes to the ball Menotti Lover June 28, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
13 Fedora Giordano Désire,
Baron Rouvel
July 2, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
14 Boris Godunov Mussorgsky Simpleton,
August 8, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
15 Andrea Chénier Giordano Abbé,
August 15, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
16 Tosca Puccini Spoletta August 21, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
17 Madama Butterfly Puccini Goro September 15, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
18 Tosca Puccini Cavaradossi September 30, 1961 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
1962 19 La bohème Puccini Rodolfo March 4, 1962 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
20 Così fan tutte Mozart Ferrando May 10, 1962 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
21 Adriana Lecouvreur Cilea Maurizio May 17, 1962 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
22 Trittico Francescano Refice October 1, 1962 Teatro Degollado Guadalajara
23 Madama Butterfly Puccini Pinkerton October 7, 1962 Teatro Isauro Martínez Torreón
24 Lucia di Lammermoor Donizetti Edgardo November 26, 1962 Fort Worth Opera Fort Worth
1963 25 Carmen Bizet Don José June 25, 1963 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
26 Don Giovanni Mozart Don Ottavio September 21, 1963 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
27 Faust Gounod Faust December 3, 1963 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
1964 28 Les pêcheurs de perles Bizet Nadir January 21, 1964 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
29 Eugene Onegin Tchaikovsky Lenski September 5, 1964 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
1965 30 Cavalleria rusticana Mascagni Turiddu January 21, 1965 Israeli Opera House Tel Aviv
31 Samson and Delilah Saint-Saëns Samson July 30, 1965 Chautauqua Opera Chautauqua
32 Les contes d'Hoffmann Offenbach Hoffmann September 7, 1965 Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City
1966 33 La Mulata de Córdoba Mancayo Sandi,
January 1, 1966 Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona
34 Don Rodrigo Ginastera Don Rodrigo February 22, 1966 New York City Opera New York
35 Andrea Chénier Giordano Andrea Chénier March 3, 1966 New Orleans Opera New Orleans
36 Hippolyte et Aricie Rameau Hippolyte April 6, 1966 Boston Opera House Boston
37 Pagliacci Leoncavallo Canio August 9, 1966 Metropolitan Opera New York
38 The Barber of Seville Rossini Almaviva September 16, 1966 Teatro Degollado Guadalajara
39 Anna Bolena Donizetti Lord Percy November 15, 1966 Metropolitan Opera New York
1967 40 Il tabarro Puccini Luigi March 8, 1967 Metropolitan Opera New York
41 Aida Verdi Radames May 11, 1967 Hamburg State Opera Hamburg
42 Don Carlo Verdi Don Carlo May 19, 1967 Vienna State Opera Vienna
43 Un ballo in maschera Verdi Riccardo May 31, 1967 Berlin State Opera Berlin
1968 44 Lohengrin Wagner Lohengrin January 14, 1968 Hamburg State Opera Hamburg
45 Manon Lescaut Puccini Des Grieux February 15, 1968 Connecticut Opera Hartford
46 Il trovatore Verdi Manrico March 14, 1968 New Orleans Opera New Orleans
1969 47 Rigoletto Verdi Il Duca January 2, 1969 Hamburg State Opera Hamburg
48 La forza del destino Verdi Don Alvaro January 18, 1969 Hamburg State Opera Hamburg
49 Manon Massenet Des Grieux February 20, 1969 Metropolitan Opera New York
50 Turandot Puccini Calaf July 16, 1969 Verona Arena Verona
51 Ernani Verdi Ernani December 7, 1969 Teatro alla Scala Milan
1970 52 Oberon Weber Hüon March, 1970 Bayerischer Rundfunk studio Studio
53 La Gioconda Ponchielli Enzo May 14, 1970 Teatro Real Madrid
54 Roberto Devereux Donizetti Devereux October 15, 1970 Metropolitan Opera New York
1971 55 Der Rosenkavalier R. Strauss Italian singer March, 1971 Studio
56 I Lombardi alla prima crociata Verdi Oronte July, 1971 Royal Philharmonic,
57 Luisa Miller Verdi Rodolfo November 4, 1971 Metropolitan Opera New York
1972 58 Giovanna d'Arco Verdi Carlo VII August, 1972 Studio
59 Los Claveles Serrano Fernando 1972 Studio
60 La dolorosa Serrano Rafael 1972 Studio
1973 61 Francesca da Rimini Zandonai Paolo March 22, 1973 Metropolitan Opera New York
62 L'Africaine Meyerbeer Vasco da Gama November 3, 1973 War Memorial Opera House San Francisco
1974 63 I Vespri Siciliani Verdi Arrigo April 9, 1974 Palais Garnier Paris
64 Mefistofele Boito Faust July, 1974 Studio
65 Roméo et Juliette Gounod Roméo September 28, 1974 Metropolitan Opera New York
66 La fanciulla del West Puccini Dick Johnson November 26, 1974 Teatro Regio di Torino Turin
1975 67 La Navarraise Massenet Araquil 1975 Studio
68 Otello Verdi Otello September 28, 1975 Hamburg State Opera Hamburg
1976 69 Gianni Schicchi Puccini Rinuccio 1976 Studio
70 Louise Charpentier Julien 1976 Studio
71 Macbeth Verdi Macduff 1976 Studio
72 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Wagner Walther von Stolzing March, 1976 Studio
73 Le Cid Massenet Don Rodrigue March 8, 1976 Metropolitan Opera New York
74 L'amore dei tre re Montemezzi Avito July, 1976 Studio
1977 75 L'elisir d'amore Donizetti Nemorino 1977 Studio
76 Fedora Giordano Loris February 15, 1977 Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona
77 Werther Massenet Werther December 18, 1977 Bavarian State Opera Munich
1978 78 La damnation de Faust Berlioz Faust January, 1978 Studio
1979 79 Le Villi Puccini Roberto June, 1979 Studio
80 Requiem Berlioz Tenor part June, 1979 Studio
81 Béatrice et Bénédict Berlioz Bénédict July, 1979 Studio
82 Il Giuramento Mercadante Viscardo September 9, 1979 Vienna State Opera Vienna
1980 83 El Poeta Torroba José de Espronceda June 19, 1980 Teatro Real Madrid
1981 84 Norma Bellini Pollione September 21, 1981 Metropolitan Opera New York
1982 85 La rondine Puccini Ruggero 1982 Studio
86 Nabucco Verdi Ismaele May, 1982 Studio
87 Les Troyens Berlioz Enée September 26, 1983 Metropolitan Opera New York
1986 88 Die Fledermaus J. Strauss Alfred April, 1986 Studio
89 Goya Menotti Goya November 15, 1986 Washington National Opera Washington
1988 90 Iris Mascagni Osaka 1988 Studio
91 Tannhäuser Wagner Tannhäuser April, 1988 Studio
1989 92 Die Frau ohne Schatten R. Strauss Der Kaiser March, 1989 Studio
1990 93 Man of La Mancha Leigh Don Quixote June, 1990 Studio
1991 94 The Flying Dutchman Wagner Erik February, 1991 Studio
95 Parsifal Wagner Parsifal March 14, 1991 Metropolitan Opera New York
1992 96 The Barber of Seville Rossini Figaro February, 1992 Studio
97 El Gato Montés Penella Rafaele Ruiz August 7, 1992 Seville Opera Seville
98 Die Walküre Wagner Siegmund December 19, 1992 Vienna State Opera Vienna
1993 99 Stiffelio Verdi Stiffelio October 21, 1993 Metropolitan Opera New York
1994 100 Doña Francisquita Vives Fernando February, 1994 Studio
101 La Verbena de la Paloma Bretón Julian April, 1994 Studio
102 Il Guarany Gomes Pery June 5, 1994 Bonn Opera House Bonn
103 Idomeneo Mozart Idomeneo November 1, 1994 Metropolitan Opera New York
104 Hérodiade Massenet Jean November 8, 1994 War Memorial Opera House San Francisco
1995 105 Luisa Fernanda Torroba Javier 1995 Studio
106 Simon Boccanegra
(1881 version)
Verdi Adorno January 19, 1995 Metropolitan Opera New York
1996 107 La Tabernera del Puerto Sorozábal Leandro 1996 Studio
1997 108 Simon Boccanegra
(1857 version)
Verdi Adorno June 28, 1997 Royal Opera House London
109 Divinas Palabras Abril Lucero October 18, 1997 Teatro Real Madrid
1998 110 Le prophète Meyerbeer Jean van der Leyden May 21, 1998 Vienna State Opera Vienna
111 Faust Symphony Liszt Tenor part June, 1998 Studio
112 La Dolores Bretón Lázaro July, 1998 Studio
1999 113 Das Lied von der Erde Mahler Tenor part February, 1999 Studio
114 Misa Tango Bacalov Tenor part February, 1999 Studio
115 The Queen of Spades Tchaikovsky Hermann March 18, 1999 Metropolitan Opera New York
116 Fidelio Beethoven Florestan June, 1999 Studio
117 Merlin Albéniz King Arthur July, 1999 Orquesta Nacional de España,
118 Margarita la tornera Chapí Don Juan de Alarcón December 11, 1999 Teatro Real Madrid
2000 119 La Gran Via Chueca Caballero de Gracía January, 2000 Studio
120 The Merry Widow Lehár Danilo February 17, 2000 Metropolitan Opera New York
121 La battaglia di Legnano Verdi Arrigo June 30, 2000 Royal Opera House London
2001 122 La Revoltosa Chapí Felipe January, 2001 Studio
2002 123 Sly Wolf-Ferrari Christopher Sly April 1, 2002 Metropolitan Opera New York
2003 124 Luisa Fernanda Torroba Vidal Hernando June 18, 2003 Teatro alla Scala Milan
125 Nicholas and Alexandra Drattell Rasputin September 14, 2003 Los Angeles Opera Los Angeles
2004 126 Tristan und Isolde Wagner Tristan December, 2004 EMI Abbey Road Studio 1,
2005 127 Cyrano de Bergerac Alfano Cyrano May 13, 2005 Metropolitan Opera New York
2006 128 The First Emperor Tan Emperor Qin December 21, 2006 Metropolitan Opera New York
2007 129 Iphigénie en Tauride Gluck Oreste November 27, 2007 Metropolitan Opera New York
2008 130 Tamerlano Handel Bajazet March 26, 2008 Teatro Real Madrid

Awards and honors

Domingo has received numerous awards and honors, including:

Grammy Award

  • 1971 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for Verdi: Aida
  • 1974 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for G. Puccini: La bohème
  • 1983 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for Verdi: La Traviata
  • 1984 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for Bizet: Carmen
  • 1984 - Best Latin Pop Performance for Always in my Heart (Siempre en mi corazon)
  • 1988 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for Wagner: Lohengrin
  • 1990 - Best Classical Vocal Performance for Carreras-Domingo-Pavarotti in Concert
  • 1992 - Principal Soloist for Best Opera Recording for Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten
  • 2000 - Best Mexican-American Performance for 100 years of Mariachi

Latin Grammy Award

  • 2000 - Best Classical Album for T. Breton: La Dolores
  • 2001 - Best Classical Album for I. Albéniz: Merlin

Government and organization honors


  • Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur
  • Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur
  • Commandeur Arts et Lettres
  • Grande Medaille de la Ville de Paris
  • Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur – March 2002


  • Isabel la Católica
  • Premio Prinicipe de Asturias de las Artes - 1991
  • Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil – September 2002



  • Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst 1. Klasse
  • Kammersänger und Ehrenmitglied der Wiener Staatsoper
  • Goldenes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Land Wien – 2007

Other countries

  • Orden del Aguila Azteca, for helping the people of Mexico City about the 1985 earthquake(Mexico)
  • Capo dell’Ordine "Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" Grande Ufficiale (Italy)
  • Grã Cruz da Ordem do Infante d’Henrique (Portugal)
  • Cavalliere di Malta (Malta)
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) (Great Britain) – October 2002
  • Order of the Cedars (Lebanon) - 2004


  • Unicef Socio de Honor (UNICEF)

Honorary Doctorate

  • Royal Northern College of Music, England (1982)
  • Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, USA (1982)
  • Oklahoma City University, USA (1984)
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain (1989)
  • New York University, USA (1990)
  • Georgetown University, USA (1992)
  • Washington College of Chestertown, USA (2000)
  • Anáhuac University, Mexico (2001)
  • Chopin Music Academy, Poland (2003)
  • Oxford University, England (2003)

Other entertainment awards and appreciation

  • A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – 1993 (Location: Domingo, Placido LT 7000 Hollywood Blvd)
  • Sociedad General de Autores Española (Best Lyric Singer of the Year 1997) for his role in the world premiere of "Divinas Palabras" - 1997
  • Association of Argentinian Music Critics (Best Male Singer in 1997) for “Samson and Dalila" - 1997
  • Baltika Grand Prix for Outstanding Achievement - June 1998
  • American Latina Media Arts (ALMA) Awards (Outstanding Performances By An Individual or Act in A Variety) - 1998
  • Hispanic Heritage Award for Arts - September 1999
  • Great Prize of the International Music Press - September 2000
  • The Ella Award - 2002
  • OPERA NEWS Award for distinguished achievement, 2005
  • Classical BRIT Awards - 2006 (Critics' Award for Tristan and Isolde and Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Domingo was named "The King of singers" in BBC Music Magazine for April 2008 issue. He was voted as the greatest tenor in history by 16 renowned opera critics in a quest to find the world top 20 operatic tenors. The headline of the page stated "The king of the singers – The critics number 1 choice. Domingo is that rarest vocal phenomena, a tenor who uses his voice in the service of re-creating great art, and not as a thrilling end in itself."


Date Title Publisher ISBN Pages Author(s)
My First Forty Years Alfred A. Knopf ISBN 0394523296 256 Plácido Domingo
Opera 101: A Complete Guide to
Learning and Loving Opera
Hyperion ISBN 0786880252 494 Fred Plotkin,
Plácido Domingo (intro)
Christmas With Plácido Domingo:
Trumpets Sound And Angels Sing
Alfred Publishing Company ISBN 0895243210 80 Plácido Domingo,
Milton Okun (editor)
Bajo el cielo español
(Under the Spanish Sky)
Warner Brothers Publications ISBN 0769200249 84 Plácido Domingo (Recorder),
Carol Cuellar (Compiler)
Plácido Domingo - Por Amor Hal Leonard Corporation ISBN 0711972583 104 Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo (Great Voices Series):
My Operatic Roles
Baskerville Publishers, Incorporated ISBN 1880909618 319 Helena Matheopoulos,
Plácido Domingo
Leoncavallo: Life and Works Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc ISBN 0810858738
ISBN 0810858800
Konrad Claude Dryden,
Plácido Domingo (intro)
So When Does the Fat Lady Sing? Hal Leonard Corporation ISBN 1574671626 173 Michael Walsh,
Plácido Domingo (intro)

  • A new book by Domingo, The Joy of Opera, will be published by WWW Norton in year 2009,

Humanitarian works and initiatives

  • On March 4, 2006, Domingo sang at the Gala Benefit Concert, "A Night For New Orleans" at the New Orleans Arena to help rebuilding the city after it was hit by Hurricane Katrina. At the gala, he made a statement, "If music be the food of love", is "MUSIC IS THE VOICE OF HOPE!" . On March 23, 2008, the New Orleans City Council named the city theatre's stage in the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in Louis Armstrong Park, the "Plácido Domingo stage" as the honour for his contribution at the Gala Benefits Concert. The Gala collected $700,000 for the city recovery fund.
  • In 1986, he performed at benefit concerts to raise funds for the victims of 1985 Mexico City earthquake and released an album of one of the events. On August 21, 2007, as recognition to his support to 1985 Mexico City earthquake victims as well as his artistic works, a statue in his honor, made in Mexico City from keys donated by the people, was unveiled. The statue is the work of Alejandra Zúñiga, is two meters tall, weighs about 300 kg (660 lbs) and is part of the "Grandes valores" (Great values) program..
  • Domingo supports the Hear the World initiative as an ambassador to raise awareness for the topic of hearing and hearing loss.
  • In 1993 he founded Operalia, an international opera competition for talented young singers. The winners get the opportunities of being employed in opera ensembles around the world. Domingo has been instrumental in giving many young artists encouragement, (and special attention) as in 2001, when he invited New York tenor, Daniel Rodriguez to attend the Vilar/Domingo Young Artists program to further develop his operatic skills.
  • On December 21, 2003, Domingo made a performance in Cancún to benefit the Ciudad de la Alegria Foundation, the foundation that provides assistance and lodging to people in need, including low-income individuals, orphans, expectant mothers, immigrants, rehabilitated legal offenders, and the terminally ill.
  • On June 27, 2007, Domingo and Katherine Jenkins performed in a charity concert in Athens to raise funds to aid the conflict in Darfur. The concert was organized by Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.
  • In October 2, 2007, Domingo joins several other preeminent figures in entertainment, government, the environment and more, as the one of receivers of the BMW Hydrogen 7, designed in the mission to build support of hydrogen as a viable substitute to fossil fuels.

See also


External links

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