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Plácido Domingo: singer, conductor and administrator. He has sung 139 different roles, more than any other tenor in the annals of music, with more than 3600 career performances. His repertoire spans the gamut from Mozart to Verdi, from Berlioz to Puccini, from Wagner to Ginastera. He sings in every important opera house in the world and has made an unparalleled amount of recordings. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs include DG’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 work in the recording studio has earned him 12 Grammy Awards, three of which are Latin Grammys, and he has made more than 50 music videos. In addition to three feature opera films—Carmen, La Traviata and Otello—he voiced the role of Monte in Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua, played himself on The Simpsons, and his telecast of Tosca from the authentic settings in Rome was seen by more than one billion people in 117 different countries. In 2008, he appeared in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, performing for an estimated television audience of almost two billion people worldwide. He has opened the Metropolitan Opera season a record-setting 21 different times, having surpassed in 1999 the old Caruso record of 17 opening nights. He has conducted more than 450 opera performances and symphonic concerts with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, LA Opera, Chicago Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Montréal Symphony, National Symphony, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic, among others. In 1993, he founded the annual international voice competition Operalia, which took place in 2012 in Beijing and will be held in Verona in 2013. He celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, La Scala and Arena di Verona and will soon begin his 45th season at the Metropolitan Opera.
Born in Madrid to parents who were zarzuela performers, Plácido Domingo moved to Mexico as a child. He entered the Mexico City Conservatory to study piano and conducting, but eventually was sidetracked into vocal training after his voice was discovered. He made his operatic debut at Monterrey as Alfredo in La Traviata and then spent two and a half years with the Israel National Opera, singing 280 performances of 12 different roles. In 1966, he created the title role in the United States premiere of Ginastera’s Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera, while appearing there in standard repertory as well. His Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1968, as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur. He has subsequently sung there in more than 650 performances of nearly 50 different roles, and, including his many conducting performances there, is soon approaching his 800th performance with the Metropolitan Opera. He appears regularly at all the big opera houses, including Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Paris’ Bastille Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Chicago’s Lyric Opera, the Washington National Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, the Colon in Buenos Aires, the Real in Madrid and at the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals.
Although he has no intention of moving substantially into the baritone repertoire, in 2009 he added the title role of Simon Boccanegra to his repertoire, with subsequent performances at the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden and in Madrid, Berlin and Los Angeles. In August 2010, he added the title role in Rigoletto to his repertory in a concert performance in Beijing. He also performed the role in September for a performance of Rigoletto broadcast live on Italian TV from Mantua, where the opera is set; the performance was subsequently seen on PBS. In 2010, his appearances included Pablo Neruda in the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino in Los Angeles (filmed for telecast and DVD release), with subsequent performances taking place in Vienna, Paris and Santiago, as well as future performances scheduled for 2013 in Madrid. He also celebrated his 70th birthday with a gala concert, attended by the Queen of Spain, in his native city of Madrid. During the 2011/12 season, he conducted Roméo et Juliette and sang the title role in Simon Boccanegra with LA Opera, and he also conducted Tosca at the Washington National Opera. He performed Neptune in The Enchanted Island at the Metropolitan Opera, where he also conducted Madama Butterfly, and added Athanaël in Thais to his repertoire in April 2013 in Valencia. In the 2012/13 season, he will add two new roles to his repertoire, Francesco Foscari in I Due Foscari in Los Angeles in September, and the baritone role of Germont in La Traviata during his 45th season at the Metropolitan Opera.