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Plácido Domingo
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Plácido Domingo

Plácido Domingo (born January 21, 1941) is a famous opera singer. He is renowned for his versatility as a tenor; his repertoire includes roles in French (Faust, Werther), German (Lohengrin, Parsifal) and Italian (Il Trovatore, Don Carlo, Otello).

He was born in Madrid, Spain, but moved to Mexico as a child with his family, who ran a zarzuela company . In Mexico City he studied music at the National Conservatory. He learned piano and conducting, but made his stage debut as a tenor in 1959 as Alfredo in La Traviata. In 1962 he joined the Israeli National Opera, and first performed at the Met in New York in 1965. He made his debut at La Scala in 1969 and at Covent Garden in 1971. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.

In 1981 he gained considerable recognition outside of the opera world when he recorded the song "Perhaps Love" as a duet with American folk/pop music singer John Denver. Domingo became a household name as part of Three Tenors, which was a series of concerts he gave together with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras . The concerts took place in large stadiums and were broadcast on television. Ostensibly they introduced opera to wider public, music for the millions in a manner of speaking. Purists however scorned Three Tenors, regarding more as music for millions in view of the exorbitant honoraria (in excess of US$ 1 million per person) that the three singers and conductor Zubin Mehta received. Performing opera arias in sports stadiums like Wembley with heavy amplification, critics argue, contributes little to the understanding and appreciation of opera as a Gesamtkunstwerk as Wagner conceived it.

Domingo is also active as a conductor of opera and as artistic director of more than one opera company. He was first named artistic director of the Washington Opera and later of the Los Angeles Opera.

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