Placido Domingo moves goalposts on long opera career

Thu Jun 5, 2014 8:20am EDT
 
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the World Cup nears, soccer fanatics will inevitably jink the conversation toward the beautiful game. That includes Placido Domingo, who explains why at 73 he can still get down on one knee to declare his love to the soprano.

"I was a goalkeeper and I know how to throw myself onto the floor," said the Spanish opera singer.

Even if his sporting past has served him well in his career, the tenor-turned-baritone never expected to be where he is today, still singing on stages all over the world.

Because of that unexpected longevity, he finds himself doing double duty as leading man and general director for the LA Opera, where he wraps up its 28th season this weekend as the love-struck monk Athanael in Massenet's "Thais," the 139th role of his career.

Around 18 years ago, Domingo took over the direction of the Washington National Opera, and then more than a decade ago became director of the young Los Angeles company.

"I really thought I would be singing for a very short time," he told Reuters in an interview this week at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where he first performed in 1967. "That's the reason I started thinking of being a director of a theater. The voice is there, so I keep singing."

After making a full recovery from a pulmonary embolism last year, Domingo credits his continuing career to a passion for what he does and just plain luck that his voice is healthy.

"Many people younger than me don't sing anymore, and I am still singing," Domingo said. "I don't know for how long. Maybe for two weeks. In any case, my plans are for three years, at least."   Continued...

 
Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo poses for a portrait at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California June 3, 2014. Domingo never expected to be where he is today, still singing on stages all over the world. Because of that unexpected longevity, he finds himself doing double duty as leading man and general director for the LA Opera, where he wraps up its 28th season this weekend as the love-struck monk Athanael in Massenet's "Thais," the 139th role of his career. Picture taken June 3, 2014.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni