Factbox: Placido Domingo at 70

Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:21am EDT
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(Reuters) - Placido Domingo appeared at London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden late Thursday both as a tenor and in his new guise as a baritone.

Here are some key facts on Domingo:


-- Domingo was born in Madrid on January 21, 1941, but left Spain when he was eight to join his parents in Mexico, where they led a "zarzuela" -- Spanish operetta -- company.

-- Although as a child he wanted to be a bullfighter or soccer star, he was drawn into the family trade and made his debut as a zarzuela baritone at 16 while he completed his piano and musical theory studies at Mexico's National Conservatory.

-- He left Mexico in 1962 for 2-1/2 grueling years with Israel's National Opera, singing 280 performances of 12 different roles.

-- His big break came in 1968, when he was called in at 40 minutes' notice to substitute for Italian tenor Franco Corelli opposite soprano Renata Tebaldi in Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur" at New York's Metropolitan Opera House. He made his debut at London's Covent Garden as Cavaradossi in a production of Puccini's "Tosca" in 1971.


-- His repertoire - more than 120 different roles -- includes almost all important parts in the Italian and French operas. Being constantly challenged by new roles, his ever expanding foray into the German repertoire includes Wagner's "Parsifal," "Lohengrin" and Siegmund in "Die Walkuere."   Continued...

<p>Placido Domingo leaves the stage with his wife after the curtain call of Placido Domingo Celebration at the Royal Opera House after a special performance to celebrate his 40th anniversary with the Royal Opera in London October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Olivia Harris</p>