London lauds Domingo in "Simon Boccanegra"

Thu Jul 1, 2010 9:46am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - He is 69 years old and underwent cancer surgery this year, but Spanish singer Placido Domingo still has what it takes when it comes to commanding the opera stage, British critics said on Thursday.

The artist best known as a tenor was singing baritone in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" at the Royal Opera House, the same part he performed at Milan's La Scala in April -- his comeback after surgery to remove a malignant polyp from his colon.

Neil Fisher of the Times newspaper gave the opera five stars out of five in a review of Tuesday night's opening, and wrote of the "beauty and power of (Domingo's) voice."

The Guardian's Eric Jeal noted that Domingo's Boccanegra was "far from definitive" and probably not what Verdi had in mind.

"But does that matter? Not this time. Once again, Domingo creates a convincing character on his own terms," she said in a four-star review.

Speaking to Reuters backstage after the premiere, the performer, renowned for his prodigious work rate, said he had not given up on singing tenor parts.

"I hope I can continue with both, to shuffle my repertoire," he said. "I have recovered again with the same strength and enthusiasm as always," he added.

Domingo also repeated calls for people to take tests for cancer early.

"I have to say to everybody that it is so important that everyone make their exams in time, because if I didn't do it in time things could be worse."   Continued...

<p>Spanish tenor Placido Domingo performs during a free concert in front of the Angel of Independence Monument in Mexico City December 19, 2009. REUTERS/Eliana Aponte</p>