Plácido Quick Facts:
- Domingo has a repertoire of over 119 roles.
- In 2000, Domingo received the highest accolade for achievement in the US, the Kennedy Center Honors.
- ”Cassio” in Verdi’s Otello is perhaps Domingo’s signature role.
Plácido's Family Background:
Plácido Domingo’s parents, Plácido Domingo Sr. and Pepita Embil, were Spanish operetta stars. During 1946, Domingo’s parents left him and his sister with his aunt in Spain to tour in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. In 1949, they left Spain and created an opera company of there own in the town of Guadalajara, Mexico. Domingo, joined by his sister and aunt, moved to Mexico with his parents.
Domingo and his sister took piano and voice lessons at their parents’ opera company. As well as music, Domingo learned a great deal about the workings of an opera company beyond just the music. Besides having a passion for music, Domingo developed a love for soccer, and occasionally you may find him playing today.
Plácido Domingo entered into the Mexico City Conservatory at the young age of 14. Alongside his musical studies, Domingo also performed in the chorus of his parents’ opera company. Two years after entering the conservatory, Domingo married a fellow student who studied classical piano, and by the age of 17 he became a father. In order to support his family, he joined the National Opera in Mexico City when he was 18.
Early Adult Years:
Domingo made his operatic debut as “Alfredo” in La Triviata at Monterrey, Mexico in 1961. His American debut as “Arturo” in Lucia di Lamermoor happened the same year. During the years between 1962 and 1965, Domingo joined the Israeli National Opera and sung in over 300 performances. In 1966, Domingo made his New York City debut as “Don Rodrigo” in Ginastera’s Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera. His Metropolitan debut soon followed.
Mid Adult Years:
As well as singing, Domingo has also conducted. In 1973, he conducted La Triviata with the New York City Opera, and in 1985, La Boheme with the Metropolitan Opera. In 1990, Domingo joined the with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras to form the Three Tenors in celebration of the 1990 FIFA World Cup Championship. In 1994, their televised concert in Los Angeles was watched by 1.3 billion viewers. In 1996, he became the artistic director of the Washington Opera House.
Late Adult Years:
Now in his 60’s, Domingo shows no signs of stopping. His voice very much capable today as it was in his early days. Domingo has recorded nearly every role he has performed, several cross-over albums, and art songs. Because he had to support a family at such a young age, Domingo worked hard to achieve his success. And with that success comes the recognition as being one of the greatest classical tenors of the 20th century.