PLÁCIDO DOMINGO

Mr. Domingo sings in every important opera house in the world and has made well over 100 recordings of which 97 are full-length operas, often recording the same role more than once, and for which he has earned nine Grammy's and two Grammy's in the newly established Latin Division. He has made more than 50 videos and 3 theatrically released films which are Zeffirelli's La Traviata and Otello, and Rosi's Carmen.

When he opened the 1999-2000 Metropolitan Opera Season with Pagliacci, he sang his 18th opening night of a season and, as the New York Times reported on its front-page, therewith surpassed the old Caruso record of 17 opening nights.

Since the 1996-97 Season, he has been Artistic Director of the Washington Opera and as of the 2000-2001 Season he is, additionally, the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Opera, having been one of its founders, and for a number of years also its Music Adviser and Principal Guest Conductor.

His repertoire - 119 different roles, and counting - includes almost all important roles in Italian and French operas. Being constantly challenged by new roles, his ever expanding foray into the German repertoire consists of Wagner's Parsifal, Lohengrin, and Siegmund in Die Walküre, in addition to recorded performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser and Der fliegende Holländer, along with performances of Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten, Weber's Oberon, and Beethoven's Fidelio. Within the past three years, he added to his stage performances his first role in Russian, German in Tchaikovsky's Pikovaya dama (Queen of Spades), the Spanish opera Margarita la Tornera by Ruperto Chapi and Verdi's La Battaglia di Legnano and Wolf-Ferrari's Sly.

Plácido Domingo was born with an unusually flexible voice, and he learned to use it properly. He has been blessed with very good health and stamina, which has allowed him to be on the go all the time. The greatest pleasure for him has always been, and still is, to make use of these gifts and advantages to give pleasure to others.

Born in Madrid in 1941 to parents who were Zarzuela performers, Plácido Domingo moved to Mexico at the age of eight. He went to the Mexico City Conservatory to study piano and conducting, but eventually was sidetracked into vocal training after his voice was discovered. He made his debut as a tenor in the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda (when the scheduled tenor became ill; at that point Domingo usually had sung baritone roles), and then in 1961 he made his operatic debut at Monterrey as Alfredo in La Traviata.

His Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1968 [like Jussi, at age 27], as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur. He has subsequently appeared there in more than 400 performances of 41 different roles and is now in his 34th consecutive season with the company (2002-2003).

Mr. Domingo's interest in helping young singers has led to his yearly competition Operalia, which so far has taken place in Paris, Mexico City, Madrid, Bordeaux, Tokyo, Hamburg, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. It is the biggest competition on the international scene with annual prizes amounting to $150,000. Operalia has launched many singers to international recognition, not only through its prizes, but because of Domingo's continued interest in furthering their careers.

Plácido Domingo has raised millions of dollars through special benefit concerts in order to help such causes as the victims of the 1985 Mexican earthquake, AIDS and the victims of such other disasters as the Armenian earthquake and the mud-slides of Acapulco, etc. He is one of the most decorated and honored artists before the public today, most recently being named on of the Kennedy Center Honorees (December 2000) and, in 2002, the recipient of France's Legion of Honor, a decorating given very rarely to a non-French citizen, one of the highest decoration in The United States, The Medal of Freedom, from Spain the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil, and Knight Commander of the British Empire. The accolades most often associated with him are "King of Opera," which was originally the banner headline on the cover of Newsweek Magazine, and "a true renaissance man in music," which was first printed in Italy's newspaper Corriere della Sera.