Newsweek and other international publications have fittingly described Plácido Domingo as “the King of Opera,” “a true renaissance man in music,” and “the greatest operatic artist of modern times.”
Plácido Domingo is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist, recognized not only as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera but also as a respected conductor. And as General Director of Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera, he is a major force as an opera administrator. He turned seventy in January 2011, but his gifts and energy remain undiminished.
Born in Madrid in 1941 to parents who were zarzuela performers, Plácido Domingo was brought to Mexico at the age of eight. He attended Mexico City’s Conservatory of Music, where he initially studied piano and conducting, but when his vocal talent was discovered he began to take voice lessons as well. At eighteen, he made his debut in a small role (Borsa in Rigoletto) at Mexico’s National Opera, and his first performance as a leading tenor (Alfredo in La Traviata) took place in the city of Monterrey when he was twenty. After having spent three seasons with the Israel National Opera in Tel Aviv, where he sang 280 performances of twelve different roles, he launched his major international career in 1965, and since then he has performed at all of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.
In 1993, Domingo founded Operalia, an annual international voice competition, which has helped to start the careers of many singers who have since become major figures on the world’s stages. In 2012, Operalia took place in Beijing. Domingo was also the prime mover behind Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program and Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, both of which are designed to nurture and support the careers of opera’s future standard-bearers. Domingo is also Artistic Advisor for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.