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Plácido Domingo

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Biography

One of the world's most renowned tenors, Plácido Domingo — along with his frequent collaborators Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras — is largely responsible for the increasing mainstream popularity of opera among contemporary listeners. Born March 21, 1941, in Madrid, Spain, Domingo and his family relocated to Mexico in 1950; there he studied vocal technique, as well as piano and conducting, at the Mexico City Conservatory. After making his public debut as a baritone, he essayed his first major tenor role as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata in 1960; he subsequently spent close to three years with the Israel National Opera, singing 280 performances in a dozen different roles. In 1966, Domingo created the title role in the U.S. premiere of Ginastera's Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera; his Metropolitan Opera debut followed two years later, appearing as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur — the first of well over 400 performances at the legendary venue.

In the years to follow, Domingo's stature continued to grow on the strength of regular performances at all of the world's most famed opera houses, among them La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, London's Covent Garden, the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris, the San Francisco Opera, Chicago's Lyric Opera, and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera (which he co-founded). With over 100 recordings to his credit, he performed with sopranos including Rosalind Plowright, Katria Ricciarelli, and Montserrat Caballe; in 1981, Domingo also made an unexpected foray into pop music, recording the duet "Perhaps Love" with John Denver and in the process scoring a Top 20 hit. (A 1989 collaboration with Jennifer Rush, "Till I Loved You," was also a mainstream success.) While remaining best known as an operatic performer, he subsequently enjoyed parallel success with his recordings of traditional Spanish love songs; however, his greatest popularity came as one of the Three Tenors, a trio also including Pavarotti and Carreras whose albums and live concert videos enjoyed mainstream success not enjoyed by operatic recordings in many decades.

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