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  • NPW-Paris: Frogs in bogs? Platée is one of my favourite operas of all. 5:39 PM
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  • la vociaccia: if you can’t sing it well, then you can’t sing well, period. No disagreements from me there. But a lot of people seem to be... 4:17 PM
  • Camille: I was keenly anticipating this “Heart” ;, but after having read the program only just last evening, (thank you to... 4:13 PM
  • grimoaldo: The review actually explains why, the “upper part of her voice was often so edgy that the aria became truly... 3:44 PM

Found object

Well, you can slash La Cieca’s veins, drink her blood and trample her corpse, because she did not see this one coming! According to the very reliable échotiers over at Forum Opera, Placido Domingo will sing his first Conte di Luna in Vienna Berlin in November of this year opposite the Leonora of Anna Netrebko!


  • 1
    operanow says:

    Doesn’t it say Berlin Staatsoper?

  • 2
    peter says:

    Well no one can accuse Domingo of being a small repertory singer.

  • 3
    oedipe says:

    La Cieca,

    I believe they are talking about Berlin, not Vienna.

  • 4
    manou says:

    Conte di Lunatic

  • 5
    Nerva Nelli says:

    And in 2017: Ferrando!

  • 6
    lucy brown says:

    Considering Placido’s…maturity… in comparison to the character’s, I must quote my husband and ask, “Who will do his makeup, Sherwin Williams?”

    • 6.1
      Clita del Toro says:

      LOL Lucy

    • 6.2
      Vergin Vezzosa says:

      Lucy -- yes, LOL for me too. But you have also highlighted what really seriously bothers me most about the PD di Luna. For goodness sakes, the character is a fiery young man, Manrico’s brother, not his father! Ideally a romantic lead. I do not think it is humanly possible to create any sense of credibility with PD as di Luna competing with Manrico for Leonora. Regardless of one’s opinion of the vocalism, one can argue that PD is justifiable dramatically in the father/older warrior/statesmen baritone roles like Nabucco, Foscari, Rigoletto, Germont and Boccanegra that he had taken on. Di Luna, I don’t think so .

  • 7
    Camille says:

    When may we expect his Boris GutEnuf?

    • 7.1
      kennedet says:

      I think this is bordering on neurosis or narcissism. Celebrated opera Tenor,conductor,producer,administrator and now beginning a career as an operatic baritone in his 70’s???? If he had the reputation of doing them all well one could conceive of him as a genius but that is not the case!!! Has anyone else done this???

    • 7.2
      Adriana Levancouver says:

      Or perhaps his ????? ??????? (Boris Badenov)?

      • 7.2.1
        Adriana Levancouver says:

        Sorry for all those question marks. Apparently comments here can’t handle Cyrillic characters.

    • 7.3
      The_Kid says:

      I’d rather have the Dolora Zajick “Doris Godunov” :D

  • 8
    • 8.1
      Chanterelle says:

      It’s the BALLET that’s selling all those tickets, oedipe, you know that! Joel really has sucked all the life out of opera on Paris main stages. In the ladies’ room at interval you should hear the little old ladies complaining bitterly about how dull and condescending the productions are…

      • 8.1.1
        oedipe says:

        But Chanterelle, you should know by now: the French have ALWAYS complained and will ALWAYS complain, it’s part of the “je n’sais quoi” and it makes one look sophisticated and discerning…

        But seriously, regarding the ballet versus opera, there are about twice as many opera performances as ballet performances, and there were 6 opera productions for which the WHOLE RUN was sold out! Among the sold out runs: the extraordinary Haneke Don Giovanni and the magical Carsen Capriccio, so it’s not as if only crappy productions sell out. How many completely sold out runs did the Met have in 2012?

        I think the question to be asked here is: on an ongoing basis (i.e. independent of politics), what exactly is at work that makes this much maligned opera house do relatively well in difficult times.

  • 9
    Clita del Toro says:

    Oh, shit!

  • 10
    metapindar says:

    Oh, for God’s sake. Yes, I suppose he will continue to generate some ticket sales for curiosity’s sake, but he’s now actively *in the way* of other or younger true baritones…since he’s neither younger *nor* a baritone.

    • 10.1
      oedipe says:

      I suppose he will continue to generate some ticket sales for curiosity’s sake (Bold emphasis mine).

      Well, consider this: the ROH’s Nabucco this season has two casts, one with Domingo, one with (the much superior, IMO) Nucci. When tickets went on sale, the Domingo dates sold out in a matter of hours (minutes?), whereas the Nucci dates had (and still have) plenty of available tickets left. The same scenario was repeated for the Domingo Nabucco at the Staatsoper in Vienna, where the run sold out almost immediately. The French consider Domingo a god who can do no wrong. It’s only in America that his worship is lesser. So you see, in terms of opinions about singers and their worth, it’s all relative…

  • 11
    rcfgodoy says:

    I much preferred his Ruiz in ’93

  • 12
    Maria Malcontent says:

    The great thing about the arts is that there is no such thing as rock bottom.

  • 13
    Maria Malcontent says:

    Although I suppose the musical question is whether the can still sing it in key,

  • 14
    m. croche says:

    The bet I made for “Titurel by 2021” is looking better and better…

  • 15
    phoenix says:

    Domingo, like a true Latin Dictator, will not let go of his power -- only a revolution can bring him down.

  • 16
    perfidia says:

    This is just my opinion, but I find something slightly vampyric about the way he latches on to hot singers. He did it with Cura and Villazon. I’ll keep clutching to my recording of his joint recital with Milnes at the Met to forget what that career has become.

  • 17
    Rowna says:

    So many thoughts re the subject of Mr. Domingo and his new life as a baritone: First, he just can’t let go of his singing career. And he is being helped by those who hire him. If someone offered me let’s say, 10k -- 20k for an evening, why would I turn it down if I knew I could do it, even if I knew it wouldn’t be great? And how many in the audience(s) actually KNOW what singing is about? They are there for an evening of entertainment. Talk about selling out a house -- if we could raise Pavarotti from the dead -- you know those tickets would go in a nano second! And speaking of seconds, while I personally do not care for him as a baritone, I have heard much worse, even at the Met and other big houses.

    • 17.1
      kennedet says:

      I don’t know you Rowna but if you comment on this website, I’m sure you have more integrity than to sing for big money…. only. Obviously, the world is all about money but I’m grateful that the parterians are about the art form and what that entails,instead of how much they can earn.

      I totally agree with your other comments. Domingo sounded like all of the other baritones in Nabucco, IMO and I don’t think he would be at the Met if he initially auditioned as a baritone.

      • 17.1.1
        armerjacquino says:

        If a singer is offered an engagement, they have every right to take it. It doesn’t have to be a question of money. Domingo has dedicated his life to singing; he may be scared stiff at the idea of living without it.

        I agree that his baritone work is underwhelming to say the least, but the problem here is with the people offering the work, not the people taking it.

          kennedet says:

          Amerjacquino,if Domingo needs to accept engagements because he is scared of living without singing then he possibly needs some help in accepting his present vocal condition (tenor). I think he is singing baritone because he can’t navigate what is required to sing tenor. Also, I think he is taking advantage of his status as someone commented earlier. Most singers accept that their career is over and move on. Who else could change fachs after a career is over (tenor)and try to make another career with a different voice classification. Personally, i think it makes a mockery of voice training to be classified as two vocal classifications whether you can master another range or not. It confuses the whole concept of voice production…. if you teach or train.

          • armerjacquino says:

            Kennedet, I’m not defending Domingo’s decision to become a baritone, or even his decision to extend his career, for whatever reason. All I’m saying is the very simple point that if work is offered to him he is entirely within his rights to accept it.

          • kennedet says:

            Fine, armerjacquino. No argument there.

          • Personally, i think it makes a mockery of voice training to be classified as two vocal classifications whether you can master another range or not

            I would love for you to have a talk, among others with
            Shirley Verrett
            Grace Bumbry
            Regina Crespin
            Olivia Stapp
            Marylin Horne
            Martha Mödl
            Nina Stemme
            Violeta Urmana
            Helga Dernesh
            Ramon Vinay
            James King
            Lauritz Melchior
            David Daniels
            Gary Lehman

            I could go on…

      • 17.1.2
        Rowna says:

        Kennedet -- in a perfect world you are so right. I actually do sing for money (not big bucks) but am fortunate enough to have the ability to turn down gigs for which I am not suited. However, many people (not Placido I am sure) need the money to support themselves or their families. Just because they are artists, doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay bills. And let me say from my point of view, it is very, very hard to give up singing when it is the center of your life’s work.

          kennedet says:

          Rowna, all of my comments are specifically aimed at Domingo and nobody else. I would not presume to comment on your personal situation.

          However, the more we have this conversation, I believe it does center on Domingo giving up his vocal career. It might be the elephant in the room.

          • WindyCityOperaman says:

            Alagna was waxing philosophical in an intervew about when a singer has to stop -- because you’ve reached a time in your life when it’s time to, or your personal resources have diminished that you have to. He mentions those that had to sing in order to live, and didn’t live long after they stopped -- examples like Callas and the tenor Miguel Fleta. Placido is probably in the same category.

          • kennedet says:

            God forbid that should happen to Domingo, WCO. There are also artists….not only singers… that have stated that their craft is not the only sustenance in their lives or the reason for living and they strive to keep a balance in order to not be too dependent on their craft. This occupation is much too unpredictable to have an addiction. I know that many singers are warned in the beginning of their careers but I can’t speak for those who have had major ones.

            However, I think Callas had other issues which led to her demise other than the loss of her voice. Onassis was no picnic, although it happened years before she died.

          • Rowna says:

            Someday Placido will stop singing. We just don’t know when. I don’t know him personally, but I have heard that among people with large egos, he is in the top tier. There was a Russian basso, who I believe was in his 90’s singing Prince Gremin at a Russian opera house! And he wasn’t awful. I “collect” older singers youtube clips and there are some amazing examples of great singing late in years. You can email me at
   if you are ever interested in hearing some of my collection :)

          • The_Kid says:

            @rowna: that was mark reizen, and the following clip proves that he deserved to sing it. deeper voices (contraltos, basso profundos) age much better than their lighter counterparts. maybe that’s the Universe’s way of compensating for the fact that basso/contralto roles aren’t exactly star-makers.

          kennedet says:

          What’s your point Lindoro? To hell with voice classification. These are famous singers so it negates my views? Obviously, most of them are dead,therefore that takes care of any communication, but I can tell you that Bumbry and Verrett will always be Mezzos (IMO) who switched to soprano. The fact that they sang soprano roles does not make them soprano. Ask any voice technician you respect.

          • Rowna says:

            re voice classification -- will always be a topic with wide varieties of opinions from “experts.” however, it should be noted that in Handel’s scores, all high roles were written for “soprano” including Gulio! And in Cav, Santuzza is a soprano. It is now, that print and internet media can make this a compelling topic, for anyone to chime in about, that we are all giving our opinions. Ok, I think Bartoli is a soprano. Who cares? You either love her singing or you don’t! Same with DiDonato and many others. When you sing that well, and are hired to sing a role, no one cares if you are called a mezzo soprano or soprano. Think Zerlina! Successfully sung by Horne and Battle -- how similar are their voices?

          • kennedet says:

            Rowna,aren’t you a singer? I would hope you care. Assigning the correct classification and developing it correctly can make the difference between saving or destroying a voice. These famous singers that you mention didn’t become great by osmosis. They were trained in a certain classification in order to present the best possible sound. Now,whether they decided to change it later or not is up to them and their vocal coach but they were assuredly given a classification and trained in that range.

    • 17.2
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      You need to add many more zeros to those fees!

      • 17.2.1
        Rowna says:

        Ok -- I would like to know . . what do opera stars get per performance here and abroad? I used to know as I worked in the business (early 70s) and my last info was that top stars at the met were paid much higher in europe than here, but they still wanted to sing in NYC. Old info but I don’t think they were paid more than 20k per performance, if that.

  • 18
    zinka says:

    On Placido’s and my birthday on Jan.21, I am sending him a score of FRAU since he will sing all the unborn children (down an octave) next season. ONLY Ramon Vinay,a baritone anyway, did baritone roles at the end of the career.I hate CHEATERS!!!!!!

  • 19
    zinka says:

    Placido’s next role….since he has a GIMMICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 20
    bassoprofundo says:

    absolutely cringeworthy.

    they’ll sell out on account of Netrebko and Domingo will think it’s because of him.

    not sure which is worse: him doing this, or Netrebko agreeing to take part in this circus freak show.