Domingo speaks at the National Endowment for the ArtsOpera Honors on October 31, 2008, in Washington, DC.
Plácido Domingo, KBE (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈplaθiðo ðoˈmiŋɡo]; born 21 January 1941), born José Plácido Domingo Embil, is a Spanish tenor and conductor known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. As of the end of 2013 he has sung 144 different roles.
Biography and career
Plácido Domingo was born on 21 January 1941 in the Retiro district section of Madrid, Spain, and in 1949 moved to Mexico with his family, who ran a zarzuela company. He studied piano at first privately and later at the National Conservatory of Music inMexico City.
In 1957, Domingo made his first professional appearance, performing with his mother in a concert at Mérida, Yucatán. He made his opera debut performing in Manuel Fernández Caballero’s zarzuela, Gigantes y cabezudos, singing a baritone role. At that time, he was working with his parents’ zarzuela company, taking baritone roles and as an accompanist for other singers. Among his first performances was a minor role in the first Mexican production of My Fair Lady where he was also the assistant conductor and assistant coach. The company gave 185 performances, which included a production of Lehár‘s The Merry Widow in which he performed alternately as either Camille or Danilo.
In 1959, Domingo auditioned for the Mexico National Opera as a baritone, but was then asked to sight-read some arias and lines in the tenor range. Finally he was accepted in the National Opera as a tenor comprimario and as a tutor for other singers. He provided backup vocals for Los Black Jeans in 1958, a rock-and-roll band led by César Costa. He studied piano and conducting, but made his stage debut acting in a minor role in 1959 (12 May) at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara as Pascual in Marina. It was followed by Borsa in Rigoletto (with Cornell MacNeil and Norman Treigle also in the cast), Padre Confessor (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and others.
He played piano for a ballet company to supplement his income as well as playing piano for a program on Mexico’s newly founded cultural television station. The program consisted of excerpts from zarzuelas, operettas, operas, and musical comedies. He acted in a few small parts while at the theater in plays by Federico García Lorca, Luigi Pirandello, and Anton Chekhov.
In 1961, Domingo made his operatic debut in a leading role as Alfredo in La traviata at Monterrey (Maria Teresa Montoya theater) and, later in the same year, his debut in the United States with the Dallas Civic Opera, where he sang the role of Arturo inDonizetti‘s Lucia di Lammermoor opposite Joan Sutherland in the title role.
In 1962, he returned to Texas to play the role of Edgardo in the same opera with Lily Pons at the Fort Worth Opera. At the end of 1962, he signed a six-month contract with the Israel National Opera in Tel Aviv, but later extended the contract and stayed for two and a half years, singing 280 performances of 12 different roles.
In June 1965, after finishing his contract with Israel National Opera, Domingo went for an audition at the New York City Opera and scheduled to make his New York debut as Don Jose in Bizet‘s Carmen, but his debut came earlier when he was asked to fill in for an ailing tenor at the last minute in Puccini‘s Madama Butterfly. On 17 June 1965, Domingo made his New York debut as B. F. Pinkerton at the New York City Opera. In February 1966, he sang the title role in the U.S. premiere of Ginastera‘s Don Rodrigo at the New York City Opera, with much acclaim. The performance also marked the opening of the City Opera’s new home at Lincoln Center.
His official debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York occurred on 28 September 1968 when he substituted for Franco Corelli, in Cilea‘s Adriana Lecouvreur singing with Renata Tebaldi. Before Adriana Lecouvreur, he had sung in performances by the Metropolitan Opera at Lewisohn Stadium of Mascagni‘s Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo‘s Pagliacci in 1966. Since then, he has opened the season at the Metropolitan Opera 21 times, surpassing the previous record of Enrico Caruso by four. He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1967; at the Lyric Opera of Chicagoin 1968; at both La Scala and San Francisco Opera in 1969; at the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company in 1970; and at Covent Garden in 1971. He has now sung at practically every other important opera house and festival worldwide. In 1971, he sang Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, and continued to sing that part for many years, singing it, in fact, more than any other role.
Domingo has also conducted opera — as early as 7 October 1973, La traviata at the New York City Opera with Patricia Brooks — and occasionally symphony orchestras as well. In 1981 Domingo gained considerable recognition outside of the opera world when he recorded the song “Perhaps Love” as a duet with the late American country/folk music singer John Denver. In 1987, he and Denver joined Julie Andrews for an Emmy Award-winning holiday television special, The Sound of Christmas, filmed in Salzburg, Austria.
On 19 September 1985, the biggest earthquake in Mexico’s history devastated part of the Mexican capital. Domingo’s aunt, uncle, his nephew and his nephew’s young son were killed in the collapse of the Nuevo León apartment block in the Tlatelolco housing complex. Domingo himself labored to rescue survivors. During the next year, he performed benefit concerts for the victims and released an album of one of the events.
1990s – present
A statue in Mexico City as a recognition to his contributions to 1985 Mexico City earthquake victims and his artistic works
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s until today, Domingo has continued performing, singing many of the same roles, but adding new roles as well — among them the title roles in Wagner‘s Parsifal and Mozart‘s Idomeneo; Rossini‘s Il barbiere di Siviglia as Figaro; Wagner’s Die Walküre as Siegmund; Lehár‘s The Merry Widow as Danilo; and Alfano‘s Cyrano de Bergerac as Cyrano. From the middle 1990s to early in 2008 alone, he added 38 new roles to his repertoire, covering opera in six different languages (English, Italian, French, German, Russian and Spanish). The latest was the Italian opera by George Frideric Handel, Tamerlano.
Giving him even greater international recognition outside of the world of opera, Domingo participated in The Three Tenors concert at the eve of the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final in Rome with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti. The event was originally conceived to raise money for the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation and was later repeated a number of times, including at the three subsequent World Cup finals (1994 in Los Angeles, 1998 in Paris, and 2002 in Yokohama). Alone, Domingo again made an appearance at the final of the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, along with rising stars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. On 24 August 2008, Domingo performed a duet with Song Zuying, singing Ài de Huǒyàn (The Flame of Love) at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in Beijing. The Beijing Olympics was the second Olympics at which he performed; he sang the Olympic Hymn at the closing ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics. At the Olympic games that followed that, he would meet Sissel Kyrkjebø, who performed the Olympic Hymn at both the opening and closing ceremonies at those games.
Since 1990 Plácido Domingo has received many awards and honors for his achievement in the field of music and in recognition of his many benefit concerts and contributions to various charities.
In 2002, Domingo wrote “Himno del Centenario del Real Madrid”. The song was presented live at the Bernabeu Stadium during celebrations of the football club Real Madrid‘s 100 years anniversary.
During the visit of Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park and at the Italian embassy in Washington D.C. Domingo sang on 16 and 17 April 2008 while, on 15 March 2009, the Metropolitan Opera paid tribute to Domingo’s 40th anniversary with the company with an on-stage gala dinner at the Met’s 125th anniversary, commemorating his debut in Adriana Lecouvreur as Maurizio opposite Renata Tebaldi on 28 September 1968.
Domingo sang Neptune in the Metropolitan Opera’s World Premiere performance of The Enchanted Island on 31 December 2011. A pastiche of Baroque opera with story and characters drawn from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a performance of the production was telecast on PBS’ Great Performances at the Met.
On 13 May 2012, Domingo performed during Real Madrid CF’s season-ending celebrations, the team having won their 32nd league title. Domingo is a fan of Los Merengues.
Bunton at Britain’s Pride Event 2011
|Birth name||Emma Lee Bunton|
|Also known as||
|Born||21 January 1976 (age 37)
Finchley, London, England, United Kingdom
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, adult contemporary, soul, motown|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, actress, presenter|
Emma Lee Bunton (born 21 January 1976) is a British pop singer, best known as a member of the girl group the Spice Girls formed in the 1990s. Bunton is known as Baby Spice as she is the youngest member. She is currently a radio presenteron Heart FM, presenting Heart Breakfast in London with Jamie Theakston and presenting her own show from 5pm to 7pm on Saturday.
Her debut solo album, A Girl Like Me, was released in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2001 by Virgin Records. The album debuted and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart. It was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 100,000 copies, ultimately becoming the 147th best-selling album in the UK for 2001. The album brought the UK and New Zealand number-one single “What Took You So Long?” as well as top five hits “What I Am” and “Take My Breath Away” and the top 20 hit “We’re Not Gonna Sleep Tonight“.
Bunton’s second album, Free Me, was released in 2004 through 19 Entertainment/Universal Records. Four singles were taken from it: “Free Me“, “Maybe“, “I’ll Be There” and “Crickets Sing for Anamaria“. Bunton reunited with the Spice Girls in 2007 for an international tour and greatest hits album. From 2003 to 2012 Bunton had a recurring role on the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous. Bunton performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony on 12 August with the Spice Girls.
Bunton’s television appearances include being a judge on the ITV skating show Dancing on Ice and the ITV entertainment series Your Face Sounds Familiar. She has guest hosted a number of shows including GMTV, Lorraine and This Morning Summer.