Born José Plácido Domingo Embil on Jan. 21, 1941 in Madrid, Spain
Regarded as the world’s greatest living tenor, and surely its busiest, Placido Domingo is as comfortable singing Puccini as he is with Wagner. In the April 2008 issue of BBC Music Magazine, he was ranked first in a survey of the 20 greatest tenors of all time, ahead of Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti.
In addition to having sung more roles than any tenor in history, the indefatigable Spaniard is a globe-hopping performer and conductor, a prolific, multiple Grammy Award-winning recording artist, an energetic presence at a wide array of cultural, philanthropic and ceremonial events, and director of the Los Angeles and Washington National operas.
His personal mantra is: “If I rest, I rust.”
As charismatic and well-connected as he is artistically accomplished, Domingo wields tremendous clout in his ability to help shape the careers of individual artists, and operatic culture generally, in the United States, Europe and beyond.
The son of light-opera singers, he made his stage debut in Mexico in 1959 and soon transitioned from baritone into tenor range. He was affiliated with the Israeli National Opera in the early 1960s, joined New York City Opera in 1965 and helped inaugurate its new Lincoln Center home in 1966.
He joined the Metropolitan Opera Company two years later, made his debut at La Scala in Milan in 1969 and at London’s Covent Garden in 1971.
In addition to opera, Domingo has performed in several films, including Franco Zeffirelli’s “Otello” (one of Domingo’s signature roles) and Francesco Rosi’s “Carmen.” He appeared on an episode of “The Cosby Show” and has performed with many pop musicians, including John Denver and Ricky Martin.