PLACIDO (José) DOMINGO – Orchestra Conductor and Tenor
(Madrid, Spagna, 1941 – )
Placido Domingo, baptized by the name of José, was born in a family of singers and from his childhood he was immersed in the environment of music at home. He started to play and sing when he was very young in the Zarzuelas operetta company of his parents. He graduated with a Diploma in Piano and Orchestra Conducting, and sang as a self-trained tenor after which he studied with Carlo Morelli, and interpreted both tenor and baritone roles in Zarzuelas and operettas. Between 1959 and 1961 he started to interpret the principal roles of the world of Opera, debuting in Mexico City in the role of Borsa (Rigoletto) , followed by Alfredo (Traviata), Rodolfo (Boheme), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Edgardo (Lucia of Lammermoor) and many other roles. He reached wide notoriety and sung in the greatest theaters of the world under the direction of Caballé, Solti, Karajan, and interpreting roles which were always different, supported by his dark voice and an extremely strong sense of music combined with his excellent skills as an actor. For this reason, he also interpreted various roles in opera movies (among which Carmen directed by Franco Rosi and Traviata directed by Franco Zeffirelli). Beginning in 1973 he also was involved in orchestra direction. Domingo, thanks to his versatile activity, enjoys very wide popularity not only in his own country, but on the international scene (the concert was broadcast from Rome in worldwide mono-vision in the memorable television concert “The three tenors” at the Caracalla Spa arena in 1990 with Carreras and Pavarotti under the direction of Zubin Mehta), was chosen in 1993 to interpret the spot “Train” directed by Gonzalo Suarez (1934 -) for Barilla Spain. Here the musician interpreted himself and leaving a theater in a hurry (The Regio Theater of Parma) in the commercial he is able to catch a train at the last minute (Milan Central Station), where his orchestra musicians are waiting for him in the restaurant car (ICET Theaters of Cologno Monzese). The cumbersome instrument case of the bass player, which up to that moment in the commercial had been dragged along, then opens to reveal the precious contents: it is full of Barilla Spaghetti pasta that the chef on the train hurries to prepare to satisfy everyone’s appetite.