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This 4 CD/luxury set is a portrait of probably the greatest tenor of this or any other age: Plácido Domingo.
Born in Spain in 1941, Domingo spent his early life in Mexico where his parents, both singers, ran a company that presented zarzuelas (Spanish light operas) and other musical shows. His career as a tenor has spanned the entire world in a wide range of operas in which he has sung over 120 roles, and in 1990 he made history when, with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, he first appeared in Rome as one of the The Three Tenors, whose subsequent concerts and recordings broke all records for television viewing and record sales. He has subsequently shown great talent as a conductor and has very recently begun to sing baritone roles to wide acclaim, beginning with Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. Today, he is the General Director of both the Washington National Opera and of the Los Angeles Opera and also runs the highly successful ‘Operalia’ competition to help young artists further their careers.
The four CDs are held in trays inside the front and back rigid covers of a long digibook, and the 72 pages include an extensive collection of session photos and portraits relating to the recordings and Domingo’s EMI career as well as an informative note in English, French, German and Spanish.
The four CDs are themed as follows:
The Heroic Domingo shows Domingo in a wide selection of operatic roles. Each one is a hero, such as the brave Egyptian soldier Radamès in Verdi’s Aida, the Roman Proconsul Pollione in Bellini’s Norma and the Hebrew warrior Samson in Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns. All these arias give Domingo the opportunity to show his skills as a vocal actor and to bring to life the different characters he is portraying.
The Romantic Domingo reveals a completely different side of Domingo and presents him in a gallery of romantic parts like the painter Cavarodossi in Puccini’s Tosca, the idealistic Spanish Infante Don Carlos in Verdi’s great masterpiece Don Carlo and the ill-fated young poet Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Again, Domingo uses his glorious voice to conjure up the various romantic moods in the different arias.
In The Great Duets, Domingo is joined by some of his illustrious fellow operatic stars for a programme of duets, including the famous love duets from Tristan und Isolde (with Deborah Voigt), Otello (with Cheryl Studer and Manon Lescaut (with Montserrat Caballé), as well as the friendship duets from Don Carlo (with Sherrill Milnes), La forza del destino (with Giorgio Zancanaro) and the so-called ‘Temple Duet’ from Les Pêcheurs de perles (with Thomas Hampson).
In complete contrast, Latin Songs gives Domingo the chance to enjoy performing some of the most famous popular songs from Spain, Mexico, Cuba and the rest of Latin America in lively modern arrangements. The programme includes many songs that have been international hits, both in their original form and in local translations, such as ‘Quiéreme mucho’ (known in English as ‘Yours’) ‘Maria Elena’, ‘La Paloma’ and ‘Guantanamera’. The programme concludes with an exciting performance of ‘Granada’ recorded live in front of a huge and wildly enthusiastic audience that fully appreciates the unique talent of this great singer.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.