El Gran Plácido

JD continues his series of musical vignettes:

One of my favourite singers and probably one of yours too, Plácido Domingo is over 70 but shows no sign of slowing down. His recent performance on TV as Rigoletto was proof of that, and switching to baritone instead of tenor will probably extend his career.

A couple of records in my collection are of Domingo singing Zarzuela which is a Spanish form of operetta, a drama with both spoken and sung dialogue. The records give me the impression that he sings Zarzuela with more enthusiasm than he does opera as if the Opera was the ‘day job’ but other styles are sung for the joy it brings him.

Zarzuela is still very popular in Spain. Many years ago one of the bars called Mister Sellars used to have a night of Zarzuela every so often. A piano or organ accompanied three or four singers who in turn sang popular traditional songs or operatic arias. On those nights the bar was always packed and it was a great night’s entertainment and a great night for the bar too. I wonder if they still do it now?

Here is Domingo once more in fine voice singing No Puedo Ser

And to show that he can sing anything here he is at the Real Madrid Centenario.


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3 comments for “El Gran Plácido

  1. dearieme
    October 6, 2010 at 16:09

    We were enjoying that third broadcast of Rigoletto when suddenly our TV screen went blank. Any idea what it was?

  2. JD
    October 6, 2010 at 18:15

    I didn’t get a blank screen but there were some technical hitches-
    a bit of drastic camera wobble
    and then in the scene where Rigoletto and Gilda were singing outside and the Duke and Maddalena were singing inside Sparafucile’s house Rigoletto and Gilda were almost inaudible.
    But no blank screen.
    The BBC will show it again at some point, as they did with Tosca a few years ago so stand by with the video recorder.

  3. Barbara
    October 6, 2010 at 22:26

    Don’t wish Placido’s life away. He is not 70 until next January. Thanks fot the post, though.

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