Photo: Plácido Domingo
Born José Plácido Domingo Embil, the world-renowned Spanish tenor and conductor, Plácido Domingo turned 70 today.
Friday, as he celebrates his birthday in his birthplace of Madrid, 20 of the world’s top opera singers will perform 15 arias in his honor. To add an element of surprise to the evening, Plácido will have no idea who has flown out to perform for him until the moment they take the stage.
Queen Sophia of Spain will be attending his birthday gala, which will be shown in the Plaza de Oriente on a giant screen, and will be broadcast in around 20 countries.
Over 50 years ago, in 1957, Plácido made his operatic debut in Monterrey, Mexico as Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata.”
Though the Grammy-winner has performed in more that 130 stage roles— more than any tenor of his caliber—he received even greater international recognition outside the world of opera when he, José Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti performed as The Three Tenors throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
Having recently undergone surgery after doctors found a cancerous polyp in his colon, Plácido said, “At this stage every day I marvel at being able to sing,”
Earlier this month, Plácido told reporters, “To be in Madrid singing, with my family and friends, on such an important day for me is part of my birthday present.”
He also told reporters, “The biggest gift which I could receive on this birthday is to say that I can still continue singing for a few more years.”
¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Señor Domingo!