Photo: Placido Domingo
Spanish tenor Placido Domingo returned to Rio de Janeiro and, two days before the World Cup final, again delighted fans after 20 years away from the Brazilian city.
The time and place of his Friday concert were not scheduled by chance by this lifelong soccer fan and Real Madrid supporter. Domingo wished to associate his music once more with a World Cup and so chose the city where Argentina will face off against Germany on Sunday for the soccer championship at Maracana Stadium.
In a tribute to the country that welcomed him with a full house after such a long absence, the tenor chose not to perform solo but surrounded himself with local musical talent including Paula Fernandes, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and the Brazil Opera Chorus, to bring the crowd at the HSBC Arena-Rio theater an unforgettable show.
Also accompanied, as on other occasions, by Puerto Rican soprano Ana Maria Martinez and U.S. orchestra conductor Eugene Kohn, the Spaniard captivated an audience that had longed to see him again, with a combination of opera, Spanish music, American musical comedy, operetta and typical Brazilian songs.
The duos by Domingo and Martinez were so charged with power and elegance they gave spectators the shivers and were some of the truly memorable moments of the night.
This was the fifth time the singer has given a concert in a World Cup context, after initiating the custom in Rome in 1990, where he teamed up with Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti.
The tenor went on to conquer the public in the United States in 1994, in France in 1998, in Korea/Japan in 2002, and in Germany in 2006, and no way was he going to miss the chance of a repeat in Rio de Janeiro.