Placido Domingo announced Monday that he will be leaving the Washington National Opera when his contract expires next year.
The Opera has been struggling financially in the recent past, and Domingo is credited with bringing more large productions and international stars to Washington.
Spanish tenor, Domingo, 69, has been the artistic director of the Washington National Opera ince 1996 and served as genera director since 2003.
In a letter, he wrote, “I think it is time for the company to go in new directions, including studying the possibility of a merger with the Kennedy Center, and you can rest assured that I will do everything I can to help during this, my last year as general director.”
Washington National Opera President Kenneth Feinberg, responding to Domingo’s departure said, “He will be missed, but all good things must come to an end. Placido’s association with WNO was essential to the company’s artistic development and helped it to gain recognition nationally and internationally.”
Under his current contract, Domingo will return to Washington early next year to sing “Iphigenie en Tauride” and will conduct performances of “Madama Butterfly” and “Don Pasquale.”
Popular music audiences know Domingo best for his “Three Tenors” performances with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti.