New job for Placido Domingo

New job for Placido Domingo


norman lebrecht

September 19, 2011

Ever since he was eased out of Washington National Opera, the great man has had time on his hands. So first he thought about cleaing up world soccer, then about helping the impoverished drivers of Formula 1.

But just wait long enough and the right job is sure to come around. Hot off my emails this morning comes news that Placido Domingo has been named Artistic Director of…. (drum roll)… the opening production at The Royal Opera House of Muscat and Oman.

He will also appear there as a guest conductor with the orchestra of the WNO.

Good to know that Placido has found a niche in these tough times.


The opera ‘Turandot’ will be performed at the Royal Opera House
of Muscat, the capital of the Omani Sultanate, on the dates of 12, 14,
15 October 2011.
This presentation, under the sponsorship of Sultan Qabu Ben Said,
who having admired operas of the past season at the Arena of Verona-
with stage design , lighting and directed by Franco Zeffirelli – has
decided to open the Royal Opera House programme to lyric opera.
Sultan Qabu Ben Said was educated in England and has always nurtured
his passion for western culture, particularly theater and classical
music. As an aficionado of classical music, he directed construction
of the theater, whereupon completion also established an orchestra
comprising 120 musicians. The orchestra members, initially taught by
British professors of music, are highly respected throughout the Near
This being the first time that the theater opens its doors to lyric
opera, the Sultan, himself a connoisseur of style and the poetic arts,
chose Mr. Zeffirelli to prooduce and direct one of opera’s more
popular spectacles because of the inherent expertise he has
consistently exhibited throughout his career.
He was the first Italian national to receive an honorary knighthood
fron the British Government when he was created a Knight Commander of
the Order of the British Empire.
The Director,together with Placido Domingo stated expressly that
‘Turandot’, knowing it would be particularly well received by the
Sultan, has the immediacy to both introduce to and fascinate an
audience while presenting an operatic production that is extraordinary
and unlike that of the traditional classical repetoire of Near East
Mr. Zeffirelli’s desire is completely aligned with the Sultan’s
in that under their auspices there is a penetration of eastern culture
by an art form of the western world.
For we Italians, this opportunity presents the possibility to export
to a new destination another aspect of ‘our artistic expression’
which has contributed to the acclamation and appreciation of the
Italian spirit and character throughout many parts of the world.
It is by virtue of this, that the Foundation Arena of Verona is
represented in an exemplary manner that includes orchestra, chorus,
ballet as well as characters.
The 350 costumes designed by Maurizio Millenotti (twice nomimated
for an Oscar and a ‘David di Donatello’ award recipient) were
produced by three Italian sartorial studios one of which was the
Tirelli firm. And, at the theater Director’s Franco Zeffirelli
behest, in rigorous insistence that all aspects of this production be
of the Made in Italy stamp, select Italian companies designed and
produced all of the costume fabric specifically for this rendering of
‘Turandot’. Even the stage, set, and

art work, designed by Mr. Zeffirelli himself, were created by Italian
masters in stage modeling.
The Artistic Director for ‘Turandot’ is opera’s preeminent
Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, known for his versatile and strong
voice. He has also taken on conducting opera and concert
performances,as well as serving the General Director of the Washington
National Opera of the Washington D.C. and the Los Angeles Opera in
The cast of operatic singers appearing in ‘Turandot’ are: Irina
Longu as ‘Liu’, Marco Scotti as ‘Timur’, and Martina Serafin
as ‘Turandot’.
In the coming days the substitute for Mr. Salvatore Licitra in the
role of ‘Calaf’ will be announced.
Mr. Licitra, as has been noted in the world press, recently passed
away. A serious loss for his family and to the world of Opera.
In additional,on October 13, Placido Domingo will conduct the
Orchestra of Washington National Opera in the Royal Opera House of


  • Thomas Moser says:

    I do find the use of the word “penetration” interesting in describing the “alignment of Mr Zeffirelli´s desires with those of the Sultan of Oman. Hmmmmm. Freudian slip ? I do thank God that Placido has at lat found something to do, and he and his family will not be on the bread lines any time soon. 🙂

  • Holger says:

    When he’s already there anyway, can’t Mr. Domingo sing Calaf? 😉

  • Andrew says:

    I guess they won’t be doing La Traviata (Libiamo) or Die Fledermaus there(es lebe Champagne die Erste)?

  • ariel says:

    Follie !!! Follie !!! it never ceases to amaze how certain insects know where to find the ne$$ctar