Sicklist: Domingo cancels Salzburg

Sicklist: Domingo cancels Salzburg


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2014

The septuagenarian singer is suffering from a bladder infection, accompanied by a respiratory tract disorder. He is running a high fever.

The Polish baritone Artur Rucinski takes over his role for the rest of Il Trovatore.

We wish Placido a swift and pain-free recovery.


domingo netrebko trovatore




  • sdReader says:

    He performed badly, when someone new could have had a moment in the spotlight.

    Still, best wishes for his recovery and a long future role as advocate and off-stage ambassador for opera.

    • GEll says:

      Agree that the man needs to call it a day. Plus speedy recovery and all that.

    • Yes Addison says:

      I don’t know if I would go as far as “He needs to get off the world’s stages, right now,” because, even with the caveat that he is not an authentic baritone, he has given some good performances in recent years (Boccanegra in London, Giorgio Gemont in New York). What he cannot or should not keep doing is maintaining the same punishing schedule, in his seventies, that he had 30 years ago: new roles, old roles, studio recording, television appearances on DWTS-type shows, conducting, fundraising, overseeing vocal competitions, etc., all of it with the requisite frequent air travel. His pulmonary embolism last summer seems not to have slowed him down at all.

      He could still sing, but make his stage appearances more of a special occasion, like when a great soprano or mezzo of the same age does a run of the Pikovaya Dama Countess. (I am not suggesting he has to sing only equivalent “old man” parts like the Emperor in Turandot.)

      However, even if Domingo had retired years ago, there is no guarantee this would have opened the door for someone “new” such as the fine Artur Ruciński in this Salzburg Trovatore. He is getting the gig *because* of the lateness of the hour and the need to get someone who has the dates free. Had it been planned years in advance in a Domingo-free world, it would have been one the usual-suspect big names such as Hampson or Hvorostovsky.

      • sdReader says:

        Brilliant! Plácido can sing the Pikovaya Dama Countess in drag transposed down for baritone. Now that would be going out in style!

      • Nick says:

        “all of it with the requisite frequent air travel”

        I know of an instance where he flew 8,000 miles for one concert, arriving just two days beforehand, and then 4,500 miles the next day. Naturally it was for a big pay day and it was some years ago. Yet he sang magnificently. But that kind of punishing schedule has to start having an effect on the body and the voice.

        I hope he will relax a bit more as I still want to get to one of his Boccanegra performances.