Placido Domingo: I won’t retire

Placido Domingo: I won’t retire


norman lebrecht

January 18, 2016

The Spanish singer and opera director turns 75 on Thursday. This weekend, he was singing in Dublin.

Still performing baritone roles, Domingo is also artistic director of Los Angeles Opera.

He has no plans to retire. ‘I have the soul of a beginner,’ he tells an Austrian newspaper.


jonas kaufmann placido domingo


  • Mick says:

    He really, seriously can’t sing anymore. Such a shame he won’t accept it.

  • Richard says:

    I agree with Mick’s comment above. It is now becoming embarrassing. Surely it would be better to leave people with the memories of wonderful performances he gave in when he was supreme.

  • Robin Worth says:

    There’s nothing new what he says.

    He was wonderful 40 years ago when he lived in Barcelona and sang so often at the Liceo in roles he has not touched in years (Calaf, Otello,Turiddu, Rodolfo) He began to conduct in those days and frequently did so there

    But he is no Verdian baritone. I suspect those who remember his prime would wish he would wield the baton more and sing less

  • Erich says:

    The trouble is he is only surrounded by sycophants who are afraid to tell him the truth – or who continue to be financially dependant on him. It is really sad that an artist who has achieved so much and who is actually very intelligent, should let that intelligence fail him just when he needs it most.

  • Stephen says:

    Jon Vickers also went on too long (though he was a youngster in comparison) and his final performances slightly spoilt his earlier great achievements.

  • Jorge Grundman says:

    In any case, I am completely sure that he sings better than all of us. If you do not like how he sings, do not listen to him. But if for a composer or a pianist the music is the reason of his life, why a singer can’t love the music until the end? …Hmmm..cause it disturbs you?

    Obviously, as any other old man, can show the age effects, but his heart can still be young. So who are us to tell him he must transform his heart?

    Still, be sure that he sings better than any of us.

    • Gerhard says:

      I had the pleasure to play in an orchestra accompanying him and some other singers last year. Admittedly he wouldn’t be my baritone of choice for any role, but this is beside the point. To me the point is that he is enjoying himself and his large audience loves every moment of it. Plus he is very professional, amiable, and courteous to everyone while putting on his show. So why should he bow to people who tell him he must stop because he is no longer in his prime? I reckon he is quite aware of this himself. But as long as he himself and his audience love it, he is perfectly justified in doing what he does.

      • Jean S says:

        We are so short of truly professionals in all aspect and when one listens to opera, music that is written and performed by professionals – you can hear it over and over! Let’s applaud Mr Domingo and may he continue to sing and give us the pleasure to hear him and his love and passion for music and how it transcends time! Thank you Mr Domingo..

  • A Met Fan says:

    In reply to Jorge Grundman – At last a sensible reply. We will only be sorry when Mr. Domingo actually does completely stop. What he represents for the art form is irreplaceable, at least by the current crop of artists.

    • Milka says:

      One was going to ask just what he represents then takes into consideration
      “Met Fan “- which cancels out any acquaintance one claims to the art of singing.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Even in old age, PD is capable of musically project his lines effectively. On the remarkable EMI disc ‘Wagner Love Duets’ (2000), together with Deborah Voigt and the ROH orchestra under Pappano, you can hear he is running out of breath all the time, but musically it is still very strong so you forgive him the flaws. (Voigt, by contrast, sings perfectly well, but cold, like an artificial hearth-fire, and the orchestra is superb under Pappano.)

  • Milka says:

    Marta Eggerth sang to a ripe old age (80+) and with careful selection of works was a
    superb and delightful artist the difference being she was an artist and
    Domingo is a has been tenor turned baritone minus the artistry

  • musicologyman says:

    I understand that he’s planning to celebrate his 85th birthday with his first impersonation of Gurnemanz, while holding Titurel in reserve for his 90th.

  • Eugene (Eugenio) says:

    So far, there is no finer, versatile and accomplished Tenor in the world . He had an amazing ability to sing many operatic roles, and in different languages. I would have given most anything to have such voice as his. Luciano had the ability to reach the higher notes,but Placido knew his limits and that’s why he lasted beyond other great tenors of his day. It is sad that voices like his go with age, but he still puts all his Heart and Love for beautiful music. This man is a humble, gifted and talented, vocal, musical genius.
    It would be a great honor to meet him.

    Viva Placido!

  • Eugene (Eugenio) says:

    Thank You Very Much for this opportunity, to express my sentiments.

  • Eugene White(Eugenio) says:

    I don’t blame Placido for not wanting to give up. Family and Music are his Life. Its not an easy task to give up something that has always come from heart and soul.
    I only wish that I could sing as I did 15 to 20 years ago.
    I always wanted to be a Tenor, but had to settle for Baritone.