With his withdrawal from Macbeth and the statement that he will never perform again at the Met, Placido Domingo has drawn the curtain on an epic career – 51 consecutive seasons at the Met, 706 performances as a singer, 169 as a conductor.
This record will not be broken by any artist presently alive.
Domingo may continue to appear in Europe, where he is universally accepted at opera houses, but the hub of his legendary career is broken. He remains nominally general director of LA Opera during a legal investigation, but he is unlikely to resume that position.
This is not the time and place to consider cause and effect. A longer reflection is required on the state of opera and society, in due course.
As someone who first heard Domingo sing in glorious youth at the Tel Aviv Opera, who has observed his ups and downs, marvelled at the summits and seen the warts and all, I feel nothing but sadness for everyone involved in this final act, especially for Placido himself.