Placido Domingo is learning a new role

Placido Domingo is learning a new role


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2020

The singer, who turned 79 today, has booked himself in for Donizetti’s Belisario at Bergamo in November.

It will be his 152nd role.


With Denis Matsuev, Putin’s musical emissary

The prompter will be working overtime.


  • Nijinsky says:

    Isn’t there a retired Pope that could fill in? A Prince? A Mountain or two petite?

  • Mick the Knife says:

    PD continues to be inspirational as he avoids any hint of dotage.

  • Dalledu Alletre says:

    That’s the only place it’s performed!

  • Charles Rhodes says:

    Wow, just wow.

  • Dr. Shirley Rombough says:

    It is ridiculous to disparage Placido Domingo’s taking on a new role because of his age. If he cannot do it he will know. He has learned and sung over 100 roles. His professionalism will carry him through. If not, he will decide

  • Anna Y says:

    Bravo, Maestro!!!!!!

  • Leslie says:

    It’s fantastic that he wants to learn something new! Why so many ageism remarks! The more we learn as we age the longer we keep our brain in tact!!!!!

  • V. Lind says:

    I’s no more ridiculous than his singing anything else — which by recent reviews seems to be not at all. (We will not countenance the notion that some of those reviews have been coloured by attitudes about his little local difficulties in the US).

    I am not seeing him live so have no view on the matter of his current performing abilities. But I do not accept that if he is able to perform he is not able to learn. By all accounts of his range of activities, his is a nimble and very able mind, and nobody doubts his musicality.

  • Hugo Rainer says:


  • Gonzalo says:

    Bravo Placido!!! Eres el mejor!

  • Mark says:

    It’s admirable and inspiring. Bravo !!

  • Peter says:

    He cancelled his December concert in Krakow because tickets were not selling, causing great disappointment and inconvenience. No apology.

  • Doug Moore says:

    Timeless, your voice and spirit has carried me through thick and thin, your fan forever !! – capt. Doug

  • Luis Rodriguez says:

    What is ridiculous about it? I got lost on your article there, are you praising or condemning?

  • Hornbill says:

    Does he have a track record of needing a prompter?

  • Nicola says:

    No prompter, since it will be a concert performance…

  • Katerina von Waldersee says:

    Hello Norman,
    Might you be just a tiny bit envious of this man‘s energy and popularity at 79?

  • Schroeder says:

    To Norman L
    Which problem do you have with PD?
    Envy rules your world!

    • Simon says:

      Not every time someone criticises someone or something it’s envy…
      Believe me, there are plenty of people with a realistic view of PD’s “singing” in the past years
      ….not to mention his conducting

  • pageturner says:

    Has he taken Hughes Cuenod as his professional role model? Seriously though, learning never did anyone any harm at any age, so I applaud him on that front. Let’s hope his execution of the role passes muster. No doubt it will be heavily analysed, discussed and dissected – not least by NL when the time comes.

  • Nijinsky says:

    Oh, he’s so right, Mr. Domingo is, and I really missed out on life not spending it listening to him insult elephants blasting away. You see it’s a tragedy I never realized how dangerous such creatures are, and MONKEYS TOO. They’re taking away all of the jobs you could have had in a hospital or a laboratory!

  • Philip Koch says:

    PLACIDO Domingo is amazing. What is Belisario? Love Donizetti, but never heard of it. I guess Domingo will still be singing when he’s 100.

    • Stuart says:

      Belisario came right after Lucia – same librettist. I heard it in concert at the Barbican in 2012. BBC Symphony conducted by Mark Elder. Opera Rara released a recording with the same forces. Quite a strong work. Strong cast headed by Joyce El-Khoury.

  • SylvieGT says:

    I’m sure he will do it with all his serious, competences and energy

  • Daniela says:

    There is nothing ridiculous about Placido Domingo taking on a new role. And what has age got to do with anything. That is pure discrimination!
    Domingo is dedicated and professsional to the core. He is capable of deciding what he can or cannot do.

  • E. Conboy says:

    We can hope.

  • Marel says:

    Mr. Lebrecht, your comments are uncalled for.
    Firstly, you acknowledge Maestro Domingo’s birthday, but did not have the courtesy to offer well wishes, as you do with others. Secondly, there is nothing ridiculous about this talented legend learning and performing a new role. If anything , it is to be commended. Lastly, your prompter comment is out of line as well.
    Having seen him perform many times in the past few years, I can attest he does not rely on the prompter, as you insinuate.
    There have been several comments posted regarding your envy/jealousy. You have many times in the past expressed your disdain for Mr. Domingo, therefore, I will refrain from commenting on that.