Domingo: The time will come for me to retire

Domingo: The time will come for me to retire


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2020

From an interview with the Italian agency ANSA:

Does it make sense for you to talk about retirement? “Sure, but with a lot of serenity. The time will come to retire from the stage, because being on stage involves a great physical and mental commitment as well as vocal. I thought I’d end my career playing the baritone role of Boccanegra in 2009 but instead of the end it was a new beginning. “Finally, the sexual harassment scandal.” The official results are available to everyone. If my behavior offended someone, I apologized from day one, but my conscience is serene because I have not abused anyone and internal investigations have confirmed it “.


  • sam says:

    Oh you think?

  • V. Lind says:

    So self-delusion is not the exclusive prerogative of the American “President.”

  • Karl says:

    Once again the apology is a mistake. Anyone who is offended should just call a wambulance. WAHHH!!

  • Arie Donker says:

    The time came about 10-14 years ago!

  • Gustavo says:

    Tell that to the judge in the morning.

  • Stuart says:

    The time for him to retire came and went more than a decade ago. The way he sings now really tarnishes his reputation and he has zero talent as a conductor. Sad because he was a top 5 tenor for decades, but that was decades ago.

    • Deborath says:

      Couldn’t put it any better meself. Except the “decade” maybe 15 years ago give or take.

    • Aria da capo says:

      That reminds me of a story a friend of mine was telling about her grandmother. That lady, a native of the ultra-conservative island of Crete, Greece, had widowed at the age of 85. When her friends came to help her pack her clothes and donate them, keeping only the black ones for the life-long mourning period which was about to begin, she slipped a blue dress to her grand-daughter to hide and whispered: “put that aside, times are changing, now after ten years every one stops wearing black!”.

  • Anony Mous says:

    His wife is also responsible for her reprehensible emotional abuse and treatment of young female singers involved in her productions. No one has yet address this glaring elephant in the room.

  • Sandeling says:

    Yes, one day Domingo will retire and then you and your anti-Domingo clan, will have an enormous problem: loosing the target to fire your in poison dipped arrows at. Poor you and poor followers.

    • Spelling says:

      Loosing the target? How might one go about that? Oh, you mean losing….

      (Why is that word so hard for people? Lose. Loser. Losing, not loosing!

      • Tony Bridge says:

        I think we know what he meant…

        • CJ says:

          Indeed Tony. I must say I am always surprised by this type of ironical criticism, when many people make the effort to write in English, but it is their second or third language.
          Even if there are too many ooos, not everybody is capable of doing that, so some tolerance would be welcome. The important thing should be the message and our common love for music, isn’t it?

    • Karl says:

      They won’t have a problem finding some other guy to vilify. I hear that lots of men flirt with women – and even have sex sometimes!

  • Peter P. Kineater says:

    Excellent choice of photo to accompany this post, Norman. Keep up the unbiased, just-the-facts reporting that we’ve all come to know and love.


  • FACTS says:

    He’s been kicked out of too many opera houses to be trusted.

  • Jean E. Gress says:

    Behavior of latin men of that age is not the same expected today. Having lived there, I get it. I worked with domingo and had no issues.

  • Frommer_Gast says:

    He might become a really convincing Ochs auf Lerechenau!

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    He should have retired years ago. Only his vanity is keeping him going.

  • Tian says:

    Thank you and Goodbye.

  • Cover all the Mirrors!!! says:

    Porca Misèria!!!!

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Most likely he will die first. Of course the appropriate time to retire would have been at least a decade ago.

  • M2N2K says:

    Let me go on a limb here: my bet is that the guy on the right will retire before the guy on the left.

  • Nick2 says:

    He must have a short memory. The LA Opera Board’s internal investigators found the allegations against him “credible”. How an he now claim otherwise?

    • V. Lind says:

      Because he’s in denial. Along with some of thee trolls on this site.

      Look, he was once a great singer and is still in many ways a positive influence on opera life (Operalia, etc.). But that does not make him incapable of fault, which is what the deniers here persist in arguing.

      He clearly behaved badly enough to women for the concert and opera halls of the US to close their doors on him, not something they would do lightly in a financially precarious profession in a VERY litigious country. The LA report, as Nick reminds us above, found the allegations credible, and he is standing there saying it ain’t so. THAT IS DENIAL — you cannot get around it. What he says is NOT what the report says.

      The fact that he has not retired is part of the same pathology — a craving for adulation. It’s a dismal end to a GREAT career.

      • M2N2K says:

        The word “credible” does not mean that something is in fact the truth or a proven fact – only that it may be so. The report does not say that all those allegations were accurate representations of the events. There is nothing unusual that a person who was actually in the room can see the same events in a very different light.

    • David Hilton says:

      “Credible” does not mean “proven”. No opera board has yet found that Domingo in point of fact actually DID anything for which he should be censured.

      Finding allegations to be “credible” is simply saying that the minimum level of evidence exists to OPEN an investigation. It is not the end result of the investigation.

      Every US Senator who listened to the evidence found Prof. Anita Hill’s allegations against Justice Clarence Thomas to be “credible”. That’s why a special investigation was ordered before he could be sworn into the US Supreme Court. But the investigation in the end concluded that the allegations against Justice Thomas were not true.

      It is the same in any criminal proceeding. If the claims were not at least “credible” the trial would not be held. But until there is actually a finding of guilt after hearing all the evidence pro and con, the accused remains innocent in the eyes of the law and of unprejudiced observers.

      THAT is why Domingo “can now claim otherwise”.

  • M McAlpine says:

    The sad thing is when a once great artists insists the time has not come for him to retire when everyone else knows it has. How much better to go when people remember you as a great artist rather than a has-been.

    • William Safford says:

      A dear friend retired from a major American orchestra for that very reason: he specifically told me that he wanted to go out on a high note. Well over a decade later, he still takes freelance gigs (at least he did before COVID-19), especially to cover for colleagues on vacation, on maternity leave, taking sick days, etc. He can still play, but he wanted to retire on his own terms.

  • Save the MET says:

    Here’s a real tenor who actually was able to acquit himself as a baritone and even as a basso buffo. Domingo, not so much. Retirement should have happened years ago.

  • SLM says:

    What’s most perplexing is that opera companies permitted him to just keep going, no matter how absurd the repertoire he decided to take on. Bad enough that he tried anything at all in the baritone range, but to let him massacre the Verdi repertoire is unforgivable. The facilitators are equally to blame. Accounting and casting should not have been allowed to intersect.

  • John Scullion says:

    What a fucking liar he is

  • Occamsrazor says:

    Whenever I tell people from Latin America that I’m Russian, they scream Viva Putin, when I tell Chinese and Indians, they are also very happy, the same goes for people from most African countries. You see, the only thing that stands in the way of the final satanic subjugation and genocide of humanity is Russian nuclear triad. By trying to smear Domingo by posting his pic with Putin you only succeed with the nefarious children of Iblis known as Westerners. There aren’t that many of them and their might is fake, no armies worth a damn and sick and dying populations. Thank God there are still normal and decent people left in the West, they vote for Trump and respect Russia.

    • Angela says:

      The web brigades (Russian: Веб-бригады), also known as Russia’s troll army (Армия троллей России), Russian bots (Русские боты), Putinbots, Kremlinbots (Путиноботы, кремлеботы), troll factory (Фабрика троллей), Lakhta trolls (Лахтинские тролли) or troll farms (Фермы троллей), are state-sponsored anonymous Internet political commentators and trolls linked to the Russian government. Participants report that they are organized into teams and groups of commentators that participate in Russian and international political blogs and Internet forums using sockpuppets, social bots and large-scale orchestrated trolling and disinformation campaigns to promote pro-Putin and pro-Russian propaganda. The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goals of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political and social discord in the United States.

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Angela, I am one of those Lakhta trolls, we are the internet version of spetsnaz, best of the best, you know the kind that can discuss polyphony in the fugue from Hammerklavier and the technical secrets those goddamn octaves in Schumann Toccata. This is how we interfere with USA elections.

    • Latino says:

      Occamsrazor–eres tan mentiroso! Crees que nadie de latinoamérica lee este blog? Que puedes decir cualquier cosa y nadie te va a desafiar? No! Ya perdiste cualquier credibilidad que pudieras haber tenido, pero si verdaderamente te han dicho “Viva Putin” alguna vez, es porque se estaban burlando de ti!

      (Occamsrazor is a complete liar.)

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Latino, I’ve been called a liar very few times in my life and people apologized afterwards. I’ve called a few people “ butterfly” in Spanish a few times though. Take care, papi.

    • Larry D says:

      God bless the Russian nuclear triad! And Putin’s mighty armies! Satan is trembling in his boots! Viva Señor Putin, loved all around the world! (Except for some unnamed African countries?). Mr. Occam’s opinions should disabuse those Pollyannas who thought classical music was a humanistic enterprise.

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Larry, the only thing USA army can do is bomb brown people’s weddings from 20000 feet. Poor Americans, they actually believe they won ww2. Today’s US army is fat, glassy-eyed from video games LGBT who cannot do a single pull-up( pull-ups have been removed from boot camp requirements).

        • Larry D says:

          One more word: Aleksei Navalny. (I suppose Putin targeted him for his inability to do a single pull-up.)

          • Occamsrazor says:

            Navalniy is a pathetic traito who should have known better than mix booze with GHB. When KGB kills it always looks like natural causes, usually strophanthin for older traitors which causes a heart attack and is untraceable or accidents for younger, aspiring traitors where cardiovascular death would raise suspicion.

          • Larry D says:

            So poisonings are okay as long as they’re so subtle Vlad doesn’t get caught? And you feel no shame exposing despicable Russian practices like this? I suspect you should include yourself in that wide category of “traito”.

          • Occamsrazor says:

            I feel tremendous pride in our ability to dispose of used condoms known as traitors without ever leaving a trace. When you see hideous botched jobs like using 10 million$ worth of polonium sprayed over dozens of innocent bystanders in order to dispose another used condom, every person with a brain knows it’s a frame job. There is a machine the size of a shoebox that emits frequencies that interfere with heart rhythm which causes a clean heart attack from about 20ft distance.

          • M2N2K says:

            As someone who sometimes agrees with you, I can tell you with confidence: your “tremendous pride” is very badly misplaced on this issue.

    • Save the MET says:

      Oy vey, I mean really oy vey.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Both sides of this argument need each other, apparently. Even getting involved to the extent I do here underneath defines things in a way that’s against a solution, because the real truth of how people got that way is missing, and it seems that mostly EVERYTHING that would reinstate the human condition without some romantic or moralistic drama with celebrity heroes is pushed to the side…..

      Someone that has done everything listed below, or on either side of the argument, still is a human being, and no one is going to change their heart till they’ve acknowledge that part of them, whole societies waiting in the balance….

      To begin with, if anyone is interfering with American elections, where the exit polls since Clinton’s second term were off (not in his favor), in fact with George Bush’s second term they were so off that the American press (not the Russian trolls) had to make up such nonsense that they characterized Bush followers as being too shy to admit who they voted for, because the election polls said he didn’t win (and when they finally counted the election before that, it also pointed out he hadn’t). And if such a discrepancy had happened in any other country the USA would have shouted the elections were rigged.

      If one looks at how many precincts in poor neighborhoods had insufficient means to vote, how many people that would have voted for someone other than Trump got somehow purged from the lists that would have allowed them to vote, and then also how Hilary got the Democratic nomination with Bernie Sanders listed as doing better against Trump, there’s that as well, along with the exit polls again in very particular areas being just off enough, like some delicacy, that there might still be something going on there.

      BEYOND all of that, if Hilary had won, although I don’t like Trump’s handling of a myriad of internal things I would have preferred Hilary to be in charge of, it’s quite possible that she would have made things worse regarding the touchy situation in Syria or Ukraine, where Trump didn’t get the US more involved, for “selfish” reasons, and that’s an area that is highly volatile. I don’t know not having a time machine, but I can’t say that I’m not convinced Hilary would have made things worse, at all, although to solve the whole situation is something quite beyond politics as it stands now.

      There is so much exposé of Russian trolls, and they certainly exist, but it’s quite amazing that misinformation general corporate media is putting forth isn’t listed then, so much stuff I don’t know where to begin about it. In fact, many of the sites that expose such misinformation are conveniently listed as propaganda sites influenced by Russia, also. I’m not promoting the Assad regime, but when the world was on a cliff edge, seeing whether the US was going to again get involved with military action in the Middle East, and Putin stepped in to get Assad to allow UN inspections in his arsenals, it also was simply true that when the UN went to investigate before that, and found that it was chemical warfare, they couldn’t say which side it was, and such proof wasn’t there; and people on the side against Assad had said that they actually had such chemical warfare, they had seen such canisters, and it was even reported that someone had dropped one by accident. Added to that, there was Prince Bandar, who had waged terrorism at the Olympic Games, and wanted the US involved against Syria, and he was fighting with the rebels, and, as happens so often in war games, could have easily made it look like the Assad Regime had used chemical warfare, KNOWING the result….now to what extent would any news source report that information, with clear evidence, be called fake news influenced by Russian trolls?

      After what the US CIA did to Mosaddegh (because Churchill didn’t want to have to pay for oil at the price of democracy) or Allende, and the consequent destabilizing of the Middle East and South America, just to mention those two places, it’s now pointing the finger to Russia interfering with stuff!?

      It’s REAL EASY to overlook internal problems, point the finger at something on the outside, and then avoid taking care of one’s own business. But that seems to be the major thing BOTH (or more) SIDES keep doing…..

      And the whole stuff is incredibly sad, because people really are good at heart, if one would let them be.

      This is also all illusion to me, we’re all given the same spark from forever, and trying to defend ourselves, when we’re already a spirit that the physical world could never destroy, despite whatever goes on here; and what Jesus says in A Course In Miracles is that when we stop having attack thoughts, we can solve the inner problems, and that happens naturally, just like allowing yourself to feel, not even having to define it as one way or the other, rather than not wanting to feel a certain way, and then blaming it on something on the outside to avoid. Avoid what? That we’re all human, and what happened to any person could have happened to every other one, and walking in each other’s moccasins we see we’re all the same?

      “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
      How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
      Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

      (Anne Frank)

      • Nijinsky says:

        Sorry, I mistyped this: “To begin with, if anyone is interfering with American elections, where the exit polls since Clinton’s second term were off (not in his favor),” It should have read that they were much more in his favor, the results were less in his favor, that thought snuck in when I was typing and I put it in incorrectly. The exit polls during Clinton’s second term election were more in his favor than the election pointed out, and also with Obama, it was estimated that he had 7 million more votes than were tallied up, votes that didn’t show up because of cheating.

        However when you see the kind of vitriol that goes on against the right wing, or in politics in general, it’s almost like the left wants them to cheat rather than have a real conversation with them that communicates.

    • William Safford says:


      However, your message is a convenient place to hang this message.


      He was caught with his pants down in the first Republican debate before the 2016 election.

      He tried to bluff his way out of it, like a high school boy called on in front of the class who didn’t do his homework. In fact, this perfectly describes his utter lack of preparation for the debates, and for the office of the Presidency.

      His ignorance has, um, mushroomed since then.

      It shows his profound chutzpah: to think that he was worthy of the office of the Presidency when he was so profoundly ignorant, incompetent, and unworthy. He should be a case study in Dunning-Krueger.

      But enough racists, white supremacists, and “reality” show enthusiasts liked the lies that he shilled and the bigotry that he espoused, that they overlooked all of this.

      He continues to spread his santorum all across the world, to our detriment.

      • Nijinsky says:

        You depict exactly what I was pointing out. Anyone trying to point out the situation, with enough balance not to fall into you or your “enemies” side, and with all the requirement both sides have for needing an enemy to excuse their behavior, one is either a “Troll” or it’s “Fake News,” depending on which side is doing the accusation, or both.

  • Grittenhouse says:

    Bravo, maestro. Keep singing as long as you can, however boring you might be.

  • Larry L. Lash / Wien says:

    How many times must I post this? According to the very-reliable, Domingo is scheduled for only three short gigs in a fully-staged opera: in September, four performances as Simon Boccanegra at Wiener Staatsoper; in October, four performances as Nabucco at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; in January, the first three (of five) performances as Nabucco at Wiener Staatsoper.

    This last scheduled performance is notable for occurring two days before Domingo’s 80th birthday. While he is scheduled for some opera-in-concert performances in between (“Belisario,” “I due Foscari”), this “Nabucco” could very well mark his farewell to the stage.

  • Occamsrazor says:

    Are you trying to tell me all those women whose asses Domingo supposedly pinched were lesbians or single? I think not. So, where in the hell were their husbands and boyfriends? Why didn’t at least one of them beat the living shit out of Domingo? I forgot, in the art world women have more testosterone than men. That’s what it is. Most human problems are best explained by endocrinology.

    • Larry D says:

      You certainly are a big fan of testosterone, based on your previous macho postings. “RUSSIAN ARMY BIG! BEAT SHIT OUT of LGBT SATANIC WESTERNERS! DRINK MUCH VODKA!”

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Larry, I’m a big fan of normalcy. I’ve seen plenty of cases of steroid rage, it ain’t pretty. Conservatory students are walking around with undiagnosed hypogonadism which is easily treatable and which skews their thinking towards the kind of rage which is also unpleasant, the rage of a coward which is mostly psychotic envy. You wouldn’t disagree that our emotions are profoundly affected by hormones, not only testosterone but cortisol, adrenaline, oxytocin etc? My English is not that bad, is it? About vodka. It’s the opposite of macho. If you wanna get a prescription for testosterone replacement, drink all night and don’t sleep, in the morning go to the clinic where your blood test will show that your levels are 40% below normal. But I suppose most classical musicians don’t need to resort to this scheme because theirs is that of a hamster anyway.

  • Nijinsky says:

    I think this whole thing is such a mess, who knows what to say about it.The drama in the US.

    I don’t think Domingo should have sang baritone, but if he had sang the way I hear so often at the MET, he wouldn’t have had a voice left to try it on. I don’t even know how much the SIZE of that opera house has to do with it, because some people with big voices have no problem. But the size seems to bring out something….

    I’ve now twice really wanted to hear a production, that they had on free streaming, of quite big romantic operas (Evgeny Onegin, and Elektra) and I just couldn’t take it. And before people start assuming, it wasn’t even Netrebko’s singing, although she’s since joined the pack somewhat. Fortunately on youtube there’s versions that don’t have singers straining their voice to such an extent that it sounds like some glorified form of indigestion or constipation. Not all the singers, but enough, not that I haven’t heard that other places. Singers trying to give the impression that they’re trying real hard by such effort that their voice wobbles as expression on the pitch they are aiming at with such great noble assured effort one has to believe it is high culture and great accomplishments from all the effort they put in it, which the wobbling, belching and out of tune howling exemplifies. This is GREAT music!

    What was this book Lolita representing about the “New” world again? As if there was no culture here, to begin with…

    • William Safford says:

      An argument can be made that Domingo should have been a high baritone from the beginning, not a tenor. I preferred hearing him in the times when he sang in a lower-lying tenor role. Once he started to get his fach adjusted to baritone roles, he gave us a hint of what could have been.

      Oh well. It’s not as if he hasn’t had a career or anything….

      • Nijinsky says:

        It’s not like there aren’t or weren’t true baritones ready and willing that could have had a career did PD not take over…

        Oh well, one ended up homeless in Italy…