Domingo’s paymaster dies

Domingo’s paymaster dies


norman lebrecht

May 03, 2021

The Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad has died aged 87.

Among his many benefactions was $6 million to Los Angeles Opera to stage its 2009 Ring cycle and many millions more in 2013 to fund the Eli and Edythe Broad general director position at L.A. Opera, a job held by Plácido Domingo until his enforced resignation in 2019.


  • Luciano says:

    This man gives to the arts and is remembered as ‘Domingo’s paymaster’? Absolutely disgraceful headline. So disrespectful.

    • phf655 says:

      Broad generally demanded control as a condition of the enormous gifts he made to the arts in Los Angeles. As a result he left a string of enemies long before his passing. Perhaps, though, some more discernment would have improved the LA Opera’s Regieoper production of the Ring, which was not well received. The largest part of his arts spending was devoted to a vast collection of contemporary art which probably will not survive the test of time.

      • George says:

        If I gave 6 Million, I’d also demand to know how the money was to be spend.

        • Edna says:

          Yes, definitely true. So many groups out there once they received funds and donations they don’t used it responsibly. Reasoned we’re very careful whom we gave donations and funds and even whom we sponsored to any missions works.

      • Stuart says:

        Eli was a very smart and astute business executive who loved the arts. I knew his as a sweet, intelligent person when I worked at SunAmerica and AIG. His dedication to the arts, especially in a troubled city like LA, was impressive. The Broad Museum is a most-see attraction for those braving to visit LA. I agree that the headline for this story is cheap clickbait – bringing in Domingo and all.

      • Couperin says:

        Kinda true. Visiting the Broad Museum in L.A. is like walking into an Instagram orgy. It’s vile.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. Use your own money if you don’t like philanthropy and its generous cohort.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Yes, I completely agree. Contemptuous and mean-spirited. Wealth envy at its ‘best’.

    • Edna says:

      Agreed. It’s disgusted me either an incredible man, philanthropist who contributed millions should be honored respectably. What this world be coming to. Disrespectful his memory was unjustified.

  • The View from the West says:

    Will anyone mention the Broad Museum while we discuss Domingo?

    • Dave T says:

      Which one? Eli Broad also funded the museum at Michigan State University. It resides in an excellent building by Zaha Hadid.

  • SMH says:

    Rude and incredibly disrespectful. Shame on you Norman.

    “Mr. Broad played a pivotal role in creating the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and brokered the deal that brought it Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo’s important collection of Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art. When the museum teetered on the verge of financial collapse in 2008, Mr. Broad bailed it out with a $30 million rescue package.

    He put his name on the Los Angeles landscape as well. The best known of his many contributions to the city is the Broad, a $140 million art museum that he financed himself that houses Mr. Broad’s collection of more than 2,000 contemporary works. It opened in 2015.

    He also gave $50 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and led the fund-raising campaign to finish the Walt Disney Concert Hall when that project was dead in the water.

    The museums, medical research centers and cultural institutions emblazoned with the names of Mr. Broad and his wife, Edythe, include the Broad Art Center at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Broad Center for the Biological Sciences at the California Institute of Technology; and centers for regenerative medicine and stem-cell research at three California universities, as well as the Broad Institute, a biomedical and genomic research center that is a joint arm of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.”

    • Edna says:

      Oh my goodness. That’s a lot of money, then they just called him what? “Domingo’s Paymaster” and that’s disgusting insult to his memory and family especially to those who had benefited to his contribution in Music and Arts. Shameless people.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    The arts need more patrons like Mr Broad.

    Was he controversial? Sure. But so what, he put his money behind great art in LA and upped the game there.

    We need one like him in every major US city.

  • Christopher Purdy says:

    What’s with ‘Domingo’s Paymaster’? Mr. Broad had a long history of philanthropy that had nothing to do with Placido Domingo. Stop with the clickbait.

  • Eusebius says:

    Eli Broad should have demanded rehiring of Domingo as a condition of his continuing support LA Opera.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    The US needs philanthropists. Such people can ignore the arts and buy themselves a state-of-the art yacht instead so you should be grateful.

    In Europe we have government subsidies to keep the arts afloat and so don’t need wealthy patrons to the same extent.

    • Saxon says:

      The difference is that the rich in the US can divert their taxes to their hobbies, making the rest of society worse-off. In Europe, the genuinely generous can and do give to the arts, but they can not evade taxes by doing so.