The sad sight of Domingo serenading Moscow

The sad sight of Domingo serenading Moscow


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2021

This is Placido Domingo in a Bolshoi gala.

Surely not how he would wish to be remembered in posterity.


  • dinkrol says:

    1) This Gala concert was held on March 9
    2) This weekend, Domingo sang La Traviata in Moscow
    3) What do you care about where and how Domingo sings? He sings not for you, but for those who want to listen to him.

  • Alexander says:

    quite an edible ( I mean listenable) rendition. I could guess you might put it here because of ( let me choose the right adjective) Aida’s “chest” view, apparently 😉
    PS disclaimer – just my opinion of course, My Opinion Matters 😉

    • BRUCEB says:

      Totally ordinary “chest view” for a female singer. She’s not showing anything hundreds of others haven’t shown.

      • Alexander says:

        tastes diffEr 😉 I find her chest view quite attractive also as her physical appearance . And, I can guess, she knows that better than me 😉 Physically the part of Traviata fits her like a glove …. Vocally there are some other sopranos there ….

  • Mervin Partridge says:

    It would be nice if more people contributed to the world instead of wasting time criticising those who do.
    If only more singers loved singing and being on stage as much as he does.

    • Maria says:

      Yes, I call them armchair experts. They think they know everything but some of us have got up and done the job for years, and not just sing in the bath!! Singers are not racehorses! Well done the pair of them.

  • The View from America says:

    Someone needs to tell PD that it’s long-past time to hang up his spurs.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    That’s how Domingo deserves to be remembered:

    And that’s how Domingo will be remembered, I think. But it will take time.

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Agreed. And the MET Lohengrin broadcast from February 1985. Not sure about his German diction (I don’t speak German), but otherwise a hair-raising performance.

    • BRUCEB says:

      I actually kind of agree. Already, Pavarotti isn’t being remembered so much for his late-career debacles, but people are going back to his “legendary performances” days.

      Same with Rostropovich, maybe? He kept playing too long past his prime and did not sound good toward the end; but those recordings from the 60s and 70s are still things of wonder.

      It makes me hope the same for Perlman, who has maybe not completely retired yet. His performances well up into the 90s put him among the greats. (I still remember Norman’s description of him as “Heifetz with central heating.”)

      Surely there are many others who belong on this list…

      • Petros Linardos says:

        I think we can be optimistic about Perlman’s reputation, because the vast majority of his recordings are from his prime.

        It gets more complicated with artists who continued recording well into their declining years. This was especially true for the first half of the 20th century, where every decade made a significant difference in recording quality. Alfred Cortot, for instance, is better known for his late recordings which are littered with mistakes.

    • Le Křenek du jour says:

      That’s how Domingo w o u l d have been remembered, had he known when to stop.
      And how not to stoop below a given threshold.
      Now, all of it is part and parcel, the best as well as the worst.
      “He was a man, take him for all in all…”

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Totally agree. A magnificent production.

      I always think with these largely has-been stars that there mustn’t be an awful lot else going on in their lives. One always finds just so much to do in retirement, especially with a wonderful spouse/partner.

      Of course, he’s hurting nobody by continuing to sing; just his extraordinary legacy. I wonder what friend Kleiber would have made of it all?

  • Couperin says:

    A gig is a gig…

  • henry williams says:

    very good his age.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    This summer Domingo will be singing in among other destinations, Madrid (a Red Cross fundraiser), Paris, Verona and Marbella and I bet to capacity audiences.
    All this after the pandemic.
    You should be so lucky.

  • Mari says:

    Tickets for this gala concert were sold out in 5 minutes after opening sales.
    Quite good result, don’t you think so?

  • M McAlpine says:

    Sad sight? People enjoying a concert. A sight sight is people suffering in India at the moment. Let’s get real!

  • George says:

    He is 80 years old (some say even older) and survived Covid.
    I’d say he’s damn near spectacular given this, the number of performances he’s sung in his life and the amount of work he’s put into his other projects for the last half century.

    • Concerned opera buff says:

      Agree George. Soprano is beautiful and sounds great. Don’t mind seeing a great artist in the twilight of his life still singing. Suspect Domingo will never retire.

  • Bloom says:

    I don’t know about Mrs.Garifullina, but that old in/famous satyr can still have his riveting moments on stage.

    • Bloom says:

      I mean he is the only surviving dinosaur ( still on stage) of an extinct golden age of singing. The voice is a mess, but , God, his phrasing, his diction, his emotional engagement… He s into it, much more than his younger colleagues.

    • Le Křenek du jour says:

      > “ that old in/famous satyr can still have his riveting moments”

      As Ovid would have said, but didn’t quite dare:
      Ut desint virgines, tamen est laudanda voluptas.
      That what you mean?

  • Vaquero357 says:

    I’m not a big fan of Domingo the Baritone – it’s clear that moving up to tenor when he was young was…. the *right* move. The voice just doesn’t quite have the weight and depth for baritone roles.

    BUT in all fairness, this is a pretty good performance. I can’t complain about either performer. If anything, Domingo is in better form than he has been in recent years. Maybe the less frantic performing schedule is helping?

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    Sad? You want “sad”? Go back and listen to the late-career Germonts from Cornell MacNeil (1984) and Sherrill Milnes (1993) at the Met. Wobbles, flat notes (always a Milnes problem, even early on), barking, unsuccessful stabs at high notes.

    The only negative thing I can say here, of, course, is that he is not a baritone. He can still spin a line, and his phrasing is lovely.

  • BRUCEB says:

    I’d say that at this point, it’s pretty clear he’d like to be remembered as a singer who sold a lot of tickets and raked in a lot of money.

    That legacy is surely secure.

  • DML says:

    I’m also not a PD fan but I thought his performance terrific. Also knocked out by Aida Garifullina – where has she been all my life?! Led me to searching out other YT vids of her. A great talent and beauty to matcn.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Such a pathetic spectacle. He has not had a real voice for over a decade now (not to mention being a serial lech).

  • Maria says:

    Lovely, nothing wrong with people singing well at such an advanced age too. Good for him.

  • Oresta Cybriwsky says:

    Why is this sad? He’s singing and you’re not. He is an full-blooded artist, and in spite of his human weakness(es) – let’s not throw stones – he is still singing and finding a loophole to do so in these ridiculously paranoid, inhumane times.

    • V.Lind says:

      The only paranoia I have encountered in this whole sad saga is the preposterous notion that ALL the women who claimed he made working with him uncomfortable are “liars,” and the other fantasy that the Associated Press was “out to get him.”

      • Mari says:

        It is not paranoia, it is standard behavior of feminazi.
        Metoo is not about women rights anymore, it is an instrument to destroy powerful men lifes.

        Biden and Cuomo were accused in sexual harassment by many women. As I see metoo women absolutely don’t care about that. Why? They were told to shut up, as Biden and Cuomo are leftist like metoo, right?
        Why these 2 women harassers are still on their positions?
        Double standards?

        As for Domingo – definitely fabricated case. No any proof, no police investigation, no court decision, no accusers names. Just non proof statements of 3 women.

  • MZ says:

    If he wouldn’t want to be remembered for it, why would you (you swine of a being) post it for all to mock? You’re an asshole.