Domingo has to quit in mid-Nabucco

Domingo has to quit in mid-Nabucco


norman lebrecht

November 14, 2021

An announcement was made before Friday’s performance at the Vienna State Opera that Placido Domingo was suffering from a sore throat and requested the audience’s understanding.

After the interval, State Opera Director Bogdan Roščić appeared in front of the curtain to announce that Domingo’s condition had deteriorated and he would be replaced by the Mongolian baritone Enkhbath Armatuvshin. Domingo shared the final curtain calls.

The performance had originally been billed as Domingo’s farewell to the Vienna State Opera, but that designation had been removed in recent days and plans were being discussed for further performances.

Domingo will turn 81 in January.


  • Alexander says:

    is he fooly vaccinated too ? … any way I’m not a bad man and have never been…. I wish him well, altogether with millions of fully vaccinated others … and the Old Lady Madame Elizabeth too … hopefully all will go well

    • Maria says:

      You can get a sore throat from a simple common cold or from tonsillitis – incase you have fogotten! No vaccination for those yet.

      • BRUCEB says:

        Sorry Maria, you are wrong. Everything negative that happens — whether it’s terrible, bad, unpleasant, or just kind of annoying — is due to the virus or, if the person is vaccinated, the vaccine. (My inability to find my car keys for example: due to COVID! But since I’m vaccinated, the vaccine is doing things to my memory, making me unable to — oh, here they are, right where I put them down. Never mind.)

      • Trump 2024 says:

        He should have taken the Trump jab like the educated have done!!!!

    • mikael says:

      Hope not. Just read a long list of athletes dropping dead.

    • Monica says:

      hope you will never have to beg for vaccine while getting SarsCov..we are mourning Aga Mikolaj..beautiful young soprano..filharmonica

      • Alexander says:

        I survived that scary virus by myself, without any single medicine taken , it looked rather like something else than flu, no cough etc … it was in summer, about a week. After that I have my hearing improved so that I can hear every single instrument in the orchestra, every single sound in soprano ( other voices too). Swam much in the sea, make my daily fitness routine etc…. have some other health improvements… fear is what kills, not viruses. Pseudovac also contributes to what can kill. Natural immunity is much better unless one has bird’s brain …. the freedom of choice should be for everyone since there is no pLandemic

      • Stanley says:

        We can all thank the Trump vaccine!!!!

        Getting the jab is a sign of support.

  • Peter says:

    Not 81, but 85 at least (according to the Hamburg documents where he was engaged before starting his international career)…
    It happened for his Nabucco in Dresden as well, at his Semperoper debut 2 or 3 years ago, he quit at the intermission… What a bad way for one artist to end his career – we will soon have more years of bad singing and of singing baritone roles than the number of years he actually sang as one of the most sought after tenors of his generation… Very sad!

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    Oh boy, give yourself and us a final rest, it becomes more and more ridiculous and embarassing!

  • dinkrol says:

    Domingo sang 3 acts. Armatuvshin – 4th
    “È stata una notte storica.
    Oggi, Nel teatro Wiener Staatsoper, il Maestro leggendario dell’umanità Placido Domingo ha cantato nel ruolo di Nabucco,
    Ma ha deciso improvvisamente di farmi cantare dall’aria Dio di Giuda fino alla fine della recita. È stata una serata d’onore e indimenticabile. Probabilmente era la prima volta che cantano i due Nabucco in una recita e insieme. Per me è stato un grande onore!”

  • Barnaba says:

    can we finish him off please? Das Ende!!!!

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Das Ende!!!!”

      Is it “quote some foreign language you obviously don’t speak” day already? Damn, I haven’t prepared anything. Gimme a sec.

      ოთხი, თექვსმეტი და პატარა სალათი გთხოვთ. და კარტოფილი!

  • Günther Kraus says:

    It is time for Domingo to quit.

    He now wears two hearing aids, can no longer remember the texts he is supposed to sing, and looks utterly clueless on stage

    I fear his children are making him perform, lest the cash-cow that was Daddy’s career goes bye-bye permanently.

    • mikael says:

      yes, I am sure his children can force him on stage. lol, he has an ego in case you have not noticed. also has plenty of money.

    • Nicholas says:

      Domingo goes by the motto: “if I rest, I rust.” An admirable quality to have late in life, but not necessarily for singers.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I think this is a valid comment – except for the last gratuitous sentence – as it speaks to his increasing age and infirmity. At this point performing in opera becomes just an embarrassment, to be honest.

  • TishaDoll says:

    He has a long history of stopping when the going gets rough: about 20 years ago at La Scala when he still was the reigning Otello (albeit at the bitter end of his reign) he stopped right before the ‘Ora e per sempre Addio’ feigning chest pains, or maybe they were real at the terror of finishing Act 2, and was rushed to the hospital.

    • Ari Bocian says:

      If I recall correctly, he actually came back onstage after a brief pause and finished the rest of the performance that night. And it was announced beforehand that he was ill, but would perform anyway. Singing Otello at age 60 is hardly a walk in the park, and he deserves enormous credit for getting through it (despite being indisposed) and not disappointing thousands of audience members by cancelling.

    • TishaDoll says:

      Domingo is a brilliant man, a great artist and clever as a fox. He attended along with Pav and Carreras the Otello at Carnegie Hall where Bergonzi at 67 or so came to grief at the end of Act 2, and that was not going to happen to him at 65. So he aborted the rest of Act 2, and began his extended death rattle with the beginning of Act 3.

  • Kathleen E King says:

    Maestro Domingo, whatever his faults in other areas MAY be, has had a long, storied, and eminent career as a musician. He will ALWAYS be one of THE THREE Tenors because of his voice, and a gift to music. We are fortunate that he and Maestro Pavarotti lived in the time when their voices could be recorded and preserved for history. We must ALL (snotty comments here from political nimcompoops excepted) sincerely hope for his full recovery and future well being.

  • Alexander Paterson says:

    I was at an event recently where the author being interviewed wished people would be kinder to other people. Some of the people who makes comments on this site are vile. They are also cowards because they hide behind made up names. Now I suppose that my initial comments are not kind either but it is difficult to be kind when faced with the extreme language used here.

  • V. Lind says:

    What the Hell is he trying to prove? Has he no sense of personal dignity? Is his vanity so overweening that he still craves the adoration of the mob? His truest fans do not want to see or hear this. He can still be part of it through Operalia and other interests.

    He is a walking cautionary tale to artists everywhere: learn how to make a graceful exit, either with a TIMELY farewell season or a quiet slipping away.

    • Sam McElroy says:

      Don’t forget that the opera houses are the ones responsible for giving him contracts. They are the ones who enable this farce by prioritising the economics of name recognition over artistic integrity and merit. It is shameful that they participate so willingly in the vandalisation of an art form that Domingo once served so well, all those years ago as a tenor.

    • EU perosn says:

      To V.Lind.
      It is not your business. Who are you to advice antyjing to Domingo? Are you a great musician? Or a great musical critic? Do you have great achievements? I suppose you are just an jealouse internet troll. Retire yourself if you want it so much.

    • EU person says:

      What the Hell are you trying to say? Who are you, V.Lind? a great musician? A great opera critic? No? Go to hell with your stupid comments. Domingo is one of the grestest singers of all times, and you are just a jealouse internet troll.

  • sandeling says:

    Domingo at least 85, so born in 1936? Read the biography of his mother. His parents met in 1939, so in 1936 didn’t even know each other!!! Stop attacking Domingo!

  • Ernest says:

    Amartuvshin is the real deal – the audience was lucky!

  • bet says:

    Domingo gives lie to the claim that classical music is always about placing merit first, above all other factors (like diversity, equality, representation, identity).

    Exceptions have always been granted to white males for factors other than merit, but only when the argument is extended to the other gender and other races do white management and audiences and posters on this site — who can’t get enough of a 85 year old sexual harasser, a mirror of themselves — rise up in arms in favor of merit uber alles.

  • Melisande says:

    In all probability Placido Domingo has been born in 1934, because he made his debut in 1959 at the age of 25 at the Mexico City Opera in the role of Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. When born in 1941 he would have been the youngest Alfredo of 18 years ! in the history of opera.

  • Mikael says:

    Want a list of people dropping like flies? Hope he dod not get the mRNA.

  • Aurelia Thompson says:

    It surely is time now for Plácido Domingo to retire.

  • David says:

    Domingo probably was the greatest tenor of his time.
    For the past 15 years he’s been a nonexistent baritone.
    He sounds like a tenor who is pretending to be a baritone.

  • Alan says:

    Don’t have to listen to him. Don’t have to read about him. If you don’t like him that would be the classy thing to do.

    Not much evidence of class in some of you.

    Maybe we should euthanize everyone at 65. Spare your poor feelings from such offence

  • Hazel Piper says:

    And what of Jonas Kaufmann? He too has had to cancel a performance at short notice? He too is frequently I’ll. Worryingly so. I was shocked when I saw the Maestro crossing the stage recently. Suddenly one saw just how life, opera and the bad feeling against him in the press and from those who called themselves friends. He looked old and frail ,walking bent over and so slowly. But a few weeks before , he had looked youthful and as if life was good. It broke my heart. All who have taken the opportunity to attack him viciously , and personally should be ashamed. They too will come to the slowing down , and for them I hope the glorious memories may come, not the mockery of those who take opportunities that arise when the natural things of life happen. Pray the acid from so many tongues does not take away the glory of who you were and aŕe. I feel very sad for you. You have lost your good behaviour fo. Curb your tongue . Think but don’t speak. There will be time tough to tear reputation , talent and life apart at some time in the future. Let us hope It is a future that will not be visited upon us for a long time.

  • CRogers says:

    I’ve never heard such stupidity in all my life. Firstly, if PD wants to continue to perform that’s his decision. If he gets satisfaction or any other positive feeling out of it then he should do it. He’s performed all his life. Let the complainers lobby the opera company managers. Secondly, there is nothing unusual about singers not being able to finish performances. If a singer is really struggling I would prefer the understudy to finish the performance. A few years ago I heard an Otello who was clearly unwell and carried on. He was excrutiing, couldn’t sing the notes written. It ruined the show and potentially damaged him? Thirdly, all this stuff about harassment, sexual or otherwise. PD has never been charged let alone convicted. Let these spineless people who make these accusations stand up in court and have there evidence tested to a standard which is more than gossip, tittle tattle or hearsay or the projected frustrations of their careers. Trial by various forms of social media is no type of jutice for anyone and dignifies nobody.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    When will this pathetic farce finally end? GO AWAY PLACIDO – YOURE DOING A TERRIBLE JOB !!!!!!!

    • EU person says:

      When will these stupids comments about Domingo finally end? Go away Tom Phillips, your comments are ridiculous.

      • Hilary says:

        I agree as have been an adoring fan of Placido for many years A brilliant actor and a voice to break ones heart But he should remember it might be tome to stop I heard Kirk when I lived in NZ well after her best as the seldom if ever performed there as said there was no suitable venue! So best remember these magnificent artists at their best or close too. As for Tom have you ever heard of the word courtesy and respectful comments

  • Anna Yu says:

    Oh! The vultures have gathered! For some reason, I don’t see such a storm of comments when Anna Netrebko, Sonya Yoncheva or everyone’s favorite Kaufman cancel performances entirely if they feel bad. Note that they do this more often than Domingo, who is already 81 years old.

    So if we follow the logic of commentators, all young artists who cancel performances due to illness should be retired. And according to the same logic, Domingo can continue to sing, being a living monument of perseverance! After all, in his case, the cancellation of the performance or his replacement in the middle of the performance happens quite rarely, which is fantastic for his age.

    In addition, losers can burst with anger and say that nobody needs Domingo anymore. However, ticket sales for his concerts and performances with his participation are still breaking records. And in fact, people absolutely do not care what Norman or any other person writes on the Internet.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      No that is not what is being said at all (at least by me). His performances now are thoroughly execrable and embarrassingly bad and have been so for over a decade, whether or not he cancels. Once he realized he could no longer perform tenor roles (2010 or so) should have been the cue for him to finally quit. He would at that point have still enjoyed a career of close to 5 decades.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    Pavarotti often had to cancel in his later years and was only 71 when he died.

  • IP says:

    Well, opera is not exactly alive, unfortunately, and none of those who try to keep it kind of alive is entirely or solely to blame — whether Domingo, his children, the managers, the stage directors, or the diamond-studded “audience” who will pay 500 euro a ticket for a Nabucco with Domingo and Monastyrska when they can have Petean and Pirozzi at a fraction of the price.

  • Gustavo says:

    Streptococcus nabucconiae

  • EU person says:

    As usual, haters are ready to kill Domingo because of he cancels once a year at his 80, but they are happy with Kaufmann who cancels every 2nd performance in his 50.
    Just forget about Domingo. Why can’t you do it? Why are you so obsessed with him?

    • Karl says:

      I know. Kaufmann cancels more than Domingo. Where are the calls for him to retire?

    • Tom Phillips says:

      Nothing to do with how often he does (or does not) cancel. It’s about the extremely low quality of his recent performances.

    • CRogers says:

      Here’s my advice to the PD haters-for that is what they are-use your energy and intelligence to investigate your own lives. The comments I’m reading don’t really say anything real. There’s plenty of room for growth. Growth of emotional intelligence’, that is…..

  • Michael P McGrath says:

    When, pray tell, is enough enough, Mr Domingo? Time to retire what has become a taudry circus horse, a mockery of his former self.

  • Gute Besserung, Lieber Placido

  • Dr. Shirley Rombough says:

    My heart goes out to caro Placido for a speedy recovery and his next performance. The world of opera needs you.