Opera Superstar Plácido Domingo Tours Russia

Some exciting news from the world of Opera:

Superstar Plácido Domingo  is in Russia on a concert tour,  having arrived in Moscow just a few days ago, January 11.  And yes, Domingo is from Spain, ultimately, so you must pronounce his name correctly as “Plathido“!

From a previous visit: Domingo chuckles it up with Vladimir Putin and conductor Valery Gergiev.

At his arrival press conference, at the Domodedovo Airport, Domingo was asked if he might apply for Russian citizenship and a Russian passport.  Domingo laughed and replied, “Sure, why not?”  He went on to chuckle knowingly:  “Like Depardieu, no?”

The question and answer were partly in jest, but who knows?This has been happening with a lot of Western celebrities recently, who find that Russia might be a good place to retire.  Cynics might say this has something to do with tax laws.  But it might also be because Russia provides opportunities for people with highly specialized talents to continue to work and contribute to society even after their formal retirement.  “I am proud to be from Spain,” Domingo told the Russian reporters good humorously, “but I am not opposed to being a Russian as well.”  Domingo noted the “warm reception” he received, despite the sub-zero temperatures outside.  The first thing the legendary tenor did when exiting the airport, was to wrap his neck up in a warm scarf.  It goes without saying that Plácido has to take good care of his mighty larynx.  He had a whole series of concerts ahead of him.  Yes, the Old Lion can still belt it out, and the Russian public is eagerly awaiting to hear him sing.

This is not Domingo’s first trip to Russia.  During an exclusive interview with LifeNews TV channel , just before his concert rehearsal, the tenor was asked by correspondent Natalia Goncharova, what is his favorite Russia city?  Domingo replied:  “I have been in only three (Russian) cities:  Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan.  I like them all very much, they are all very different, and I have visited them at different times of the year.  Moscow is enormous, I think I would have a hard time living here, for that reason.  St. Petersburg is a beautiful city, I believe that I would select it (to live in).”  Domingo also revealed that he loves Russian cuisine.  And he wouldn’t be a suave Spaniard if he did not also praise the beauty of Russian women:  “Russian girls are marvelous”, the singer declared.

While signing his star on the “Alley of Fame”, Domingo revealed that his birthday is coming up on 21 January.  “I don’t feel like I’m 75,” the tenor said.  “I feel young!  I hope that I can continue singing for several years, and this is the greatest privilege for an artist – to be able to give happiness to the public.”

Domingo also had kind words to say about his colleague, Russian baritone Dmitry Hvorostovsky, who is courageously battling a cancerous brain tumor, while continuing to perform and delight audiences.  Domingo wished the baritone a speedy recovery.

For my final clip in this piece, I looked on youtube to see if there was Domingo and Hvorostovsky performing together.  I found this wonderful clip:  Domingo is actually in the pit, directing the orchestra, while Hvorostovsky and Barbara Hendricks sing the duet “La ci darem la mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  There is a bit of comedy when Domingo leaves his pit and butts his way onto the stage, proving that he too, albeit a tenor, can handle a baritone role as well!  Plácido and Dmitri proceed to duel in song, for the affections of a flirtatious Zerlina.  In the end poor Dmitri ends up with only a single rose, while the other two singers manage to snag full bouquets!

The video is blurry, but these singers are fun to watch, and the voices are wonderful – enjoy:

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7 Responses to Opera Superstar Plácido Domingo Tours Russia

  1. Cortes says:

    A pedant writes: Placido is an esdrujula, stress falling on the antepenultimate syllable, hence the written accent. For the sake of consistency, perhaps you could consider rendering the name as PLAAtheedo.
    Nice piece once more. Thanks.

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    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Cortes!
      I had to look up what ESDRÚJULA means.

      You’re right, I have heard many people pronounced his name wrong, sort of like “Pla-SEE-do”. I think that might be how Mexicans pronounce it too.
      Pesonally, I love the “TH” sound of that Castillian accent!
      And actually, his full name, according to wiki, is José Plácido Domingo Embil.

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      • Cortes says:

        Spaniards use two surnames, paternal then maternal. In Mexico and other C American countries the maternal surname is frequently reduced to an initial. Confusingly, when the paternal surname is bog standard ( equivalent to Smith or Jones) Spanish notables elect to use the maternal, like (Garcia) Lorca, (Garcia) Marquez, (Rodriguez) Zapatero. In the last example the ex PM (presidente del gobierno espanyol) dropped his noble but common patronymic surname for his mum’s ( cobbler or shoemaker).

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  2. Cortes says:

    PD (Spanish for PS):

    The link has inelegant explanation.

    Spanish basically has three rules for tonic stress (accents).

    1. Where a word ends with a vowel, an N or an S, the stress falls on the second last syllable, as in amIgo, muchAcha, correspOnden, horrIble, castIgo, improbAble, crIsis.
    2. Where a word ends in a consonant other than N or S, the stress falls on the final syllable, as in terrOr, relOj, parEd, velOz.
    3. Where rules 1 and 2 are disapplied a written diacritic mark indicates the stressed syllable, as in lApiz, Intimo, castIgO, Ultimo, rApido.
    From the final example you can see that compounds generally follow the rules for the dominant constituent parts, since the adverbs from the last two are Ultimamente and rApidamente..

    Apologies, I’ll cease boring you and your readership:(

    (Boring is probably an example of integration of a Spanish word into English, like stevedore. Burro = donkey, aburrir = to bore/ treat like or turn into a donkey, stevedore <estibador < estibar = stower or docker)

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    • yalensis says:

      No worries, Cortes, my readers might be bored, but I am not!
      If they’re not interested in linguistics, they can just glissade over this discussion – hee hee!

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  3. Grimgerde says:

    Actually it’s kind of funny for me to read Spanish grammar rules explained in English. Very well done, by the way. Made me remember my school days: grave, aguda, esdrújula y sobresdrújula. And thank you Yalensis for bringing some news from the opera world!

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    • yalensis says:

      You’re welcome, Grimgerde!

      I might have something nice for you tomorrow, maybe a review of “Live at the Met” production of Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles”., for which I have tickets for today’s matinee. No promises, but I will probably post a review under my “Opera” category, unless I really hate the production, which is dubious.

      I don’t think I will be able to find a “Russian” angle or slant to this one, but I’ll figure out some way to frame it! Actually, there is a slightly Slavic angle, because I see that Mariusz Kwiecien sings in it, and he is Polish at least!

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