Plácido Domingo returned this Monday to his childhood and his artistic roots with an unprecedented zarzuela recital at the Vienna Opera, a stage where he has been operating for more than half a century and whose audience confirmed their absolute loyalty today with an ovation of more than ten minutes.
Domingo starred in “A Spanish night”, a gala dedicated to zarzuela, a genre with which the artist began his career in the company of his parents, Pepita Embil, the “Queen of zarzuela”, and Plácido Domingo Ferrer, prominent artists of that Spanish genre.
The veteran singer and conductor, who last January celebrated his 80th birthday right on this stage, began the evening with “I want to exile”, from the zarzuela “La del Soto del Parral”, which generated salutes of braves and applause that were repeated in each appearance of the artist on stage.
After the performance, Domingo thanked the public for the warmth of the audience in statements to the Austrian television ORF: “This city is something very special and it’s the best audience in the world“.
The Mexican tenor Arturo Chacon and the spanish soprano Session Hernández, under the baton of the Spanish director Jordi Bernàcer, also received a warm standing ovation for their arias and duets.
The public also showed their enthusiasm with bouquets and flowers that they threw to the singers after the performance, as well as with an applause of more than 10 minutes that made the three artists come back on stage to thank the audience for the ovation.
Domingo has played dozens of characters in more than 250 performances, about 40 as conductor, which has accumulated since its debut at the Vienna Opera in 1967 with Don Carlo.
But never, as the Vienna Opera recalled, had he starred a zarzuela gala, the music with which he grew up and trained as an artist with his parents.
The circle is closed
“The circle seems to close in a very harmonious way when, reflecting on his roots, Domingo gives his own zarzuela show on this stage that he loves so much “, picks up the Staatsoper program.
The popularity of the singer has not diminished among the spectators of the city, where they have continued to include it in the programming following allegations of sexual harassment against him in 2019.
While many other scenarios, especially in the US but also in Spain, Sunday performances suspended, the Vienna Opera has always maintained that there was no reason to cancel performances or break contracts.
On November 12, the tenor starred in the Verdi in “Nabucco”, but had to interrupt the performance in the second act for health problems, prompting baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat to take over.
In fact, Domingo assured after tonight’s evening that he has been convalescing from a bad cold and that he came to think that he could not act.
Tonight’s gala had been announced last June by the Vienna Opera as a Sunday’s farewell recital of this theater.
However, without neither the setting nor Domingo having explained the change of plans, the artist has stated that he is still at the disposal of the Vienna Opera and any mention of a farewell has disappeared from the show.
“I’m looking forward to the next time”, he assured today in his talk with the ORF when talking about his love and relationship with this scenario.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.