Placido Domingo Biography
José Plácido Domingo Embil (born January 21, 1941), better known as Plácido Domingo, is a world-famous Spanish operatic tenor. He is known for his versatile, strong voice that possesses a ringing and clear tone throughout its range. In addition to his singing roles, he has also taken on conducting opera performances as well as acting as the General Director of the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC and the Los Angeles Opera in California.
Plácido Domingo was born in Madrid, Spain, and moved to Mexico at age 8 with his family, who ran a zarzuela company. In Mexico City he studied music at the National Conservatory. He provided backup vocals for Los Black Jeans in 1958, a rock-and-roll band lead by César Costa. He learned piano and conducting, but made his stage debut in 1959 (May 12) at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara as Pascual in Marina. It was followed by Borsa in Rigoletto, Padre Confessor (Le dialogue des Carmelites) and others. In 1962 he joined the Israeli National Opera in Tel Aviv, where he spent two and a half years, singing 280 performances.
On September 19, 1985, the biggest earthquake in Mexico's history devastated the whole Mexican capital. Domingo's aunt, uncle, his nephew and his nephew’s young son were killed in the collapse of the Nuevo León apartment block in the Tlatelolco housing complex. Domingo himself labored to rescue survivors. During the next year, he did benefit concerts for the victims and released an album of one of the events.
Domingo has received numerous honors, including: