He is an opera singer born Jose Placido Domingo in Madrid, Spain and moved to Mexico with his family who had a zarzuela company when he was 8 years old. He studied piano and conducting at the National Conservatory in Mexico City and in 1958 sung back-up for the rock and roll band Los Black Jeans.
He made his stage debut in Guadalajara in 1959 as Pascual in Marina, followed by Borsa in Rigoletto and then in 1958 became part of the Israeli National Opera in Tel Aviv, giving 280 performances with them.
In 1985 he performed many benefit concerts for the victims of the biggest earthquake in Mexico’s history which killed 4 members of his own family and he was one of the people who helped to search and rescue survivors.
He has sung the title role in many operas for companies that include the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Scala and Covent Garden. He has opened the season at the Met 21 times which has surpassed the record of Enrico Caruso. He is looked upon as one of the most versatile tenors who has sung 92 roles on-stage to date and 123 when taking into account those he has recorded.
He has also recorded as a member of the Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras, and sung duets with artists in all genres of music. He has made in excess of 100 recordings, appeared on many televisions shows and has appeared in six opera films, receiving a Grammy Award for La Traviata. He was the voice of the operatic moon in Moulin Rouge and an opera singing muppet on Sesame Street is named Placido Flamingo in his honour.
His other awards include the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Knight Commander Order of the British Empire, and he also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Placido Domingo recordings
Adeste Fidelis (John Francis Wade)
RCA Red Seal 53835 (CD: Ave Maria: Placido Domingo & The Vienna Boys Choir)
Conductor: Helmuth Froschauer
Ensembles: Vienna Boys’ Choir/Vienna Symphony Orchestra
A Medley of Christmas Carols
(Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, O Little town of Bethlehem, The First Noel)
FM 37245 (CD: Christmas with Placido Domingo)
Orchestra – Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Conductor -Lee Holdridge