...for Placido Domingo, the great Spanish operatic tenor, who at the age of 68 could quite reasonably be considering retirement but last week began what might almost be described as a new career -- as a baritone. He appeared in the principal role of Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra at the State Opera in Berlin and his performance was greeted with an unusually long standing ovation. Domingo has a tenor repertoire of 134 roles and even in the last decade he has been taking on roles he has not sung before. The transition from tenor to baritone is not unprecedented and Domingo's tenor voice has always had a richness in its lower reaches; his career began as a baritone when he sang with the zarzuela company that his parents ran in Mexico. His breakthrough came in 1968 with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and has since appeared there in more than 600 performances of 42 roles. When not singing, Domingo has other operatic things to do as director of the Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera, and also does a little conducting on the side. A phenomenal operatic artist, greatly loved by audiences around the world, unique in his time.

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