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A Placido Domingo 'Trilogy'

When an opera company decides to base an entire evening's entertainment around one person, you wouldn't think it would be the company's lead administrator. But that's exactly the case at the Washington National Opera, where the General Director is also a performer of some renown — tenor Placido Domingo.

It's not an exaggeration to say that Domingo has had one of the most remarkable careers in the history of opera. Domingo has long been one of the world's great singers, and he has gone on to become an accomplished conductor and a trendsetting leader of opera companies — both the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera.

Even more astounding is that even now, well past his sixtieth birthday, Domingo is still performing at a level that few other singers have ever attained. He's also not a singer who simply relies on a few favorite roles. Domingo has sung over 125 different roles and he's still learning new ones. As this wide-ranging "Trilogy" displays, Domingo still commands a huge range of musical and dramatic gifts.

In the "Trilogy," Domingo appears in single acts from three very different operas. First, he plays the romantic lead in Giordano's vivid potboiler, Fedora. Then he takes the complex title role in Verdi's Shakespearean classic, Otello. To conclude, Domingo shifts musical gears once more, playing the suave Danilo in Lehar's easygoing operetta, The Merry Widow.

World of Opera host Lisa Simeone brings us the "Trilogy" from Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The production also features soprano Sylvie Valayre as the title character in Fedora, soprano Barbara Frittoli as the doomed Desdemona in Otello and mezzo-soprano Leslie Mutchler as Hanna in The Merry Widow.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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