Los Angeles Times

How Plácido Domingo taught L.A. to love opera

LOS ANGELES - Placido Domingo clearly has a pretty good memory. He's sung 148 roles - mostly tenor throughout his 60-year career, although now at 76, he's an active baritone - a record that has no chance of being broken in the foreseeable future, if ever. He's conducted numerous more operas. He's been responsible for presenting and also commissioning a bunch more works as an opera administrator. He's accomplished impossibly too much and is far too busy to possibly remember it all.

He necessarily looks ahead, not back. "I rest, I rust" is the motto he loves to repeat.

Sitting in his Dorothy Chandler Pavilion office at Los Angeles Opera, the company he helped found 31 years ago and now heads, Domingo agreeably makes an effort to reflect on his past, although he can't resist readily transitioning to the present. Friday marked the 50th anniversary of his Los Angeles debut, and L.A. Opera threw a gala Friday to celebrate.

"It's late of life," Domingo cheerfully announces before allowing himself a brief indulgence in reverie. He will be 77 in January, so, he says, "it's a must" to continue on as he

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