A PRODUCTION FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS
What becomes a legend most? Remember that 1968 ad campaign that became a legend of its own almost fifty years ago.
That was the year that Placido Domingo made his official debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York when he substituted with little notice for Franco Corelli in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur with Renata Tebaldi.
Who remembers that?
Who will ever forget Domingo in the Met Opera Simulcast of January 7, 2017, of Verdi’s Nabucco? As Domingo adds a new role to his Met repertory as the Babylonian ruler Nabucco, Liudmyla Monastyrska sings the tour-de-force role of Abigaille, Nabucco’s willful daughter, with Jamie Barton as Fenena, Russell Thomas as Ismaele and Dmitri Belosselskiy as the prophet Zaccaria,
Nacucco which is so seldom seen, was Verdi’s third opera and the one that launched his stunning career. Aida by the way would come 30 some years later and would also include warring ancient people, and two rival princesses, and a fatherly king. And there would be a love match crossing the lines of the enemy as well as incredible chorus pieces.
Domingo has sung almost all Verdi’s operas but this is the first time he has sung this role, that of the mad king Nacucco.
Yes, Domingo is 75 years old.
One of the added joys of this broadcast of Nabucco was the addition of the taped conversation of Domingo and Levine about the first time they worked together, 50 years ago, in San Francisco. It’s not all in the statistics of how many performances they have done over the years but in this message of how they approach their art.
Maybe that is what becomes a legend most, that they don’t stop doing amazing things.
With legendary Met Music Director James Levine at the podium, this opera moment now belongs to the generations to come.