Domingo named honorary president of Shangyin Opera House
Plácido Domingo has promised to get more involved in the development of Chinese vocalists after being named Honorary President of Shangyin Opera House.
The Spanish opera maestro is on his fourth visit to Shanghai and gave a performance on Monday as part of the ongoing China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
"I visited Shanghai and took part in the International Arts Festival for the first time 22 years ago," Domingo stated. "Ever since my debut in China in 1988 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the Chinese audience has forever been very kind and very enthusiastic with me."
On Tuesday, the 82-year-old toured the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Shangyin Opera House with conservatory president Liao Changyong, an old acquaintance.
The two first met in 1997, when baritone Liao won the first prize at Domingo's Operalia Competition, an international competition for opera singers.
Domingo and Liao collaborated on "Il Trovatore" at the Washington National Opera in 2000, with Domingo conducting Liao for his "Conte di Luna."
"The maestro played an important part in my career and growth as a singer," Liao said.
A "Maestro Plácido Domingo's Studio" has been established in the conservatory for future collaboration between the two sides.
"I am grateful for the two honors that you have bestowed upon me," Domingo said. "Having dedicated my entire life to music and to opera, I am committed to this genre forever."
The maestro also lauded the Shangyin Opera House.
"It has a beautiful contemporary design with excellent acoustic... Perhaps one day I'll try it myself," he suggested. "The conservatory makes this complex the best possible environment for the preparation and nurturing of young talents, while giving them the opportunity to have access to an active performing arts theater."
"I look forward to returning to your city very soon and often."
Despite being largely a lirico-spinto tenor for most of his career, Domingo has transitioned from the tenor repertory to baritone since 2009 due to his advanced age. As of 2020, he has performed 151 different roles.
"He has the voice of a 50-year-old. Given his age, his vitality and status on stage are an example for us," Liao said after Domingo's recital.
According to Liao, with the construction of Domingo's Studio, there will be numerous options for collaboration with the maestro, including master classes, opera concerts, and even an opera production workshop.
"I hope he can help broaden the vision of the students, stimulate their creativity, and improve their understanding of opera, just like he did for me 26 years ago," Liao said.