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Domingo challenges his baritone voice in Beijing

08-03-2010 08:55 BJT

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Spanish singer Placido Domingo is internationally known for his versatile, strong and dramatic tenor voice.

But the veteran musician took his fans by surprise in Beijing Sunday night, as he challenged himself in the title role of "Rigoletto," one of Verdi's timeless masterpieces that's tailored for a baritone.

This time around Placido Domingo didn't land on his frequently performed character of Duke of Mantua, but the Duke's jester -- Rigoletto. Although the artist has made a name for himself as one of the most celebrated tenors in the world, Domingo's subtle control of his middle range and his deep understanding of the role proved to be successful and gained recognition from the packed house.

Domingo took his fans by surprise in Beijing Sunday night, as he challenged himself in the title role of "Rigoletto," one of Verdi's timeless masterpieces that's tailored for a baritone.
Domingo took his fans by surprise in Beijing Sunday night, as he challenged himself
in the title role of "Rigoletto," one of Verdi's timeless masterpieces that's 
tailored for a baritone.

With the performance, Domingo sets the record in the history of opera for having played 115 different roles in numerous Italian and French operas. But the veteran singer, who is approaching his seventies, says he always finds something new.

Domingo's previous character, the amorous duke, was played instead by the tenor's Chinese apprentice Zhang Yingxi.

Domingo met with Chinese singers and Peking Opera artists including Liu Bin and Mei Baojiu for a discussion before the show.

Domingo says he's mesmerized by the beauty and grace of Peking Opera, which is considered by many western critics as the Opera from the Orient.

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