How was the return of Placido Domingo to the Teatro Colón | after 24 years

Placido Domingo returned to the Colón Theater. On Thursday, after 24 years from the last time and fifty from the first, the Spanish singer found himself with the hall that is always waiting for him and with the audience that always applauds him. Together with the Uruguayan soprano María José Siri and the Colón Stable Orchestra conducted by Jordi Bernàcier, Domingo offered an intense, exciting concert, which with the flow of music and the growth of ardor, the typical tensions of great commitments towards the exultant outcome were dissolved. The grand finale was with the duet “Udiste? … Mira, d’acerbe lagrime”, by The Troubadour, by Giuseppe Verdi, followed by zarzuela and tango bis. There have been many celebrations, of course, with many claims, of course, and even a farewell, inevitably. This Sunday Starting at 5pm, this concert can be relived through the website of the Colón Theater or on the giant screen located in Plaza Alemania (Scalabrini Ortiz 2602). At the same time, the function that the singer will offer for the benefit of Ukrainian refugees begins.

Unanimously considered among the best of his time, Domingo at the age of 81 is perfectly aware of what he can and must do on stage, where at this point it is clear that he does not need to prove anything to anyone. An intelligently articulated program, a more than efficient partner and a conductor who knows how to support the orchestra to the breath of the singers, were the ideal complements for an artist who knows where to start and how far he can go. Although of course his voice is not that of his best times, he retains much of that color that has made it unmistakable. Without the depth of natural baritones, the former tenor cares about perfect delivery and charming diction. And above all it shows an important stage presence. From what we have seen at the Colón, the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power – in this he may resemble many of his operatic characters – do not seem to have affected that form of charisma.

life is a work

The first big ovation of the night came after the orchestra started with the overture by Sicilian Vespers. From the back of the stage Domingo walked slowly towards the proscenium, as if to allow himself to be enveloped by the thunderous ovation of a packed hall. Visibly moved by the welcome, he breathed in the softened air of applause for a few minutes until with a simple gesture of his right hand he overcame the silence that was used to change his sweet face into a heroic one and start with “Enemy of the fatherland” , the air of Gerard in Andrea Chenier by Umberto Giordano. Subsequently, Siri sang “La mamma morta” from the same opera. Then Siri was Violetta and Domingo played Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father, in “Madamigella Valery?”, From the second act of The Traviata, by Verdi. Away from the fire of a lovers duet, the scene has a sensual charge that is closer to the conversation between a landlord and his tenant agreeing on the next raise. Even so, the singers scored grace points for a good closing of the first part.

The pyrotechnic inauguration of the corsair by Hector Berlioz, which could have been better, opened the second segment of the program, dedicated to French opera. So much so that it ended with Verdi. After an aria of Fractionby Ambroise Thomas, which Domingo solved with the instinct of an old wolf, another good moment has come from Siri, with “Pleurez pleurez, me yeux”, an air of El CidGiulio Massenet. At the height of what was required by the night, the Uruguayan, who in May will sing the role of Abigaille in a production of Nabucco in Berlin, he has shown that he has much of what good sopranos need. Although her voice volume is sometimes excessive and her vibrato a bit frenetic, Siri has a voice color suitable for this repertoire, she knows how to use the half voice with expressive criteria and she is also able to listen to the person next to you. to her.

“Meditation”, instrumental moment of the work Thaïswith the efficient Oleg Pishenin, first violin of the orchestra, as soloist, he was the prelude to the finale with another Verdi duet: “Udiste? … Mira, d’acerbe lagrime” by The Troubadour. It is a moment of the fourth act, in which poor Leonora, willing to do anything to save the life of her beloved Manrico, decides to donate her body to the Count of Luna. Happy with the offer, the powerful shifts the blame onto his victim, reminding him: “you swore it”. Precisely for one of those moments when opera can resemble life, Domingo arrived without too much vocal rest. He limited himself to putting the stage presence above the voice, leaving all the luster to the soprano, who in the fullness of him did everything right, even when he refused the kiss at the end.

Iberian passion

The ovation that spread from Paradise to the audience with the same intensity required the usual encores, which came from the side of the zarzuela. “Amor, vida de mi vida”, by Moreno-Torroba, by Domingo, and a ballad by carnations, by José Serrano, by Siri, ignited, with applause and all, the Iberian passion of the public. The famous duet “Did you call me, Rafaeliyo?”, By The wild cat, by Manuel Penella Moreno, seemed like the end of a celebrated night. “I can’t leave here without singing a tango”, Domingo put on the bow and right there, with the bandoneons of Nicolás Enrich and Horacio Romo and the guitar of Joaquín Molejón, he started with “Volver”. Leaning against the railing of the director’s podium, with little voice and forgetting even some passages of the text, the Spaniard greeted with a standing ovation.

Thursday was also a banal evening, obviously, in which the objective of the proposal made it possible to show off dazzling presences. Photographers here and there were looking for images to illustrate a night that was billed as a “package” but ultimately turned out to be quite “khaki”. There were a lot of city officials, some VIP aircraft reporters, and various variety artists. And Mirtha Legrand, a regular regular at the Colón, through whose stage many paraded for the photo.

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