Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Placido Domingo aiming to popularize opera with TV reality show

New York, May 12 (EFE).- Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has spent a lifetime trying to burst the elitist bubble surrounding opera.

His latest attempt to bring opera more into the mainstream is the TV reality show, “Virtuosos,” which he told EFE is an attempt to put a dent in pop music’s hegemony.

The program, which is contested by musicians and singers and whose goal is to identify and provide support to children and young adults interested in a career in classical music, was initially a hit on Hungarian television.

Now it is being brought to TV in the United States and the United Kingdom thanks to the backing of UK-based Virtuosos Holding Ltd., the company that owns the international rights to the show and in which Domingo recently became a shareholder.

“Unfortunately, opera, which is fantastic, is the most expensive show there is,” Domingo said, adding that the most difficult challenge in bringing that art form to a larger audience is lowering ticket prices.

The 77-year-old said he had no immediate plans to stop performing or even slow down and recently signed concert deals for the next three years.

However, he acknowledged that his voice could fail him at any moment and force him into retirement.

Domingo, who has played nearly 150 operatic parts during his six-decade career, not only travels the world as a tenor (after New York, he will travel to Russia, Spain, Austria and Germany) but also is the general director of the Los Angeles Opera, a company he co-founded 32 years ago.