Plácido Domingo’s day began with a morning dress rehearsal on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, where he traded jokes with the cast and crew at a theater where he has been singing for nearly half a century, and then, in full regalia as the sea god Neptune, ran through a new Handel aria he was learning for the revival of “The Enchanted Island,” a Baroque pastiche.
That night, Mr. Domingo was still going strong, returning to the stage where he made his New York debut in 1965 — City Center on West 55th Street — to sing at a benefit with the musicians of New York City Opera, the company that propelled his career but declared bankruptcy last fall. After Mr. Domingo brought down the house with an aria from “Andrea Chénier,” the conductor, George Manahan, turned and offered him the baton. Mr. Domingo took it, leapt to the podium and led the orchestra in the overture of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino.”
It was the kind of pace that the industrious Mr. Domingo has been famous for throughout his career — and which, somewhat to his surprise and to his evident delight, he has been able to maintain long past the age when many singers have retired to a life of giving master classes. Mr. Domingo celebrated his 73rd birthday in January in Vienna, where he was singing the role of Francesco Foscari in Verdi’s “I Due Foscari.” It is one of the few parts, he said, that are too old for him. “He is in his 80s, so for that I am very young,” he said with a laugh.
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