It was two tragic nights. As part of his double appearance at the famous Verona Arena – on August 25 to take part in an event in honor of Verdi and the following day to conduct the opera “Turadot” – Platido Domingo “entered the Roman amphitheater as an operatic legend and left as a shattered myth”, writes her Giuseppina Manin Corriere della Sera.
Despite the recent involvement of his name in investigations into the illegal activity of a sect in Argentina, whose leaders are accused of turning women into sex slaves (making huge profits, up to 500,000 dollars a month) Domingo, who during the last three years has been accused by a number of women for sexual harassment, chose not to modify his program.
“Defying polemics, requests for annulment (of his appearances) the heat, the difficulties of his eighty-plus years (how much is still a mystery) he wanted to honor the collaboration with the theater, where he has been considered at home for more than half a century and had triumphed with “Don Carlo”, the “Turadot”, “Manon Lescaut””, the Italian journalist informs us.
This time, however, with the emergence of Platido Domingo, it became clear that the star of the once leading Spanish tenor and conductor is in his west.
On his first appearance one appeared in his place “old gentleman, unsteady, in need of support, and slightly bewildered”, summarizes Giuseppina Manin, adding that Domingo’s fragility “his voice also reflected her” thanks to which he flourished as a tenor for decades before reinventing himself as a baritone.
In the middle of the concert, after a few arias from “Aida” and “Don Carlo” Placido Domingo had to leave the stage, giving way to the Russian Roman Burdenko, who was already in readiness backstage, made-up and properly dressed, “evidence that the withdrawal (of Domingo) was foreseen”, notes the journalist of Corriere.
The following day, Friday August 26, Platido Domingo returned to the Arena of Verona, this time as conductor, to conduct “Turadot”, a particularly demanding opera, which he chose to face in front of an audience after just one rehearsal. And the result was so disappointing that the members of the orchestra, ignoring their conductor’s call to stand for the usual thanks, remained stubbornly seated in their seats in protest.
Concluding her report, Giuseppina Manin talks about “a double whammy, embarrassing for Arena but even more so for an artist who was truly top notch and would have deserved a more dignified exit from the limelight”. So great was the shock that representatives of the local branch of the show/audience workers’ union sent a letter to the foundation that manages the Verona Arena and its famous festival, demanding that the Gala Domingo scheduled for next year be canceled or, at least , to be turned into an event in his honor, with him, however, not being the main protagonist.
However, Domingo appears undaunted and far from ready to retire. In September, in just 15 days, he is going to go from Seville to Muscat (the capital of Oman) and Turkey. And then from Hamburg to Budapest, from Bolivia to Paraguay, from Belgium to Croatia and Dubai.
Although he is in his ninth decade of life, Platido Domingo still lives at the pace of a forty-year-old “in the name of glory, maybe for money, maybe because he believes in eternal life, at least on stage. “If I rest, I rust”, his motto, his condemnation. More prudent is the motto of a famous colleague of his, Giulietta Simionato: “Better to be remembered than to be pitied” writes Giuseppina Manin. “Aging well is difficult. Even harder is knowing when it’s time to say ‘enough'”, completes.
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