Saturday, February 11, 2006


Despite cancelling entire runs of Samson and (so far) Cyrano -- the latter a vanity vehicle mounted solely for his benefit -- Placido Domingo has been "conducting" much of the current Met run of Rigoletto. This seems a very, very poor deal indeed for the house, but even worse for its patrons. Domingo, for obvious time- and training-related reasons, has a tenuous grasp at best of conducting's technical elements. Matters of texture and phrase are simply beyond him: the orchestra runs, to the extent it does, on autopilot. It's plausible that Met management is cynically cashing in on his name recognition, but I suspect that this farce of a podium engagement was Domingo's price for singing two revivals. Which he now won't.

I'm sure there is a backstage story to this somewhere, and would love to hear it.


  1. What a great observation!!! this post requires a lot of writing, and I'll be happy to come back with more of the real back-stage assessments of PD's "conducting". How much risk does one face by posting here? I work for the Met and have a family to feed.

  2. Only Google and I know a commenter's IP, and neither seems likely to reveal it. (Google only kowtows to Chinese censors.) But I'd imagine that other Met folks (and others in the business) may see what's written, so if it's inflammatory and clearly traceable to you...

  3. Perhaps his voice isn't what it used to be and realizing that, Le Domingo doesn't want to subject himself to the criticism that a certain powerful newspaper would print.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.