Thursday, January 14, 2010

Placido Domingo: High Culture Meets Pop Culture

I watched The Simpsons last night, an episode entitled Homer of Seville.  In one scene Homer is in the locker room of the Springfield Opera House talking to tenor Placido Domingo:
"You know of the three tenors, you're my second favorite. No wait, I forgot about that other guy, sorry you're third."

Click this player to hear Homer say it himself:

You're third sound biteTry here if the player doesn't work.

While other artistic organizations are led by Presidents or CEOs, opera companies tend to have "General Directors".  Placido is General Director of both the L.A.Opera and the Washington National Opera.   In other words he's the very top dog of these two large opera companies.  These two major American cities have entrusted him with their most elite, most European, most sacred, most expensive art form.  At the moment neither city has raised enough cash to support it. 

Here's a recent L.A.Weekly article about financial problems at L.A.Opera.

Here's a recent Washington Post article about financial problems at the Washington National Opera. which, surprisingly quotes Domingo saying: 
"My big dream was always to have American opera."
Here's a recent New York Times article about Placido's too-busy schedule. 

I wonder who Placido hires to do his public relations work.

In 2007 Domingo placed fifty-eighth on a list of "Top 100 Living Geniuses" tying with Paul McCartney and Stephen King. (Matt Groening was #3. Dolly Parton was #94.)

The Fly is an American opera for which we have Placido to thank. Here's the NYT review. Here's the LA Times review entitled "Fly commits insecticide"

Placido Domingo and John Denver sing a love duet at The Met:

Bonus video: Placido Domingo sings Carlos Santana

Somewhat related Mixed Meters posts:
The Simpsons and Samuel Barber
Mayor Resigns, Will Move to Italy to Pursue Opera Career 
Queen of the Night Lubricant
Prince of the Night
Can Sex Sell the Classics? (The Bill O'Reilly Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Opera)

Click here for all MM posts labeled "Opera".

Pop Opera Tags: . . . . . . . . .


Pasadena Adjacent said...

I thought Placio Domingo was dead

or was that James Clavell?

or was that John Denver?

David Ocker said...

Maybe you confused Domingo with Luciano Pavarotti - together they were the three tenors (plus "that other guy").

James Clavell wrote the screenplay for the movie The Fly.

John Denver, birth name Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr, died 1997 in Monterey Bay. According to Wikipedia.

(Thanks, PA, for all your comments.)