Standing Ovation for Legendary Operatic Artist from Sell-Out Abu Dhabi Festival Audience


(Abu Dhabi, UAE March 21, 2013): Spanish opera supremo and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Plácido Domingo made a glorious return to Abu Dhabi last night at the Emirates Palace, treating the Abu Dhabi Festival audience to a stunning range of operatic arias. Showcasing his world-famous vocal range and rousing the crowd to a standing ovation, Domingo’s repertoire included international favorites ranging from Richard Wagner’s ‘Winterstürme’ from Die Walküre to Richard Rodger’s ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific.

The Czech Philharmonic, one of the world’s top orchestras, accompanied the renowned tenor, who was joined by Grammy Award-winninglyric soprano Ana María Martínez, making her second appearance at the Festival. Celebrated conductor Eugene Kohn, who has collaborated with Domingo for over 25 years and is a long-time friend, presided over the diverse repertoire that soared to the ceiling of the Emirates Palace Auditorium and sampled the best-loved arias of classical opera.


Her Excellency Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Spain was carefully selected as our Country of Honor for the landmark 10th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival and it is fitting that a core element of our ‘Decade of Distinction’ celebrations should therefore be this legendary Spanish artist. Plácido Domingo is unlike any other artist in the world; he is an unbridled talent, incredibly humble and a true gentleman. We are honored to have been able to experience his wonderful voice tonight. Ana María Martínez is also a festival favorite, having performed in our 2010 production of La Bohème, so this evening is in a sense a gathering of old friends in celebration of the Festival. Abu Dhabi Festival is dedicated to presenting the best of international art, and what better way to kindle an undying love of opera in our audiences than to showcase the best of modern opera from some of the best vocal artists in the world? Tonight’s performance was an indelible lesson in why opera has endured and why it will continue to delight and stir people around the world for years to come.”

In celebration of the 10th Year anniversary, Abu Dhabi Festival 2013 has honored the artistic contribution of Placido Domingo and the relentless commitment to classical music he has shown over the past five decades by presenting him with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award. Through this Award, the Festival celebrates Placido Domingos‘ remarkable efforts as a musical pioneer who has dramatically broadened the popularity of operatic music across the world.

Plácido Domingo has appeared in more roles than any other singer in history and performed in every major opera house across the world. His fame, first as a vocal artist and now as an acclaimed conductor, has made him a household name and has rejuvenated opera as a major force in the recording industry. Directly after the performance Domingo spoke to the press about his three decades at the top of the opera world, the relevance of operatic music to audiences today, and his growing acclaim as a conductor.

Lyric soprano Ana María Martínez is a rising star of the opera world, and during the 2012-2013 season makes her debut at the Opéra National de Paris. She has performed and recorded with Domingo on numerous occasions, and will join him for several performances this year, including a debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a solo artist, Ms. Martínez has performed with some of the world’s most prominent orchestras from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro and beyond, and her recording career is equally distinguished, with a #1 selling recording of I Pagliacci with Andrea Bocelli and a Grammy Award to boot.

The Abu Dhabi Festival is a yearly celebration of the best in international and regional opera, music, dance and visual arts. This year’s edition runs until March 31; still to come are performances by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, including Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, Lebanese musical artist Oussama Rahbani, Chinese piano prodigy Yundi and Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell with the Czech Philharmonic.

Information on venues, schedules, and ticket prices as well as theatre performances, educational workshops and visual arts exhibitions can be found on the festival’s website on www.abudhabifestival.ae.

Images by Angeli Castillo Photography


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