- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 27, 2001

Placido Domingo will conduct the Washington Opera Chorus and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" at 8 tonight (Jan. 27) at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW.

The concert marks the 100th anniversary of the Italian opera composer's death. Mr. Domingo, the renowned tenor and artistic director of the Washington Opera, is considered a leading interpreter of Verdi's works.

Soloists will be tenor Vinson Cole, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop, soprano Susan Patterson and Armenian bass Tigran Martirossian. A few obstructed-view terrace seats are left, costing $20 (202/432-SEAT). National Public Radio will broadcast the performance live.

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The Associated Press reports that recording companies are issuing more than a dozen releases — many new, some repackaged — to mark the centennial of Verdi's death. EMI/Angel has put out the most ambitious, a 30-CD set called "The Verdi Anniversary Box," which includes "Aida," "Attila," "Un Ballo in Maschera," "Don Carlo," "Ernani," "La Forza del Destino," "Macbeth," "Nabucco," "Rigoletto," "La Traviata," "I Vespri Siciliani," "Four Sacred Pieces" and the "Requiem."

All are led by Riccardo Muti; many are recorded live at La Scala. The "Aida," featuring Montserrat Caballe and Mr. Domingo, may be the best studio recording of the work on the market, AP says.

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Mr. Domingo celebrated his 60th birthday Sunday by joining fellow tenor Luciano Pavarotti and some of opera's finest voices in a three-hour program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Verena Dobnik writes for AP that Mr. Domingo's powerful, subtle voice still could be the envy of any young singer — and is perhaps better than it was a decade ago. At the peak of his artistry and at ease, he sang two pieces that sum up his musical persona: a Spanish love song from the popular tradition of his singer parents, and the death scene from Verdi's "Otello."

A hushed house heard him deliver the latter work with dramatic fervor and a vocal mastery that ranged from intense pianissimos to full-throttle, yet refined, tones.

At the end, the orchestra struck up "Happy Birthday," accompanied by thousands in the audience, including Mr. Domingo's wife, Marta.

The tenor joked: "I'm not afraid to be 60. When the years pass, you really are younger… . You have accumulated youth. I feel young in my soul and spirit."

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