- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 15, 2003

Speculation was aroused yesterday about Artistic Director Placido Domingo’s future with the Washington Opera when the Los Angeles Opera announced his appointment as general director, extending his tenure through the 2005-2006 season.

In making the announcement, L.A. Opera Board Chairman and Chief Executive Marc Stern praised Mr. Domingo, stating that “his new ideas for opera productions, his novel ways of fund-raising and his innovative methods of attracting new audiences are what allow him to excel as a leader of a major arts organization.”

In response to queries, Mr. Domingo stated that Michael Sonnenreich, the Washington Opera’s president, “has urged me on behalf of the board to assume the same position at the Washington Opera, and I will do so.” He added, however, that “nothing official will be announced until all the various components are in place.”

Mr. Domingo assumed his position as artistic director of the Washington Opera in 1996. Critics generally have credited him with helping to significantly elevate the company’s level of artistic achievement and increase the number of appearances by top international stars in the company’s productions.

In 2000, he was appointed artistic director of the Los Angeles Opera. Since that time, he has maintained a frantic pace, dividing his time between the two organizations while continuing to maintain his high-profile career as the world’s best-known tenor. He continues to sing regularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and in frequent appearances around the world.

While implying that details of his future role here are being worked out, Mr. Domingo said he believes there “is no need for rushing matters” in the nation’s capital “because the Washington Opera is running like clockwork.”

He also expressed satisfaction with the company’s current season despite complications entailed in relocating performances while the Kennedy Center Opera House is undergoing renovations.

“I would like to congratulate every member of the company,” he said, “for having made our temporary home at DAR Constitution Hall such a successful adventure.”

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