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Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, since 2007. All written content © 2014 by Paul Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Tenor Meets Colbert Nation

Plácido Domingo appears on The Colbert Report.
by Paul Pelkonen.
Plácido Domingo kicks off "La donna é mobile" on last night's The Colbert Report.
Image framegrabbed from the home page of The Colbert Report,
Used for promotional purposes only. © 2012 The Colbert Report/Comedy Central.
Tenor, conductor and impresario Plácido Domingo appeared on The Colbert Report last night. The singer was a genial guest, discussing the title role in Simon Boccanegra and the relevant costs of opera-going.

The 71-year old tenor, who is currently having some twilight success in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra said: "You get your money's worth out of opera. It's pricey but you get something for your money."

He also pointed out that Boccanegra, a pirate-turned-politician in Renaissance Genoa, has the longest death of any of his characters. "So this character," he said "gets poisoned in the second act. It's a slow poison. I die in the third act. So this is the longest it takes me to die." 

Mr. Domingo was scheduled to sing a concert performance of Boccanegra in New York on March 7 with the Opera Orchestra of New York. (That performance was cancelled today, in an announcement from the OONY.) He has also performed the role at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.

Asked by Mr. Colbert why the tenors get all the attention, Mr. Domingo responded by doing an impression of Dos Equis spokesman Jonathan Goldsmith as "The Most Interesting Man in the World." 
Stephen Colbert (in tux) tries his hand at  "La donna é mobile" on last night's The Colbert Report.
Image framegrabbed from the home page of The Colbert Report
Used for promotional purposes only. © 2012 The Colbert Report/Comedy Central.
Following the commercial break, the show ended with Mr. Domingo and Mr. Colbert (newly changed into white tie and tails) singing "La donna é mobile" from Rigoletto as a two-tenor duet. The TV host is no heldentenor, but he displayed a potent, if sometimes flat light baritone. His delivery was occasionally covered by Mr. Domingo's more robust voice. 

Watch the full episode here on Colbert Nation.
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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.