Plácido Domingo Brings Washington National Opera Young Artists to China for Concert

By: Jul. 14, 2010
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Internationally acclaimed opera singer and arts administrator Plácido Domingo, General Director of Washington National Opera (WNO), will lead a group of his protégés in a concert performance of Verdi's Rigoletto on August 2, 2010, at Beijing's Reignwood Theater. The concert is the continuation of an ongoing education partnership between Domingo and the theater, and features members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, WNO's resident training program for singers on the verge of international careers.

The concert performance marks the first time that Domingo, a legendary tenor who has recently made highly praised forays into the baritone repertoire, will sing the baritone role of Rigoletto. Performing with him are recent graduates of his Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, including Micaëla Oeste as Gilda, Yingxi Zhang as the Duke, Nathan Herfindahl as Marulo, Grigory Soloviov as Sparafucile and Cynthia Hanna as Maddalena. Eugene Kohn conducts the performance, leading the Chinese National Opera House Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

WNO's Young Artists first performed at the Reignwood Theatre under Domingo's baton in January 2009 as part of a three-year partnership between Domingo and the theater focusing on cultural exchange and the cultivation of emerging artists. The partnership was launched by Plácido Domingo, who also serves as the Artistic Director of the Reignwood Theater, and Chinese-Thai businessman and Reignwood Group founder Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang. Inspired by Mo. Domingo's unprecedented initiatives with WNO and his dedication to the support of new talent, Dr. Chanchai's vision is to transform his existing patronage of young Chinese performers into a structured young artist program. The partnership is generously underwritten by the Reignwood Group, which has also made a three-year, multimillion-dollar commitment to Mo. Domingo's artistic vision for fostering the next generation of opera singers. Mo. Domingo has also extended his patronage of Washington National Opera by personally donating the proceeds of the partnership to WNO. Additional information about the partnership may be found in the company's online press room.

About the opera: As the libertine Duke of Mantua's jaded jester, Rigoletto is known for sparing no one his biting and often vicious sarcasm. But when courtiers abduct Rigoletto's beloved daughter, Gilda, for the Duke's enjoyment, a curse and misdirected revenge bring tragedy and are Rigoletto's undoing. With popular arias such as "La donna è mobile" and "Caro nome," Rigoletto is a beloved staple of the opera repertory and considered one of Verdi's great masterpieces.



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