Plácido Domingo is described by Kultur as "the most important person alive in opera." He is one of the best tenors of the past 50 years, with more than 100 recordings to his credit; he is currently general director of Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera; he is a respected conductor; and he's the founder of Operalia, the annual international voice competition.

At 72, there's not much else for him to do, right? Wrong. The world-famous tenor, whose motto is "If I rest I rust," has jumped the fence and released a new album of Verdi arias for baritone. It will be released in North America on Aug. 27, but CBC Music is offering a First Play below.

The album stream has expired. Plácido Domingo's Verdi is available on iTunes.

Having nearly exhausted the operatic repertoire for tenor — his website lists 129 roles — Domingo has been poaching in baritone territory lately. CBC Radio 2 listeners may have heard his gripping performance of Giorgio Germont in the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of La Traviata last season, under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

In his New York Times review, Zachary Woolfe wrote, "Gray-bearded and bespectacled, he looked every inch the bourgeois patriarch. He sang ardently and (at 72!) with extraordinary volume and presence."

Domingo includes Germont's Act 2 show-stopper, "Di Provenza il mar, il suol," on his new album, along with baritone arias from Verdi's Macbeth, Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlo, La forza del destino, Ernani, Simon Boccanegra and Il Trovatore. (Domingo has previously sung the principal tenor role in each of these operas.)

Joining baritone Domingo are the Cor de la Generalitat Valencíana, the Orquestra de la Comunítat Valencíana and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.

posted by Robert Rowat on Aug 20, 2013