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Plácido Domingo Hits the Road

After much speculation about Plácido Domingo's future with Washington National Opera, the legendary tenor announced his retirement as the company's artistic director, at the end of his current contract in June 2011. Domingo's tenure with WNO began in 1996, first as artistic director and then as general director since 2003, and he brought some much-needed star power to the company. This was nowhere more true than when he took the stage, in the roles he sang for many years to great acclaim, like Siegmund in Die Walküre, and the debuts that he continues to add to his repertoire in his seventh decade of life, like Bajazet in Tamerlano. There have been complaints, too, from subscribers who felt priced out by rising ticket costs, from those who felt that Domingo's many other duties as performer and general director at Los Angeles Opera made his work in Washington suffer. (In related news, Domingo also recently announced that he will extend his contract in Los Angeles until 2013.)

What Domingo's departure will mean for WNO's future, including the rumored discussions of a partnership with the Kennedy Center, remains to be seen. What it does mean is that anyone interested in savoring a bit of history should think about buying tickets to Domingo's only appearance on stage this season, in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride next May. It may be his final performance in Washington. Tickets are currently available only to subscribers.

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