Plácido Domingo and Friends Concert & Gala
Los Angeles, 13 May 2003

Performers: Plácido Domingo Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Kristen Chenoweth, Denyce Graves,
Maria Guleghina, Vladimir Chernov, and Andrea Rost.

Special guest appearances: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, William Friedkin, Salma Hayek,
Kelly Hu, Garry Marshall, Zooey Deschanel, and Sidney Poitier.
Image: John Williams and Juan Diego Florez
Image: Florez, Graves, Domingo, Fleming
Image: Florez, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Domingo
Photos by Kevin Winter

From 'Placido Domingo & Friends' by Alan Rich, Variety, 14 May 2003...

"Anyone with qualms about the future of great operatic vocalism couldn't have been at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Tuesday. Yes, the music was mostly old-hat, a gathering of well-worn operatic arias -- show-stoppers in their day, of course -- from well-known masters. The performances were anything but; delivered by a gathering of world stars ranging in age from the astonishing sexagenarian Placido Domingo to the barely 30 Juan Diego Florez, the current supertenor heartthrob.  These annual "galas" -- the painless mix of operatic chestnuts, a pop number or two, a nod to Domingo's Hispanic heritage and, for the well-heeled, a lavish sitdown dinner in an adjacent tent -- have become a valued adjunct to the L.A. Opera's more "serious" ventures. Into this year's mix: dazzling virtuosity from the fresh-voiced Florez, including a Donizetti bit with nine -- count 'em! -- high Cs; Renee Fleming producing, in a Dvorak aria, arguably the most beautiful sound in all operadom; a bit from rockdom's Sting plus combo; and a final, everyone-on-stage, mass attack on "Carousel's" classic weeper 'You'll Never Walk Alone.""

From 'A mixed bag; so what?' by Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2003...

"I'd like to hear Flórez in a hall half the size of the Chandler and with
more bloom. In two Donizetti arias, he certainly indicated what all the fuss
is about. But his highly appealing lyricism begs for intimacy, and the
Chandler's acoustics seemed to tighten him."

From 'Domingo and friends shake the Chandler' by John Farrell, Los Angeles Daily News,
14 May 2003...

"Juan Diego Florez, the young tenor who is starting to make a name for
himself (and is something of a Domingo protege), demonstrated his art with
"Una furtiva lagrima" ' from Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love" ' that gave
him a chance to show off a voice that has all the power you could ask for,
but also a quite penetrating soft side. He joined the L.A. Opera Chorus for
a rousing "A mes amis" ' from Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment" '
later in the program."

From 'Domingo gala brings out star power' by Jim Farber, The Daily Breeze, 15 May 2003

"The up-and-coming Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez displayed a voice that
is both bright and light, with a gentle interpretation of "Una furtiva lagrima"
from Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love," and "A mes amis" from "The Daughter
of the Regiment," complete with five high Cs in effortless succession."


This page was last updated on: June 27, 2003