Plácido Domingo, whose motto is I rest I rust, doesn’t seem to have any intention of gathering the slightest bit of oxidation. He was hospitalized in Madrid for a pulmonary embolism on July 8, released a few days later and told by his doctors to take three or four weeks off. He chose the minimum.
On Aug. 6 he appeared at the Salzburg Festival in the first of three concert performances of Verdi’s early opera, “Giovanna d’Arco,” with Anna Netrebko as Joan of Arc and Domingo in the baritone role of her father.
Although already broadcast on Austrian radio, that performance will now be streamed online and in better sound on German radio station WDR3 Saturday at 10:05 a.m., Pacific time.
Netrebko is certainly as much reason to listen as Domingo. Although the glamorous Russian soprano has been uneven in the recent years, she has just released her first recording of Verdi arias, including two from “Giovanna d’Arco,” and the Deutsche Grammophon disc is stunning.
At 42, her voice has filled out with a magnificent creamy thickness. She has always had a flair for drama, and here may try a tad too hard for a Callas effect, but the combination of lush beauty and fire are hard to resist. Gianandrea Noseda is the outstanding conductor.
Not to be outdone, Domingo has a first too -- another first, that is, in a long career of firsts. Next week Sony Classical will release his first recording of Verdi baritone arias, although “Giovanna D’Arco” is not included. The tenor-turned-baritone also has an exciting conductor -- Pablo Heras-Casado, who conducted Peter Eötvös' "Angels in America" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Concert Hall earlier this year.
Meanwhile Domingo will be back in L.A. soon to conduct “Carmen,” which opens Los Angeles Opera’s season Sept 21.