Placido Domingo staying with Los Angeles Opera through 2019

Placido Domingo at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in August.
Placido Domingo at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in August.
(Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

Plácido Domingo is extending his tenure as general director of Los Angeles Opera through the end of the 2018-19 season, the company announced at a board meeting on Friday.

The 73-year-old tenor has been closely involved with L.A. Opera since the 80s and was named general director in 2003.

Domingo has had an “evergreen” contract with L.A. Opera that renewed on a biannual basis. The most recent extension secures the renowned singer for an additional five years.

In his time with the company, Domingo has been instrumental in fundraising and widening its exposure on an international level by singing in productions and conducting in the orchestra pit at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.


As general director, he oversees all aspects of the company, including artistic and managerial decisions.

“I still feel strong to do the job,” said Domingo speaking by phone on Friday afternoon. He described the company’s management structure as “strong” and said that his responsibilities as general director will remain unchanged.

“I don’t know if I will be singing... who knows how long I will be singing,” he said. But “I think the public likes it and the board likes it. So we will see.”

Domingo earned $1,027,270 in base compensation from L.A. Opera in the fiscal year that ended in 2012, according to company tax documents.

The singer continues to work outside of L.A. Opera, singing and conducting at major opera houses around the world.

Domingo has experienced some health setbacks in recent years. He had surgery to remove a cancerous polyp in his colon in 2010, and was hospitalized three years later for a pulmonary embolism.

By the expiration of his new contract with L.A. Opera, Domingo will be 78 years old.

L.A. Opera said on Friday it has also extended the contract of its president and CEO Christopher Koelsch, through June 2018. Koelsch has served in various capacities at the company for 17 years and was named president in 2012.


Koelsch, who manages the company on a daily basis, reports to Domingo.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT


Sept., 5, 3:20 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from Domingo.