Plácido Domingo, whose early international singing career took off after appearing with the New York City Opera, will appear at a concert this month to commemorate that company, which declared bankruptcy and ceased operations last year.
“New York City Opera Orchestra and Stars Celebrate: 70 Years of the People’s Opera” is scheduled to take place Feb. 21 at New York City Center. The concert is to feature selections from several operas, with Domingo slated to sing “Nemico della Patria” from “Andrea Chenier.”
The event is a benefit for the New York City Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund, which was created by Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians.
It will feature the New York City Opera Orchestra, conducted by music director George Manahan, as well as members of the New York City Opera Chorus.
Domingo began singing with City Opera in the ‘60s when he was still a relatively unknown opera talent from Spain. He made his Los Angeles-area debut at the Music Center in 1967 in a touring series by City Opera. His local debut included performances in “Don Rodrigo,” “La Traviata” and “Madama Butterfly.”
“This concert is a reminder of the enduring passion of the City Opera family for the living art form of opera,” Domingo said in a statement sent Monday.
City Opera officially lowered the curtain for good in October. The company, which failed to raise $7 million in an emergency campaign, had been experiencing financial difficulty for years and had left its longtime home at Lincoln Center.
Founded in 1943, the company was affectionately dubbed “the people’s opera” by New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. It was the second-largest opera company in New York, following the Metropolitan Opera.