Episode 5 of Bughouse Square is out! Read the Story

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Placido Domingo discusses his career as a tenor singer

BROADCAST: Dec. 14, 1979 | DURATION: 00:30:31

Synopsis

Placido Domingo discusses his career as a tenor singer and conductor, including his role in the film "Otello" directed by Franco Zeffirelli and based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi.

Transcript

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Studs Terkel A good number of knowledgeable critics say Placido Domingo may be the finest tenor, the most powerful since Caruso. That's saying quite a bit, but it may be so indeed. You know he performed recently in Chicago as Andrea Chenier, and was magnificent. He probably has sung more opera roles, and does, than perhaps any other of his colleagues today on the stage. So, we're honored of course and delighted to have him as our guest. And so we'll hear his voice, his singing, and his reflections, in a moment. [pause in recording] In hearing, "O Paradiso" it is you, Placido Domingo, singing one of Caruso's favorites. And you did it in Italian.

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel And what is this -- in hearing -- in you sing in "Paradiso" and "L'Africaine" and people say to you, "Caruso." What's your reaction? Does he play a role, you're hearing him on records as a kid?

Placido Domingo Well, it has, it has been a determinant inspiration for me always, his kind of singing. His unbeatable, you know, quality of voice, the power of his voice, the body tonal quality which some of his enemies try to criticize him, especially Lauri-Volpi about saying, well, he was just a short tenor, he was, you know--

Studs Terkel Oh, Lauri-Volpi said that of Caruso?

Placido Domingo Lauri-Volpi, yeah, used to criticize him.

Studs Terkel A short tenor.

Studs Terkel Yeah, short. You know, [laughter] he wasn't a tenor, you know, he he was a baritone, you know. So that might be the only the only point of comparison that I can have today because today I -- also some of the tenors and -- they used to sing operas in the original key. They they always say then they never transpose which -- they are transposing now anyway. They say, you know, well, Placido, I mean he stop. He has to transpose. Yes, I I confess it. I I have always sing, for instance, "Che Gelida Manina" with a b-natural not with a high-c. And but I am in good company because also Caruso did it. And some of my colleagues do it today also, after they pray so much about not transposing. But the never mind the fact of singing "O Paradiso" like, as you said in Italian as he sing it is -- now I have changed my change my mind, but by the time -- at the time I did that particular record I I was very much -- it was the anniversary of his of his, you know--

Studs Terkel Of his of his death.

Placido Domingo Of his birth.

Studs Terkel Oh, of his birth.

Placido Domingo Caruso's birth. So it is, it was 100 years his birth. And I tried to to make him a little, you know--

Studs Terkel A tribute to him.

Placido Domingo A tribute to him.

Studs Terkel I was I was thinking--

Placido Domingo And he used to sing "O Paradiso" in Italian. That's the reason I sing it in Italian, even though after when I have done the opera I've always done it in French and now I enjoyed more singing it in French. But I thought out of that record I will--

Studs Terkel A tribute to Caruso--

Placido Domingo I will do it to him.

Studs Terkel It's an album, of course--

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel Called "Domingo Sings Caruso." I was thinking, you're described as having an Italianate quality. You are Madrid, you're Spanish--

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel Born in, and your parents were singers too.

Placido Domingo Yes, they still they still perform some- sometimes, and they have been involved all their life and on the stage so since I was very very small kid.

Studs Terkel This was in Madrid.

Placido Domingo Yes. Very small kid in Madrid and after in Mexico which I -- both are my country, you know.

Studs Terkel In Mexico is where you make your debut, didn't it?

Placido Domingo Right, I--

Studs Terkel As Alfredo.

Placido Domingo Right. I was born in Madrid and raised in Mexico so either you can call my countries. So I'm lucky to have two.

Studs Terkel Yeah, but I'm thinking of of you, a 20 year old Alf- you were 20 years old.

Placido Domingo Yes, that's right.

Studs Terkel Incredible. You were Alfredo. But coming back to influences yourself. Your parents were singers. The usual question, when? When did it occur to you that you were to be a singer?

Placido Domingo Well, I was very much involved in in piano. I study for a complete musical career, you know, piano. I was harmony and composition, and I was even attempting to conducting, which I has developed now and I want to do it after I stop singing. And but of course the influence of my parents, you know, the -- seeing them on the stage, I I got tempted to to go to the stage since I was very small and--

Studs Terkel By the way, you said stage and now we come to acting. You are also a fantastically good actor. So character plays a big role. Character--

Placido Domingo Absolutely.

Studs Terkel As well as the melody, voice.

Placido Domingo I I don't believe as pure singing without involvement in the character. If you believe only in the pure singing then you should make concerts.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Placido Domingo But if you are on the stage you have to believe completely in your characterization, you know.

Studs Terkel You know, I'm thinking of the change. We just heard you, the hero Vasco di Gama, "O Paradiso" discovering, and now you're the peasant. Not too bright, "Elixir of Love." That is, here you are Nemorino. And you meet that very marvelous baritone bass part, [Geraint the Welsh?], Geraint Evans, who is Doctor Dulcamara, the medicine man.

Placido Domingo Dulcamara, yes.

Studs Terkel So why don't you describe this duet and we'll hear it. Set the scene.

Placido Domingo Well, It is it is one of the most touching touching moments because really he's so despair in his naivete, you know, that that Adina is not paying any attention to him--

Studs Terkel The girl, yeah.

Placido Domingo You know, of course she likes him very much but he cannot get it, you know. He every time he he, he say something is wrong, you know. And and he's despair. So, really this very very clever, very sympathetic character, Dulcamara.

Studs Terkel Oh you you describe Dulcamara as as sympathetic?

Placido Domingo It is absolutely.

Studs Terkel That's inter- even though he's got -- even though he is a con artist.

Placido Domingo He is. You know, he's full of tricks and so on, but I mean after all you know, all he made this, to give this this so-called elixir, you know, for very little money and you know it has his his side of sympathy, you know. And of course he is sort of naïve then he really believes in this.

Studs Terkel Suppose we hear this duet then of Doc- I called him Doc. Doctor Dulcamara and and [laughter] Nemorino.

Placido Domingo I think it's good because it's one of the very few moments that I have on the opera, no heavy stuff but on the really comedy side.

Studs Terkel Humorous side.

Placido Domingo Humorous side and also in the lighter of the voice is a good contrast. [pause in recording]

Studs Terkel In hearing that, of course, we hear Placido Domingo as well as Geraint Evans. And here again your relationship to other singers. You have a reputation as being a very open-hearted, generous person with other talented people. There is no sense of competition with you. And working with Evans, I suppose was a delight.

Placido Domingo Oh, yes. It is wonderful. Unfortunately our repertoire doesn't doesn't give us the opportunity to sing very much together. But I, as a person as an artist, I have always a great emulation for him. And very soon we'll be doing something quite interesting. In in London we are doing a new production of "Tales of Hoffman" and with very lavish production with Carlos Kleiber conducting and John Schlesinger--

Studs Terkel He'll be directing it?

Placido Domingo The movie director.

Studs Terkel Oh, he will be staging it!

Placido Domingo Yes, he will be staging it. Something really -- I I'm really looking for something sensational. And that's part of next year. Of course, it will be the anniversary of of Offenbach. And I'm doing different productions of -- I do other one in Salzburg with with Levine and Ponnelle, which could be a very good combination--

Studs Terkel You know, this is interesting what you're saying about John Schlesinger directing this. The idea that we knew a good number more and more stage directors. Zeffirelli did the the version, the television version of "Carmen"--

Placido Domingo "Otello" and "Carmen," yes.

Studs Terkel With you as Don Jose. And so, this is more, this is what you're talking about, more and more character and drama.

Placido Domingo Absolutely absolutely. There's not way. There is no way today then the then the people, especially the new people, could enjoy opera, if it's not properly done. You know?

Studs Terkel Which leads, of course, to again you speak of having some fun as Nemorino. And now we come to -- of course, we think of most of the roles are tragic heroes. So Otello. We come to Otello. How do you interpret, that is, Otello?

Placido Domingo Well, the "Otello" of course is, for me, without any doubt, the opera of operas and the role of roles, you know. As as both ways is a great way of show the vocal as well as dramatic ability of a singer. I mean, "Otello" is not half way. I mean, you can never attempt to do "Otello", really, if there is not an ability to portray the character. Because, listen: I mean, a trumpet sound, a trombone sound or whatever, can- cannon sound, it wouldn't be enough to do any part of Otello. You might say, "Wow, wow, what a powerful voice", but its not enough. That's a definite opera, then, that's essentially combining the acting. And I'm not talking only about the Otello, but about every other, every one of the characters involved in the opera.

Studs Terkel Yeah. Yeah.

Placido Domingo You know, especially Iago, which is a combination really of great acting with singing. So much that I am sorry my knowledge and I'd say not my knowledge, but my accent, won't allow me to portray the part of Otello in the theater. But my dream one day is being, for instance, in a Spanish country, Spanish-speaking country or in Italian, which I dominate very well the language, it will be during the rehearsals to do actually the second act of "Othello" in drama.

Studs Terkel Oh you mean do Shakespeare's "Othello"?

Placido Domingo Do Shakespeare's "Othello", you know?

Studs Terkel Ah!

Placido Domingo And in order to, you know -- I I am, I think I would, I would love to do it, you know. As a--

Studs Terkel That's a great idea! You. then here's the actor now. You want to get that role, the -- God knows how many dimensions Othello has. Not just the blackness, but the age. He's older than she is--

Placido Domingo Yes. Oh yes--

Studs Terkel And the hero. The strange guy.

Placido Domingo There are so many so many strange -- and you know is never enough what you learn about this part. First of all, all the reading you do. I have read Shakespeare in, of course, in the original, in English. I have done it. I have read it in Italian and I have read it to see what Verdi did, because Verdi wrote, read it in Italian. And I have read it on my own language, in Spanish to get even -- and then I have work, you know, with this stage directors of the quality of Zeffirelli, Everding, Terry Hands and Ponnelle. And for instance now, next month I'm doing "Otello" in Covent Garden. It's not a new production. It's done. But I have something very interesting I'm looking for. At the time I be doing "Otello", the Royal Shakespeare Company in in London, they were being -- rehearsing "Othello" also. Peter Hall is the directing--

Studs Terkel Peter Hall directing it.

Placido Domingo And Paul--

Studs Terkel Scofield.

Placido Domingo Scofield. Paul Scofield is going to do it.

Studs Terkel Scofield doing "Otello."

Placido Domingo So, I have asked Peter Hall I want to be in every rehearsal--.

Studs Terkel Hey, that's interesting!

Placido Domingo Because it's never enough that you can learn from "Othello."

Studs Terkel You know, this is marvelous. You're going to attend the rehearsals of the Royal Shakespeare National Theatre Company, seeing Scofield's "Othello," Peter Hall directing. And so the drama, the Shakespearean power, you will somehow absorb, will be in your opera role.

Placido Domingo Absolutely, absolutely. Because I I do believe then "Otello" doesn't matter how many times you do it -- I'm nearly to 50 performances now -- I am ready to learn always. And I am ready to mature the role. And I think then still that many different ways then you can see the role, you know.

Studs Terkel So suppose we hear -- Set the scene for the monologue from "Otello."

Placido Domingo Well, the monologue of "Otello" is one of the ever, you know, one of the masterpieces in any opera. It's set in the third act, after the beginning of the act when Desdemona comes to Otello and he's almost -- I'd like to put myself into the position of almost trying to forget. I mean almost trying to -- don't think anymore. And of course the naivete and the goodness of Desdemona asking about Casio again makes [his burn?], really. I mean he's always -- I mean of course it won't exist, the drama, if these situations they don't exist, you know. But there's a little lack of timing on Desdemona's part. But also she's so absolutely blind and so absolutely innocent, you know, then. That's the reason she brings up the conversation. So, they start on a very, very heavy and very, very, very strong discussion about the situation. He's asking for the handkerchief and, you know, she gave her another handkerchief to him. And he's really very, very upset and really, I'm crying and she asks me why I am crying. And finally I say, you know, then she has committed the darkest of all sins. And I said she's a [coltigana?] you know, which will mean practicli- practically--

Studs Terkel Adultery. She's a courtesan now.

Placido Domingo Adultery, she has committed adultery. In that moment Desdemona, really runs away to, absolutely speechless and absolutely petrified of this side of her husband which she has never known.

Studs Terkel [Unintelligible]

Placido Domingo And in this the moment is coming the monologue, "Dio, mi potevi scagliar," which is one of the, as I say said, one of the most most touching moments of any opera. And I believe for me, that's any of any operatic of musical experience I have in my life.

Studs Terkel Boy that's powerful. Again. See here, even even in not seeing you, hearing you on the recording, the drama. Just a, not too long ago on national television, on public television was the simulcast of station and it was at the Met.

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel And it was the Zeffirelli production of "Carmen", with Obraztsova as Carmen and you, Placido Domingo, as Don Jose. And again the power, the acting and here's Don Jose. Here's a guy--

Placido Domingo Well, [Unintelligible] the Don Jose in there, excuse me. The "Otello" was the Met. The "Carmen" was done in Vienna.

Studs Terkel In Vienna. I'm sorry.

Placido Domingo Yes. With Obrazstova. With Obrazstova.

Studs Terkel Yeah that was "Carmen." "Otello" was the Met.

Placido Domingo But both are Zeffirelli productions. The "Otello" Met and "Carmen"--

Studs Terkel But I'm thinking of the heroes. Here again, Jose, who could be done as an old-time comic fashion. I mean that is done stand and sing arias. But no, here's this guy who just gave up everything.

Placido Domingo It has many parallel--

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Placido Domingo Things with "Otello", you know.

Studs Terkel I hadn't thought of it, but just the--

Placido Domingo Has many. Yes. Many many feelings.

Studs Terkel And then then, you know, you and roles. We think of your Italianate voice. You can do anything you -- How many? You've sung just about every tenor role there is in opera.

Placido Domingo Well, there are a lot more than I want to sing but I can tell you I have arrived to the round and beautiful amount of 80 roles.

Studs Terkel Eighty roles!

Placido Domingo Eighty roles. Which of course I perform very -- constantly I perform about 30 to 35 of them. And the rest, you know, of course they come eventually, and some of them they will never come back. And some of them they will come on an special occasion, you know.

Studs Terkel You know, the thing about Placido Domingo is that swinging with ease back and forth from Otello, so they come to the beautiful music of Puccini. And so I suppose Cavaradossi, one of your roles.

Placido Domingo Well, Cavaradossi's music is, you know, one of the very much, one of the most popular operas and because he's one of the most popular operas also, very much attacked by this [mob? nove?], criticism of some people saying that "Tosca", it sounds like background background music for film. Well, if we, if that's called background music--

Studs Terkel You'd like more of it.

Placido Domingo I love the background music, you know. And Cavaradossi's part -- This is an old recording, it's one of the first things I did. This this recording is already 1971. It was a recording I enjoyed very much with Leontyne Price and Sherrill Milnes and Zubin Mehta conducting. It's so much -- I always like to go back to the old recordings and in the beginning and I don't like them, and after I enjoy them later on. So much I'm going to record another "Tosca.

Studs Terkel You are.

Placido Domingo Next year with Scotto, a Puccini, and Jimmy Levine conducting.

Studs Terkel Do you hear -- by the way, when you hear this recording of from 8 years ago, and you hear it, do you -- Will your interpretation be different now when you do it?

Placido Domingo Absolutely, especially on the on the side of "Tosca," Cavaradossi. When I portrayed -- when I did that the recording maybe, I have done on my in my life, I have done about 50 performances of "Tosca." By now I have done over 140 performances of "Tosca" so it's an entirely different interpretation, sure.

Studs Terkel Suppose we hear -- here's Cavaradossi is about -- Should we hear it "Recondita Armonia" as he thinks about harmony? Or or perhaps before he dies. The sun is shining. What should we do? Which one you prefer?

Placido Domingo Well, I give you the choice.

Studs Terkel "E lucevan le stelle" The stars are shining brightly.

Placido Domingo Okay.

Studs Terkel Okay. [pause in recording] You know it's so beautiful. As you say, background music? Who says that? Isn't it funny they often attack because something is so beautiful. People can't accept it.

Placido Domingo I just don't understand and even more. I mean, Puccini has accepted, you know, perhaps not by the purist. But, I mean the fact of the very small composers they are attacked completely. You know they attack so much Giordano, they attack so much Leoncavallo, they attack Mascagni, Cilea. Which I think they wrote masterpieces also, you know, in their own way. And, I mean, who can attack Pagliacci? Who can attack [Shinea?]. I mean those are operas and there are really absolutely the public is thrilled, you know, as it is in any of the Verdi operas or any other the Mozart or Wagner operas.

Studs Terkel You know the thing about you saying this is beautiful because you have the credentials. You can sing anything. You you you you made your -- you scored mightily in the Ginastera's "Don Rodrigo," which is very contemporary.

Placido Domingo Yes, that's right. And I always I, you know, I'm open for any kind of music that it will make really sense, it will make beauty and why not, if it's contemporary also. Of course, I will.

Studs Terkel Are there contemporary operas that, aside from Ginastera, contemporary operas that attract you?.

Placido Domingo I haven't done, I haven't done too much. I have now a world premiere coming, doing next year in Madrid, an opera that they have wrote for me, which is called "The Poet" and it's based on the life of Espronceda, a Spanish writer. And I'm going to do the premiere in June in Madrid. After Menotti is preparing an opera for me.

Studs Terkel Oh he is?

Placido Domingo Yes, based on the life of Goya.

Studs Terkel Hey, that, really?

Placido Domingo And that should be very--

Studs Terkel That should be exciting.

Placido Domingo Very interesting. And I'm only in some talks because Penderecki wants to write an opera either based on Ivan El Terribile.

Studs Terkel Ivan the Terrible

Placido Domingo Ivan the Terrible or Dante's Divine--

Studs Terkel Inferno?

Placido Domingo Comedia.

Studs Terkel Oh, "Divine Comedy".

Placido Domingo Comedy. And maybe maybe I could I could do--

Studs Terkel This is, I suppose the thing is your your versatility as a thing too. And by the way, people say to you, aren't you singing -- it's almost superhuman -- Aren't you singing too often? They say to you, don't they?

Placido Domingo Well, I think it's an old [studio?] really. As long as I feel the way I feel now and I have my right time to rest and so on, I have to keep this kind of singing. And believe me, there are many other singers and they sing as much as me and maybe more. Perhaps you don't hear it as often, you know. But you know they do it, yes.

Studs Terkel Anyway, you- your interest one day is to conduct?

Placido Domingo Absolutely.

Studs Terkel Really?

Placido Domingo Yes when I -- I, you know, I am doing a lot of conducting and I don't have enough time to do more. But I'm preparing myself to to change into a full-time career when I will, when I won't be able to sing anymore.

Studs Terkel By the -- this happened -- Has there been a singer, a celebrated singer such as yourself, who became a full-fledged conductor?

Placido Domingo No. No and it was Tauber, I think Richard Tauber--

Studs Terkel Tauber did?

Placido Domingo Used to do some conducting,

Studs Terkel but not a full. No, that'd be fan- again, I was thinking, you speak of Spain. And some day perhaps you can even act, straight acting as you say, in Spanish theater or Italian theater, a duet with one of your compatriots Montserrat Caballe.

Placido Domingo Oh yes. Yes.

Studs Terkel Yes. What shall we do from that? "Manon"?

Placido Domingo Well, I think yes. I think we stay to Puccini now since we--

Studs Terkel All right.

Placido Domingo We hear the "Tosca" I think the "Manon Lescaut" is is one of the most beautiful love duets. You know it's -- They are comparing -- it's a lot of influence in the Puccini music of "Tristan" music, you know, you can hear a lot of--

Studs Terkel I going to ask you in a minute about about Wagner.

Placido Domingo A lot a lot of Wagner influence in there. And his inspiration is, for me, "Manon Lescaut" as my personal taste, is the number one opera, Puccini's number one. I tell you why. The "Tosca" -- "La Boheme", "Tosca", and "Butterfly" and so the the later works, they came already as a product of the big name, of an artist already established and the big name that he has. But the "Manon Lescaut", it was his third opera after "Edgar" and "Le Villi", not having really accomplished a great success. So the "Manon Lescaut" it was the real--

Studs Terkel First, yeah.

Placido Domingo Focal point on his future. And I think he pour melodies and inspiration. Then never mind how much perfection it might be in "Boheme", which is also perfect opera. And you know it's nothing extra but because everything is tried, is nothing you can cut in "Boheme," is nothing you can add, it's just perfection. But "Manon Lescaut" it has the kind of melodies and the variety of melodies which Puccini perhaps never wrote again in his life as much as he did in "Manon Lescaut." He was putting everything, he was risking everything. He was really trying to convince the world and tried to convince the publishers, in those days, recording then he was you know a real--

Studs Terkel As it came out spontaneously.

Placido Domingo And come spontaneously. And in this duet you know with Monserrat I think that one thing here -- I mean I hear the combination of two Spanish voices together and while this is also, this recordings from '71, '72, I cannot recall now. And we repeated again in a performance at the Met in the last concert for Mr. Bing being there. And, I mean, you might have your choice of putting one duet or the other one.

Studs Terkel Ah. Can't miss with either. [pause in recording] You know, as we hear the beautiful Puccini in the duet with you and your colleague, Montserrat Caballe, you mentioned something about touches of Tristan, the love. And so we come to you and Wagner. You've done "Lohengrin" in Hamburg.

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel And Wagner.

Placido Domingo Mmmhmm.

Studs Terkel You and -- you've done Walther in "Die Meistersinger."

Placido Domingo Only on records.

Studs Terkel On records. Okay. Do you some day -- I suppose Tristan comes to mind, of course.

Studs Terkel Well, Tristan comes to mind more often than I like to think because there's constantly invitations to do the role, temptations to do the role. And no doubt it's one of the roles I am very very much looking to do. But I think I I like to wait. I like to wait a lot more, you know, because I think I have seen, you know, different performers doing it and I think I still have to have more experience to have more endurance, especially to arrive fresh to the third act, which is, I find it's so, so taxing, you know.

Studs Terkel Admittedly, you you're almost a perfectionist. I mean you want to, you -- there's little doubt you could do it now, a good job. But you don't want to do a good job. You want to, you want to do it--

Placido Domingo Absolutely. And I I, you know what, my -- I think the kind of work I like to do with the Tristan is the following: I don't like to put myself a date. I like to study carefully the score. And once I know it, once I I know that I can sing, then to try to think of a date. Then it could be tomorrow, you see?

Studs Terkel Ah I see. Then, you will know, you will know. You'll know.

Placido Domingo Yes. But if I commit myself then I would be either worrying or worrying people, will he do it or will he even do it? I think I prefer just to start preparing my -- I think you will be wise perhaps to start preparing the third act which is by far the most demanding. And if I am able to sing the third act, then I know I can sing first and second.

Studs Terkel That's marvelous. I mean you will you will know. You let it come and then you will know, you say, I'm ready. That's it. I'm ready.

Placido Domingo Yes. And then I will then I will do it. Maybe then it will take just -- I mean if they tell me, well next month we are doing the performance in [Bairo?]. I say, okay I do it, if I think I can.

Studs Terkel You know, I know that you have much more to say because the stuff flows out of you: the thoughts, your knowledge, as well as your giftedness in singing. Perhaps we should close this hour with the remarkable Spanish tenor singing -- a Spanish tenor who's called Italianate or is it Italianate? Singing a German song, singing Wagner. And "Walther's Prize Song" from "Die Meistersinger."

Placido Domingo Oh wonderful. That I I enjoyed very much. It has been my only Wagner complete opera till now on records, and I enjoy it very much. I I think I think of Walther as a pure -- this is one example of of almost pure singing. I don't like the character of Walther, so that's the reason.

Studs Terkel You don't like the character of Walther?

Placido Domingo No, it doesn't represent dramatically too much interest, you know.

Studs Terkel Too sweet? Too sweet?

Placido Domingo Yes, too too sweet and--

Studs Terkel A person I mean.

Placido Domingo No decisions, you know no no change of characterization, you know. But I I'm not that particular crazy about the role. I cannot say I would've never done on the stage, but it's not one that is appealing. But, the prize lied and--

Studs Terkel The song.

Placido Domingo Some of the music in the first act and second act is so incredibly beautiful and it's just a dream to stand there and sing it.

Studs Terkel Before we hear you sing the prize song, this thing you said attracts me very much. The ambivalent character, the conflict within a character. The drama always attracts you. There's not enough drama in Walther's character.

Placido Domingo Absolutely.

Studs Terkel But the others to you. Everyone you play has this fantastic contradiction.

Placido Domingo Well, yes. And I try not to, I try not to do roles when they are not interesting, you know. There are some roles as far as vocal ability, they are very interesting, but then there are not that interesting, you know, and on the stage. So, I try not to do it--

Studs Terkel Asi- aside from Tristan, is there any role that you haven't done that you'd like to tackle?

Placido Domingo Well, I have in the few years to come now very, very interesting new roles starting by -- I mean, of course, the operas that had been written for me. And then I'm doing next season, I am doing at the Met Tchaikovsky's Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame."

Studs Terkel Mmm.

Placido Domingo Then I will be doing "La Scala." Verdi's "Aroldo," which will be a new role too. I will be doing also in Munich, Verdi "I Masnadieri." And I will be doing at the Met "Les Troyens", Berlioz for the first time. And I will be doing also "L'Amico Fritz," not "L'Amico Fritz," "Il piccolo Marat" at the Met.

Studs Terkel So, this is interesting, you are doing seldom performed roles, too. You you do things seldom perform roles into the repertoire.

Placido Domingo Yes.

Studs Terkel That's marvelous. Anything -- we're going to hear the prize song in a minute and you win it. You're going to win it. I know you're going to win it.

Placido Domingo Well, it's written, I think Wagner made it that way, you know, because he hates so much that--

Studs Terkel I mean you're going to win it. Placido Domingo's gonna win it.

Placido Domingo Yeah, because he hates so much that, that critic, you know, that reviewer, that he made the part of, you know, of course of the, what is called the beckmesser, you know.

Studs Terkel Beckmesser. Beckmesser take off on a critic.

Placido Domingo Yes and I --yes I think he could be compared to some other of his colleagues [laughter].

Studs Terkel Any questions? Placido Domingo. Any questio- anything -- I always ask. Anything you haven't said you feel like saying now before we say goodbye?

Placido Domingo Well, I just want to say that it has been so enjoyable the time for me in Chicago. It's a city that by circumstances of timing. I mean, Miss Fox has constantly asking me, and it has been very difficult to establish. I want to tell you that we have established now, like for '81 on, almost every year I'll be here. Surely, '8-, '82, we have, we have set something and '84, '85 also. '81, '83 [is in the way?] but I can promise you then I will do my best to come because I I enjoyed very much, first of all, the the city and then the the theater and the public.

Studs Terkel Well, as you know they've enjoyed you, tremendously. You've rewarded--

Placido Domingo Thank you very much.

Studs Terkel Listeners and audience. And thank you very much. And the prize song.