In early November, in the former hall of the Noble Assembly of St. Petersburg, and now the St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia named after D.D. Shostakovich, the very first concert of Placido Domingo Jr. was held in the conjunction with the St Petersburg Phiharmonic Orchestra conducted by Igor Manasherov.
Placido Domingo Jr. is the son of one of the greatest tenors of the planet Placido Domingo, whose name is familiar even to those who are far from classical music. Placido Jr. is not so well known to the general public – he never followed the footsteps of his parents and did not become an opera singer, referring to the fact that he was not disciplined enough for academic vocal, although in his childhood he sang opera arias learning them by ear. Music, however, did not let him run away and eventually revealed to the world a talented composer who created songs for such singers as Sarah Brightman, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, Placido Domingo Sr. and many others. Placido Domingo Jr., by the way, is the winner of the Latin American Grammy Award in the nomination "Person of the Year" and a producer. But in St. Petersburg he appeared as a performer of popular songs in the style of classical crossover (bossa-nova, tango, latino).
Placido stepped onto stage in a perfectly fitting suit, a white shirt and a red kerchief pasha with a strong confident, slightly imposing gait, waved someone back, said "good evening" and began his concert with the bolero “Sabor a mí”. Periodically, he jumped off the stage and walked down the aisle in order to warm up the audience and actually helped himself, because the first-class acoustics of the Philharmonia and the orchestra, unfortunately, sometimes drowned out the microphone, which periodically faded
“Parla più piano” by Nino Rota, the theme from the movie «Godfather», was really successful: it is worth noting his perfect mastery of the voice, which was similar to the nightingale’s lilt, and very easy execution. “Should I sing another one?" No? I need to go?” – Placido asked the conductor and left for a short break, while the orchestra gave Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with his Spanish dance. The musicians were on top, as befits the orchestra of the Philharmonia, and such an inspiration was trumpets’ behavior!
“Besame mucho” by Consuelo Velasquez Torres sounded in a special way, intimately and without strain, which is the sin of many performers. Placido leaned on the rail and conducted a dialogue with the audience, the dialogue heartfelt and honest. Closing the first section, Placido made a surprise not only to the audience, but also to himself, performing the duet of Don Juan and Zerlina “La ci darem la mano” from the opera «Don Giovanni» with the soprano Svetlana Monchak, a soloist of the Mikhailovsky Theater, all the other duets were also with her. He sang it in his manner: fresh and interesting. At that moment it finally became clear – any comparison with his father are inappropriate, except that it can be noted that the genes have taken their toll.
The second part consisted mainly of tangos and popular melodies. Tango “Volver” by Carlos Gardel was thwarted by deafening ovations: he sang placidly and sonorously, soulfully and fully, enveloping his warm timbre. In general, most of the second section was held in a chamber atmosphere: only the conductor Igor Manasherov, the first violin, a piano, a cello and a guitar remained on the stage. And, it should be noted, this format turned out to be more relevant: the voice of the singer sounded more voluminous, bigger, and Placido did not have to walk around the hall to escape from the orchestra, which too clearly drowned him in its entirety.
The music from the film «The Scent of a Woman» “Por una cabeza” was sung with the right slight tear and in unison with the first violin, for which Placido was awarded bravely. “This one from my father, you know it, and hope will enjoy” – and it was “Perhaps love” by John Denver. It is amazing how he glorified his father, admitting that being his son is a privilege. The concert was closed by the famous song “What a wonderful world” by Bob Thiel in a duet with Svetlana.
Involuntarily you ask yourself, where does Placido draw his creative energy and passion you feel in his performance? He confessed that he got the inspiration from the audience and his father, and simply enjoys what he does. The voice of Placido can not be called very large and voluminous, but he sings incredibly warmly and, it seems, with his heart, not just ligaments, which, however, do not fail him.
Placido told us he had been absolutely delighted with the local audience, which touched him to the depths of his soul. Especially flattering to him was the fact that the audience caught the flow when he gave them 110 percent of his very self and returned this energy back in the form of generous applauses and smiles. But how else, if you can see this magnificent professional on the stage, who is also a man of a great soul with an excellent musical taste. He looks forward to future concerts in Russia. Well, so do we.