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This 6CD set contains 100 tracks featuring probably the greatest tenor of this or any other age: Plácido Domingo. Born in Spain in 1941, Domingo spent his early life in Mexico where his parents, both singers, ran a company that presented zarzuelas (Spanish light operas) and other musical shows. His career has spanned the entire world in a wide range of operas in which he has sung over 120 roles, and in 1990 he made history when, with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, he first appeared in Rome as one of the The Three Tenors, whose subsequent concerts and recordings broke all records for television viewing and record sales.

CD 1 is mainly a collection of arias and duets by Verdi. It begins with the stirring ‘Celeste Aida’ from Aida, which is followed by favourite items from Un ballo in maschera, La forza del destino, Don Carlo, Macbeth, Ernani, and Otello, after which comes a light-hearted performance of the Brindisi from La traviata recorded at the end of a Covent Garden Gala and Domingo invites the audience to join in. The CD concludes with two items by Puccini from La Bohème and La fanciulla del West.

CD 2 carries on with highlights from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Tosca and then moves on to arias from Boito’s Mefistofele and Mascagni’s Nerone, plus the delightful ‘Cherry Duet’ from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.

CD 3 starts with some favourite arias from French opera including ‘Salut! demeure’ from Gounod’s Faust and ‘Ô paradis’ from Meyerbeer’s L’africaine. Then comes Lensky’s Aria from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, four of Mozart’s most lyrical tenor arias from Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte and finally two typically Viennese pieces: ‘Wien, du Stadt meine Träume’ and ‘Dein ist mein ganzes Herz’ from the operetta Das Land des Lächelns

In CD 4 we hear a completely different Domingo as he becomes a magnificent heldentenor in scenes from three of Wagner’s great masterpieces: Götterdämmerung, Tristan und Isolde and Rienzi. In these he is partnered by three of today’s finest sopranos: Deborah Voigt, Nina Stemme and Violeta Urmana

In CD 5 Domingo returns to his roots for a collection of arias from Spanish zarzuelas. Although the zarzuela is thought of as a form of light opera, they can be quite dramatic and Domingo revels in bringing vitality and colour to this programme of widely varied items from some of the most popular examples of the genre.

In CD 6 Domingo moves into the field of popular music and gives us glorious performances of some of the best-known love songs from Spain, Latin America and even Hollywood, from whence come two of Mario Lanza’s greatest film hits: ‘Be My Love’ and ‘Because You’re Mine’. The rest of the programme includes many songs that have been international hits, both in their original form and in local translations, such as ‘Quiéreme mucho’ (known in English as ‘Yours’) ‘Maria Elena’, ‘La paloma’ and ‘Guantanamera’. The programme concludes with an exciting performance of ‘Granada’ recorded live in front of a huge and enthusiastic audience.

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