In Review

'Astonishing' voice of Placido Domingo brings Nabucco to life

Domingo gives a masterclass in how to command the stage in Royal Opera House production

What you need to knowA series of special performances of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Nabucco, featuring legendary Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, have begun at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The production initially featured Leo Nucci in the lead, but Domingo will appear for the final run of the performances.

Nabucco follows the Old Testament story of the exile of the Jews from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar). Daniele Abbado's ROH production sets the story in the context of the 20th century Holocaust.

Placido Domingo, formerly a tenor, sings the title role as a baritone. Liudmyla Monastyrska sings the lead soprano role of Nabucco's daughter, Abigaille. Until 26 April at the Royal Opera House, and in cinemas on 29 April.

What the critics likeDomingo's career continues to be "a wonder of the age" and adds a special allure to this production, says Martin Kettle in The Guardian. Nabucco suits Domingo's still-tenorial baritone and he brings something of both Otello and the despair of Lear to the role.

Domingo gives a masterclass in how to command the stage, says Richard Fairman in the Financial Times. He exudes grandeur and authority, and still has that voice - "a proud, molten, glowing sound, astonishing for a singer in his 70s".

Domingo seems unstoppable in his second career as a baritone, says Rupert Christiansen in the Daily Telegraph. Here he gives an "impressively vigorous performance", but Liudmyla Monastyrska's vocally scorching Abigaille steals the show.

What they don't likeMichael Church in The Independent says his initial review of this production (without Domingo) was cautious, but now he urges people to go. From the moment Domingo appears, says Church, "this production, which used to seem inert, now feels pulsatingly alive".

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