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CLASSICAL  February 2009

CLASSICAL February 2009

Subject:

Stimulus to Domingo

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 22 Feb 2009 12:12:42 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

  Placido Domingo to be Awarded One Million Dollar Birgit Nilsson Prize

  New York, N.Y., February 20, 2009, -- The Birgit Nilsson
  Foundation announces today that Placido Domingo is the first
  winner of the One Million Dollar Birgit Nilsson Prize, the
  biggest prize in classical music history.  In the early
  eighties, towards the end of her long and distinguished
  career, the legendary Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson
  (1918 - 2005) decided to establish a foundation for a prize
  to be awarded every second or third year in the amount of
  one million dollars for outstanding musical achievement.
  The name of the first prize winner, chosen by Birgit Nilsson
  herself, was kept secret until this official announcement.
  Domingo will receive the Birgit Nilsson Prize in a formal
  award ceremony later this year.

  Nilsson and Domingo first sang together in New York at the
  Metropolitan Opera on February 15, 1969 in a matinee
  production of Tosca.  Nilsson remarked that "Placido acquitted
  himself splendidly.  He was an incredibly good Cavaradossi,
  his acting was superb - he was the part, he loved the part
  and on top there was gorgeous singing." That same year in
  July at theArena di Verona, with an audience of over 22,000
  opera goers, Birgit and Placido sang their first "Turandot".
  Once again, Ms. Nilsson was impressed by the young tenor
  in his first performance as Calaf, "What a wonderful singer
  and passionate actor he is." Birgit also recollected after
  this performance that Placido was catching a cold.  "He
  didn't know it and I didn't know it either until a few days
  later, after he gave it to me!  His kiss at the finale was
  so long that the public started to make a joke of it and
  yell 'Eee, basta, basta' (Hey, enough, enough).  And a week
  later I had tonsillitis!  But I must say it was worth it,
  in order to sing with Placido Domingo!  For he was born not
  just with a stunning voice but also with the great, rare
  gift of musicality, which you either have or you don't, and
  was also a charming, fantastic person.  And, yes, all the
  high notes were in place!" In reference to Placido's
  ever-increasing repertoire, Birgit Nilsson, a fervent admirer
  of Placido even before they sang together in Verona, was
  quoted in print as saying, "Placido, who sings beautifully
  in six languages, has not yet learned to say no in any of
  them." Years later, Birgit graciously acknowledged, "He
  proved us all wrong.  Here he is, nearly sixty, and still
  singing."

Janos Gereben
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

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