Alongside the Riemann hypothesis and the existence of God, one great question remains unanswered.
How old is Plácido Domingo?
Rumours have long circulated. Has the legendary baritenor, who claims, like Gheorghiu, to have started college at the age of 14, shaved a year or five off his age? His official birth date is 21 January 1941, making him 72.
The equally legendary José van Dam is amongst the doubters. He recently recalled how Plácido Domingo once told him he was proud to be a grandfather already at the age of 36. "At the time I was 31, and today Plácido is a year younger than me."
That seals it. Or does it?
Van Dam was born on 25 August 1940, so he would have been 31 in 1971. Yet Plácido's eldest grandchild, the actress and Playboy model Ivonne Armant wasn't born until 16 January 1974, when Van Dam was not 31 but 33. To complicate matters further, paternity wasn't initially acknowledged. Plácido's first 'official' grandchild arrived at a later date, when Van Dam was even older. No-one would question the veteran bass's honesty. But perhaps the passage of time has clouded his memory. It does seem unlikely that his conversation with Domingo could have taken place at the time he recalls, however old Domingo is.
So the mystery remains unsolved. As ever, it seems nothing short of cutting Plácido in half and counting the rings will provide an answer.