Luckily for Domingo Goyescas, the only opera by Enrique Granados, is unfamiliar enough for the baritenor's conducting skills to escape comparison with the likes of Carlos Kleiber.
The baton-wagging had better not overtax him, because after the interval he's back for Gianni Schicchi (a revival of the 2008 Woody Allen production for LA Opera). Domingo has essayed the odd tune here and there, but I believe this is the first time he'll sing the baritone title role in full on stage. His last ever role debut? Who can say.
I due Foscari opened last night at the Theater an der Wien with the eternal Placido Domingo once again on Doge duty. Thaddeus Strassberger's staging should please traditionalists when it travels to Covent Garden this autumn.
Lavishly praised on its 2012 Los Angeles debut, the production seems to have garnered less enthusiasm in Vienna. "The staging emphasises the 'show' element" said one; "This tableau is not exactly vivant," said another.
She in her turn recalls seeing him in Otello at the Mariinsky in the '80s. "After the show, I'll never forget hundreds of people storming the stage! Past all the guards! And Placido stood there, barefoot, in a nightshirt - the closing scene of Otello takes place in Desdemona's bedroom - and calmly signed autographs. It was horrendously cold, it went on forever, but he had a look and a word for everyone. Phenomenal."