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Artists Plácido Domingo

Release Date: 10/12/2018

One of the most exciting and unusual musical encounters to have taken place in recent years: Plácido Domingo, world-renowned opera tenor, met Pablo Sáinz Villegas who Domingo hailed Villegas as, “The master of the guitar”. Upon meeting on stage in June 2016 at a benefit concert marking Domingo’s seventy-fifth birthday held in Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium before an audience of 80,000 enthusiastic spectators. The high point of this magical night of music was “Adiós Granada” from the one-act zarzuela Emigrantes by Tomás Barrera that dates from 1905. Afterwards Pablo Villegas spoke of the great energy and inspiration that he felt as a result of this encounter. 

It was in that first concert, these two knew an album would flourish with sounds of Latin music from around the world. Volver, is the brainchild of Domingo and Villegas set for release on October 12, 2018 as a Sony Classical recording. Featuring famous Iberian and Latin America songs alongside three solo works for the guitar: “The Spanish Coplas”, “Nostalgic Fado”, and “Mexican Bolero”. The album includes pieces such as Violeta Parras’s Gracias a la vida, which was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013, as well as Volver by Alfredo Le Pera, and Carlos Gardel and Álvaro Carrillo’s immensely successful Sabor a mí, which is now also on the list of songs included in the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame. These arrangements were prepared by twelve-time Grammy winner Rafa Sardina, resulting in exciting new versions that capture Plácido Domingo’s voice in a uniquely intimate way.  

Domingo is recognized as one of the world’s greatest and most influential opera tenors.  Crowned by Newsweek as “The King of Opera,” Domingo is an iconic musician who continues to reinvent himself and push boundaries in what is now the sixth decade of his career. Not only does his repertoire encompass more roles than held by any other tenor in the history of music—he recently performed his 150th role at the Salzburg Festival—he has also recorded more than 100 complete operas, amongst which are 12 Grammy Awards. In addition to 3,900 career performances, he has starred in three feature opera films, and in the telecast of Tosca, seen by more than one billion people in 117 countries. The New York Times helps contextualize Domingo’s career achievements by noting, “It’s as if Tom Brady were still winning Super Bowls in his 50s – while playing three sports at once.”  But his lifelong commitment to the arts is far from being orthodox: he has, for instance, appeared as himself on Sesame Street and The Simpsons, and voiced roles in computer-animated films such as The Book of Life, an homage to the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. In 1993, he also founded the international voice competition Operalia, recognized throughout the business as the world’s most important platform for the discovery of new singers. 

It is Mexico, to wit, the roots of his childhood, to which the star returns in the wake of his last two acclaimed albums Encanto del Mar and The Latin Album Collection. Born in Madrid to two zarzuela singers, he moved to Mexico City with his parents at the age of eight and remained to study piano and conducting.  

Pablo Sáinz Villegas is debuting his first Sony Classical recording. The international press has hailed Villegas as “a global ambassador of the Spanish guitar” (Billboard Magazine) and praised Villegas “virtuosic playing characterized by its vividly shaded colors and his irresistible exuberance” (The New York Times). Villegas has even been compared to one of the greatest guitarists of the twentieth century, Andrés Segovia. Born in Logroño, Spain it was at the age of six when he began to play the guitar. Within a year, Villegas was performing and charming the audience as a young boy. Looking back on more than 30 international awards, including the Gold Medal at the Parkening International Guitar Competition. Villegas was the first guitarist to win the El Ojo Crítico, the highest honour awarded by Spanish critics in the field of classical music. Villegas now appears regularly in the world’s most famous concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.