“We all need to reflect more on our lives, and try to be more caring and less selfish.” These are words that Plácido Domingo has repeated more than once and that have accompanied him throughout the years of his unwavering commitment to underprivileged members of society through endless social causes.
This is also what has made him worthy of receiving the “José Manuel Martínez Lifetime Achievement Award”, bestowed by Fundación MAPFRE in recognition of the person and the performer, of a productive and exemplary career serving society and people, which he received with a great deal of emotion today from Her Majesty Queen Sofia.
All the talent, energy, charisma and personal dedication that he has shown on stages all over the world since his youth are also embodied on a human level.
Plácido Domingo, an international figure in opera, with over 56 years of intense activity performing as a singer and over 40 years as a conductor, is characterized by his closeness to those who need him most and by his personal involvement in the discovery and promotion of young talent.
The earthquake that shook the city of Mexico in 1985 and in which almost 30,000 people lost their lives was a noteworthy example of generosity in caring for those affected. The tenor canceled his professional commitments, participated in the rescue work, helped remove rubble by hand on a daily basis and provided housing for many families without shelter or resources.
During this and other natural disasters, Plácido Domingo donated his earnings for the whole year and gave charity concerts for the victims, something that he has done time and again with great enthusiasm and passion, like when he formed the famous professional trio “The Three Tenors” in Rome, which was originally conceived to raise money for the José Carreras International Foundation for Leukemia.
Supporting the young has also always been a focal point for him and, in this regard, the altruistic work of the Madrid tenor has been embodied in different projects with the sole goal of providing opportunities and a better future for those who most need it.
In 1993, the current General Director of the Los Angeles Opera founded “Operalia”, a prestigious international singing competition to allow talented young singers to attend the course, regardless of their financial status, something which has meant they could win awards and contracts for different productions at the most important opera houses in the world.
The award presented by Fundación MAPFRE, which aims to recognize people or institutions that have performed noteworthy actions for the benefit of society in the social, cultural and scientific fields, recognizes the extraordinary career of this universal performer, tenor, orchestra conductor, producer and composer, who studied at the National School of Arts and the National Music Conservatory and who has beaten all records: 56 years at the forefront of song — something hardly anyone else has achieved.
The Spanish tenor has reached unbeatable milestones: receiving one hour of applause at the Vienna State Opera after singing La Bohème (included in the Guinness Book of Records), singing at all the principal opera houses in the world and at the main festivals, as well as working with renowned conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Zubin Mehta, James Levine and Carlos Kleiber.
Plácido Domingo also has a long list of achievements with highlights such as the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts (1991), nine Grammy Awards, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit (2002), among other recognitions.
The awards ceremony, held in Madrid, was also attended by Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, and Antonio Huertas, President of Fundación MAPFRE. The event was also attended by leading figures from the social, cultural, political and business world.
For more information: www.salaprensa.fundacionmapfre.org
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