Entertainment & Arts

Placido Domingo to leave Washington National Opera

Placido Domingo
Image caption Domingo will return to the company next year for several performances

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has announced he plans to leave the Washington National Opera (WNO) when his contract expires next year.

The 69-year-old has been artistic director there since 1996 and served as its general director since 2003.

The musician holds the same title with the Los Angeles Opera and renewed his contract there last week.

The WNO has struggled financially in recent years and Domingo is credited with raising the company's profile.

"It has been a long and fruitful collaboration, and although I will continue to help the company artistically in any way possible, the current season - my fifteenth with Washington National Opera - will be my last as general director," Domingo told the company's board.

"He will be missed, but all good things must come to an end," said WNO President Kenneth Feinberg.

"Placido's association with WNO was essential to the company's artistic development and helped it to gain recognition nationally and internationally."

Under his current contract, Domingo will return to Washington next year to sing Iphigenie en Tauride and will conduct performances of Madama Butterfly and Don Pasquale.

The singer, best known for his Three Tenors performances with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti, underwent treatment for colon cancer last March.

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