Plácido Domingo became honorary chairman of IFPI in July 2011. He is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist. Recognised as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera, he is also a conductor and a major force as an opera administrator in his role as general director of the LA Opera.
As a singer, his repertoire encompasses 134 roles, a number unmatched by any other tenor in history, with more than 3500 career performances. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs include DG's anthology of the complete Verdi arias for tenor and EMI's albums of Wagnerian roles that he has not sung on stage: Siegfried in both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, and Tristan in a complete recording of Tristan und Isolde. His work in the recording studio has earned him 12 Grammy Awards, three of which are Latin Grammys, and he has made more than 50 music videos.
In addition to three feature opera films-Carmen, La Traviata and Otello-he voiced the role of Monte in Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua, played himself on The Simpsons, and his telecast of Tosca from the authentic settings in Rome was seen by more than one billion people in 117 different countries. He has conducted more than 450 opera performances and symphonic concerts with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, LA Opera, Chicago Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Montréal Symphony, National Symphony, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic, among others. In 1993, he founded the international voice competition Operalia.
He recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debuts at the Met, La Scala and Verona. During the past season he added the title role of Simon Boccanegra to his repertoire, with performances at the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden and in Madrid and Berlin. In August 2010, he added the title role in Rigoletto to his repertory in a concert performance in Beijing. He also performed the role in September for a performance of Rigoletto broadcast live on Italian TV from Mantua, where the opera is set; the performance will be shown on PBS during the 2011/12 season. For the 2010/11 season, his appearances include Pablo Neruda - his 134th role - in the world premiere of Daniel Catán's Il Postino in Los Angeles (filmed for subsequent telecast and DVD release), with subsequent performances in Vienna and Paris, the title role in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac in San Francisco, and Oreste in Iphigenie en Tauride in Madrid, Washington DC and at the Metropolitan Opera.
He also celebrated his 70th birthday with a gala concert, arranged by the king and queen of Spain, in his native city of Madrid. His many conducting engagements for the season include Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro in Los Angeles, and Madama Butterfly and Don Pasquale in Washington. During the 2011/12 season, he will conduct Roméo et Juliette and sing the title role in Simon Boccanegra with LA Opera, and conduct Tosca at the Washington National Opera. Upcoming performances also include Neptune in The Enchanted Island at the Metropolitan Opera, where he will also conduct Madama Butterfly.
Appointed chairman of IFPI
Plácido Domingo said: "It is a great honour to be invited to become the chairman of IFPI. I have always passionately believed in the importance of respecting talent and in the rights of all those who perform, create, produce and invest in music. Today, the world of music and in fact most of the arts is undergoing enormous changes and challenges. Technology, which on one hand allows artists to reach many more than ever before, has led to a debate about how to find a way to protect the intellectual property rights of artists, creators and all those living and working in the world of music. I look forward to being a part of those discussions."
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: "It is a privilege to welcome Plácido Domingo to IFPI. He is an artist of unrivalled talent and authority who speaks from the heart about the issues that matter to him. His forceful advocacy for the intellectual property rights of the music sector comes at a pivotal moment, as governments in many countries consider new legislation to curb piracy and help develop the legitimate digital music business".
Global music company heads have also welcomed the appointment.
Doug Morris, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, said: "I am delighted that Plácido Domingo has agreed to become chairman of IFPI. He is a distinguished artist who will be able to communicate the intrinsic value of music to decision-makers at the very highest level. I look forward to working with him."
Edgar Bronfman, Jr., CEO, Warner Music Group, said, "Plácido Domingo is an historic figure in music who is uniquely placed to help shape our industry's future to best serve fans, artists, producers, songwriters and companies alike. His passion for culture and global profile makes his voice especially credible in helping to bring about the public policies necessary to foster the growth of new music and digital services. It is an honour to welcome him as chairman of the IFPI."
Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group, said: "Plácido Domingo's lifetime work defines the emotional and cultural significance of music. More eloquently than anyone, he can speak about those who make it, those who invest in its creation, and why this matters."
Mike Batt, chairman of Dramatico Entertainment, says: "It is good news for the whole music industry that Plácido Domingo is to be chairman of IFPI. At a time when the inherent value of music is being challenged, he is the embodiment of its continuing importance. He will be able to make the case that artists, and those that invest in them, deserve to have their rights respected so that they can continue to produce great music."
Roger Faxon, chief executive, EMI Music Group, said: "Plácido Domingo has an innate understanding of the complex world of music and the issues that surround it, built over his more than fifty years in the industry. His leadership of IFPI will be invaluable as it seeks to deliver successful outcomes for the benefit of the artists that its members are privileged to work with."