Opera star Domingo in hospital with blood clot

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo is being treated in a Madrid hospital for a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of an artery of the lungs, his publicist said on Tuesday.

Opera star Domingo in hospital with blood clot
Spanish opera star Placido Domingo performs at the Ziggodome in Amsterdam in June. Photo: Paul Bergen/ANP/AFP

The 72-year-old opera star was admitted Monday to the hospital in the Spanish capital, his Los Angeles-based representative Nancy Seltzer said in a statement.

"He is being successfully treated for a pulmonary embolism," she said.

The embolism was the result of deep vein thrombosis, the agent said, a condition in which a clot forms in a deep vein, often in a leg.

Domingo, known to popular music audiences for his "Three Tenors" performances with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti, was expected to make a full recovery, Seltzer said.

"Per his doctor's instructions, he will be forced to rest for three-four weeks. His exact return to his performing engagements remains subject to how fast he can heal and regain his characteristic strength," she added.

The opera star had to cancel five performances in Daniel Catan's "Il Postino" due to begin at the Teatro Real in Madrid on Wednesday, July 17th, as well as a concert he was to conduct in Madrid's Plaza Mayor square on July 21st, the agent said.

"The Teatro Real wishes to express its enormous regret for the great Madrid tenor's illness and to send him its best wishes for a quick recovery," the Spanish theatre said in a separate statement.

Born in Madrid, Domingo moved to Mexico as a child with his parents, who ran a company that performed zarzuela, the traditional Spanish operetta.

The tenor made his operatic debut in a leading role as Alfredo in Verdi's "La Traviata" in Monterrey, Mexico nearly five decades ago.

The Grammy-winner's repertoire encompasses 134 stage roles — a number unmatched by any other celebrated tenor in history.

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A Masked Ball: Madrid opera forced to cancel show after protest over social distancing

Spain's main opera house, the Teatro Real in Madrid, defended itself Monday after it had to cancel a performance when a small group of spectators loudly protested against being seated too close to each other amid a spike in Covid-19 infections.

A Masked Ball: Madrid opera forced to cancel show after protest over social distancing
View of the Teatro Real in Madrid. Photo: Claudia Schillinger/ Flickr

The performance of Giuseppe Verdi's “A Masked Ball” on Sunday night was called off after a “minority” of spectators repeatedly jeered and clapped despite being offered the chance to be relocated or get a refund for the value of their tickets, the theatre said in a statement.

Videos shared on social media by several spectators who were at the performance showed full rows in the upper sections where seats are cheaper, while in the pricier floor section many empty seats could be seen.

Clapping and calls of “suspension!” could be heard even after the actors tried to begin their performance.

The Teatro Real had “respected the health norms” put in place by the regional government of Madrid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and “even reinforced them”, the chairman of the body which manages the theatre, Gregorio Marañon, told a news conference on Monday.

Attendance at the performance had been reduced to just 51.5 percent of the total, well below the  limit of 75 percent set by the regional government, he added.

The regional government does not require there to be an empty seat between spectators, but it does require there to be a distance of 1.5 metres (five feet) between people, or if this is not possible, that they wear face masks, which is mandatory at the theatre, Marañon said.

The Teatro Real, which celebrated its bicentenary in 2018, is studying “what measures we can take for those spectators who… clearly felt in an uncomfortable situation,” he added.

The incident comes as the regional government of Madrid has imposed a partial lockdown in several densely-populated, low income areas mainly in the south of the Spanish capital where virus infections are surging, sparking a debate about inequality and triggering protests in these neighbourhoods over the weekend before the new measures took effect on Monday.