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Placido Domingo powers into record books with a 60 year career / Yahoo

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When Peter Gelb took over New York's legendary Metropolitan Opera in 2006, one of his jobs was to organise a farewell for Placido Domingo. But 13 years later the indefatigable Spanish tenor is still "the king of opera", headlining France's oldest musical festival at Orange at the weekend. "Since it was unimaginable that he could possibly be singing for much longer after an unmatched Met career that was soon to span four decades of starring roles," Gelb told AFP, "one of the responsibilities I was preparing for was Placido's farewell."

With many singers' voices withering by the time they hit their forties, the unfailingly modest 78-year-old has somehow managed to keep performing at the top level. "Instead of retiring, Placido apparently discovered his own fountain of youth, reinventing himself as a baritone," Gelb said.

Indeed the singer, who was one of the Three Tenors alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras, set a new record in May by singing his 151th role. A month earlier he had celebrated his 4,000th performance in a career that stretches back 60 years. But Domingo knows he has to look after himself, cancelling interviews after rehearsals on Friday in the southern French town of Orange to preserve his voice having recently pulled out of appearing in "La Traviata" in Munich.