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Placido Domingo back at work following surgery

March 25, 2010 |  6:09 pm

Domingo Plácido Domingo speaks several languages fluently, but to paraphrase those who work with him, he doesn't know the word for "rest" in any of them.

The 69-year-old Spanish tenor is still supposed to be resting following laparoscopic surgery to remove a malignant polyp from his colon that took place earlier this month in New York. But on Thursday afternoon, he was back at work at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where he sat in on rehearsals for Los Angeles Opera's upcoming production of Wagner's "Götterdämmerung."

Domingo, who is the general director of the company, watched rehearsals for the production and conferred with Christopher Koelsch, the company's head of artistic planning, throughout the afternoon.

During a break in rehearsals, Domingo spoke to reporters and said that he had arrived in Los Angeles Thursday morning from Acapulco, Mexico, where he had been staying following his surgery. He also said that he has already begun singing again but only privately.

"It is still tender, you know," said Domingo, pointing to his midsection. "But I started proving my voice again two days ago."

The tenor added that he is set to begin rehearsals for "Simon Boccanegra" at Italy's La Scala in two weeks.

Domingo also spoke about the upcoming production of the complete "Ring" cycle in L.A. "There are many productions that are different just to be different," he said. "I have seen so many productions, and this one surprises me every time."

Throughout the afternoon, Domingo greeted colleagues and well-wishers including German director Achim Freyer, who is staging the "Ring," soprano Anja Kampe and L.A. Opera staff.

The tenor said he is still planning to perform in "Die Walküre" in L.A. for three performances that begin May 30.

Physically, Domingo appeared healthy and in good form. (He wore a charcoal gray jacket and dress shirt with matching slacks.) But, the tenor declined to have his picture taken by a photographer on Thursday.

Domingo's surgery took place after he experienced physical discomfort and lower abdominal pain for more than a week in February while traveling in Japan. Following the surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, his spokeswoman said that he would rest for six weeks.

-- David Ng

Photo: Plácido Domingo in November. Credit: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP/Getty Images

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