I hesitated to pay $35 for this book, but finally decided to buy it new anyway. I'm glad that I did.
Matheopoulous has done a great service for Domingo and opera fans--covering all of his major roles (up to the year 2000, at least) and getting several pages of his comments about each of them. His is a stunning body of work (he's mastered 124 parts) and this book makes it clear why Newsweek dubbed Domingo, "The King of the Opera".
Domingo's insights into both the opera and his performances are intended for a general audience and add to one's understanding and appreciation of his art. He brings a complex understanding to each role, and his career covers a breathtaking body of work, in 6 languages. (It is typical of Domingo that, already well into his 50's, he learned "The Queen of Spades" in Russian--a language he does not know--"note by note, word by word".)
There is no tenor, living or passed, who has the depth and breadth of work that Domingo does. That he has performed these roles onstage for audiences all over the world--as well as preserving many on CD and in full operatic productions on DVD--only adds to the towering impact he has made, and continues to make, on his art.
Each chapter gives an introduction followed by Domingo's own words about a particular character and (at usually 2-3 pages) one often wishes it were longer. Still, this is intended for a general audience, interested in, but not necessarily familiar with, all of the works discussed. What makes this book so special is that it is a document of a great artist's thoughts about his work, and reads as if it were one complete interview, lovingly and clearly focusing on one role at a time. This is the perfect organization for anyone curious about a particular opera/Domingo role.
"Placido Domingo: My Operatic Roles" is a wonderful book, a thought-provoking reference, and an invaluable documentation of what a great and unique artist Domingo is.