Placido Domingo Says Performing at 70 'a Marvel'

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, who underwent surgery last year to remove cancerous polyp from his colon, Wednesday described performing at his age as a "marvel" as he turns 70 this month.

"To be in Madrid singing, with my family and friends, on such an important day for me is part of my birthday present," he told a news conference ahead of a special birthday performance in the Spanish capital.

"The biggest gift which I could receive on this birthday is to say that I can still continue singing for a few more years. At this stage every day I marvel at being able to sing."

Domingo will perform the role of Oreste in Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera "Iphigenie en Tauride" at Madrid's opera house Teatro Real on his birthday on January 21.

The opera will open on Thursday and run until January 27 and the performance on Domingo's birthday will feature a special concert involving singers from around the world.

Domingo, well known to popular music audiences for his "Three Tenors" performances with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti, made his operatic debut in a leading role as Alfredo in Verdi's "La Traviata" in Monterrery in Mexico nearly five decades ago.

The Grammy-winner's repertoire encompasses 130 stage roles -- a number unmatched by any other celebrated tenor in history.

Since December 2009, the Madrid opera house has been led by avant-garde Belgian director Gerard Mortier, the former head of the Opera National de Paris.

He has promised to turn the Teatro Real into one of Europe's top opera houses.

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