New York, Nov 25 (AP/UNB) — Placido Domingo's eyes watered and his voice quavered. After portraying dozens of characters over a half-century on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, he got emotional being himself.
"For us, the opera singers, it is just like Frank Sinatra said: New York, New York, if you made it, you made it everywhere," the 77-year-old singer from Spain said Friday night when he was honored on stage for the 50th anniversary of his Met debut.
Domingo's career with the Met started a few days ahead of schedule on Sept. 28, 1968, when he replaced an indisposed Franco Corelli as Maurizio in Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur" with Renata Tebaldi in the title role and Fausto Cleva conducting. Domingo's performance Friday in the title role of "Gianni Schicchi," the third opera of Puccini's "Il Trittico," was his 52nd role and 695th appearance at the Met as a singer and conductor.
During a ceremony after the opening opera, "Il Tabarro," Met general manager Peter Gelb gave Domingo a pair of gifts.
"Since you have owned this stage for your entire career, we thought we'd give you a piece of it. So this was removed from the stage earlier this week," Gelb said before bestowing a chunk of flooring.
Then he presented Domingo his leather jacket from a 1990s performance of Verdi's "Otello," which had been dipped in gold to mark the golden anniversary.
"This puts you and Elvis in the same class," Gelb said.
Domingo's wife Marta, son Alvaro and two grandchildren looked on as a montage of Domingo's career was shown, including a scene from "Sesame Street" with Miss Piggy.
"The generations go, go, go. I'm very happy to be surviving," Domingo said.
A few bouquets of flowers were thrown from the audience.
"There are some of you that you were at my debut," he said. "You are the judges. You are the ones that make an artist. So thanks to you I have been coming for a half-century."
A tenor for most of his life, Domingo switched to baritone parts about a decade ago. He has sung 150 roles, by his count.
"The last 20 years, it seems to me like that they are five," he said after the ceremony, "Time passes so quickly. One wishes that the time, maybe we can do it in a slow motion now the next years."
Domingo received a standing ovation of about 2 minutes when introduced. Four famous colleagues were recognized from the audience: Martina Arroyo, Sherrill Milnes, Teresa Stratas and James Morris.
"I think Placido's a miracle, and one of the most amazing parts of it is Marta," Stratas said.
Milnes first worked with Domingo in Guadalajara, Mexico, during Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" and Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).
"I knew there was a special musicality because he was a tenor who could count. So if you said let's hold it two beats or four beats or three beats or whatever — boom! You got it," Milnes said. "No other tenor did that. And just multiply that a thousand times. It's crescendi, the decrescendi, all the lovely musical things. He's just sharp that way, probably the best."
Domingo is known for indefatigable energy. Morris remembered making his Iago role debut at the Met opposite Domingo's Otello in 1995.
"If he had two days off or three days off, he was going here, going down to Acapulco or whatever," Morris said. "I said, Placi, you're like a shark, if you stop swimming, you'll drown."
London, Nov 25 (AP/UNB) — Nicolas Roeg, a director of provocative and otherworldly films who gave Mick Jagger and David Bowie enduring screen roles, has died. He was 90.
The British director of "Don't Look Now" and many other films died Friday night, his son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., told Britain's Press Association.
"He was a genuine dad," Roeg Jr. said Saturday. "He just had his 90th birthday in August."
He didn't provide details about his father's death during a brief telephone call with the association.
During the 1970s, Roeg sent Jenny Agutter and his son Luc Roeg on the Australian Outback odyssey "Walkabout;" gave Jagger a big-screen role in the thriller "Performance," which was co-directed with Donald Cammell; and plunged Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland into psychological horror in the Venice-set "Don't Look Now."
"Don't Look Now" became famous for its realistic depiction of sex. Roeg said later that rumors the sex had been real were "very flattering" because that meant people felt the film was authentic.
Sutherland said Roeg was "a fearless visionary."
"He was a liberating joy to work for," Sutherland said in a statement. "I fell in love with him then and will love him forever."
In "The Man Who Fell to Earth," Roeg directed Bowie — perfectly cast and sublimely strange — as an alien who crashes on Earth looking for a way to save his own planet.
Bowie's son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, wrote on Twitter: "Just heard another great storyteller, the inimitable Nicolas Roeg left us today. What an incredible body of work he's left us with!"
Roeg's later films include the intellectually playful "Insignificance," in which Albert Einstein matched wits with Marilyn Monroe. His last major film was "The Witches," in 1990, a Roald Dahl adaptation which starred Anjelica Huston.
The British Film Institute has named "Don't Look Now" and "Performance" as two of the greatest films in Britain's Top 100 film poll.
The institute paid tribute to Roeg in a tweet: "RIP to Nicolas Roeg, a pioneering force of cinema who created some of the most affecting moments of beauty, terror and sadness ever seen. A true great if ever there was one."
Born in London in 1928, Roeg worked his way into directing after winning acclaim as a cinematographer. He began his career as an editing apprentice in 1947 — among his duties was serving tea.
Roeg worked on major films including "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Fahrenheit 451" before he entered the directing ranks in 1970.
He said he couldn't understand how someone could become a director without first working in cinematography.
Roeg didn't believe in meticulous planning when it came to scripts and shooting schedules, preferring to give himself room to maneuver and improvise as needed. He was fond of saying that God laughed at people who made too many elaborate plans.
"I shoot a lot of stuff," he once said in an interview for the book "Talking Movies." ''I think that's probably come from not having gone to film school. Things work themselves out. You've lost the showmanship thing, the fairground barker, come-see-what's-inside aspect of filmmaking when you try to plan everything for the audience."
Roeg was married three times and had six children.
London, Nov 24 (AP/UNB) — Like many a couple before them, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are moving to the suburbs ahead of the anticipated birth of their first child.
Kensington Palace said Saturday that Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will move from Kensington Palace in central London to Frogmore Cottage, a house on the grounds of Windsor Castle, early next year.
The couple is expecting their first child in the spring. They married in a chapel on the Windsor Castle grounds in May.
Windsor is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of central London.
Harry and Meghan have been living at Kensington Palace since announcing their engagement last year. They will keep their office at that London palace.
New York, Nov 24 (AP/UNB) — The family of Kim Porter released a statement honoring her life a day after Thanksgiving, saying "although we've lost our best friend, God has gained a special angel and we know she is watching over us."
Porter, a former model and actress who was also the longtime former girlfriend of Sean "Diddy" Combs, died unexpectedly last week at age 47. Authorities haven't given a cause.
"God broke the mold when he made Kim, there was truly no other woman like her. Although her time here on earth was far too short, she lived a life full of purpose and meaning. She was a loving mother and devoted friend. She was the epitome of kindness and grace. There wasn't a person she met who's soul she did not touch. Kim was the type of woman who changed lives for the better," the Porter, Goodwin and Combs families say in a statement Friday to The Associated Press. "She will be forever remembered and missed by so many. As her family, we promise to honor her every day of our lives. We love you always."
Porter was the mother of three of Combs' children. Porter also has a son, actor-singer Quincy Brown, from a previous relationship with R&B singer Al B. Sure!
Her funeral will be held Saturday at Cascade Hills Church in Columbus, Georgia. Paramedics rushed to Porter's house last week after calls saying she was unresponsive. She was declared dead soon after they arrived.
Providence, Nov 23 (AP/UNB) — After more than 125 performances in "The Nutcracker" in Rhode Island, a 19-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Archie is leaving the stage.
Festival Ballet Providence announced this week that its beloved "Nutcracker" dog is retiring.
The ballet says Archie achieved stardom in his annual romp across the Providence Performing Arts Center stage and is ready for the next chapter.
Misha Djuric (JUHR'-itch), the ballet's artistic director and Archie's owner, says Archie is "settling down to a life of luxury and long naps on pillows."
The ballet is holding auditions for the next "Nutcracker" dog. Auditions will take place at the Festival Ballet Providence studios on Hope Street in Providence on Dec. 2.
The ballet says it's looking for a pup with an elegant prance, regal coat of fur and charming smile.