A jury of 16 British critics, including John Allison of Opera Magazine, Hugh Canning of The Sunday Times, Ashutosh Khandehar of Opera Now magazine and Richard Morrison of The Times, have selected Plácido Domingo as the greatest tenor of all times, above Caruso, who was their second choice, and Pavarotti, which came third. The Spanish tenor, aged 67, started out his career as a baritone 49 years ago. Not only have the critics upset a lot of Caruso and Pavarroti fans, they also dared to predict that Domingo’s successor will be the Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Florez. Meanwhile, Costel Busuioc, aka the Romanian Pavarroti, who now works as a bricklayer in Madrid, has won the TVE Spanish television talent competition for immigrants, Hijos de Babel. Costel has nine brothers and sisters, whose father abandoned them when he was quite small. He came to Spain in search of work two years ago and has been sending money back to his wife and family who are still living in Romania. The win was celebrated there with fireworks. President Traian Basescu rang Costel to congratulate him and to offer him a scholarship to the Bucharest music school. But Costel intends to stay in Spain where he hopes his family will now be able to join him. As winner of the competition he will get to record a CD for Sony. He joked after the contest: “My life now depends on God, and Sony”.
A SPANIARD WINS IN UK, A ROMANIAN IN SPAIN