Released May 9, 2003

PLACIDO DOMINGO TO PERFORM WITH Southern Miss SYMPHONY
Event made possible by support from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino

BILOXI, Miss. (May 1, 2003) - Opera star Placido Domingo is coming to America - southern Mississippi, in fact.

"One Voice. One Orchestra. One Night Only. The Concert Event of a Lifetime" will take place April 2, 2005, at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum. Domingo will share the stage with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra, announced event partners Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and The University of Southern Mississippi at a press conference today.

"This event will be the most significant musical event ever to have occurred in Mississippi," said the symphony's musical director, Dr. Jay Dean. "It's a truly amazing accomplishment for the southeastern United States and for any university in the world. We expect to have a sold-out audience well in advance of the event."

Southern Miss President Shelby F. Thames agreed that this concert is the concert of a lifetime. "This event solidifies Southern Miss' impact on the region and exemplifies strength of our arts, faculty and students," he said. "This is a trend-setting partnership we hope we can duplicate many times over so we can continue to bring arts of this kind to the people we serve."

"Beau Rivage is pleased to be partnering with The University of Southern Mississippi to present a cultural opportunity of this magnitude in Mississippi," said Beau Rivage President Jeff Dahl. "As exclusive sponsor, our involvement allows 11,000 people an unforgettable evening, with tickets starting as low as $25. Proceeds from the event will establish two Beau Rivage endowments - one to support the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra and another to support future Southern Miss arts activities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

The announcement that Domingo would perform with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra was made at the same time as the symphony's upcoming season schedule. "We are announcing this 23 months in advance because we expect to sell out," he said. "And (this event) would not be possible without the partnership with Beau Rivage."

Dean said he had been working on making the event happen for the last five years. "I started working on this project in 1998, and by the time it comes about, I'll have invested seven years," he said. "I pursued a lot of different avenues and never gave up. I knew it was the right thing to do and kept searching for the right date, sponsor and venue. Whenever you engage an artist such as Placido Domingo, the most formidable obstacle to overcome is schedule."

Dean said that in a span of a week, it is common for Domingo to sing three to four performances in as many different countries. "His rehearsal and perform schedule is extraordinary," Dean noted. "(Domingo) is one of the most sought-after performers in the world, and his name is a household word. In terms of celebrity status, he is the No. 1 classical music performer in the world, and he is also one of the few classical artists who have successfully built a nonclassical audience. He reaches an extraordinarily wide audience and has been at the top of profession of more than a quarter of a century."

Born in Madrid, Spain, to local operetta stars Plácido Domingo Sr. and Pepita Embil, Domingo began his career at age 8, often accompanying his mother's recitals and singing minor baritone roles in his parents' company. Domingo was schooled in Mexico City, and later entered Mexico's National Conservatory of Music.

Following his motto - "If I rest, I rust" - Domingo's repertoire spans the gamut, from Mozart to Verdi, from Berlioz to Puccini, from Wagner to Ginastera. He appears regularly at all major opera houses, including Milan's La Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, London's Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris, San Fransisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro Real in Madrid, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, and at the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals. He has made more than 100 recordings, has earned 12 Grammy Awards, has made more than 50 videos, and has completed three theatrically released films - Zeffirelli's "La Traviata" and "Othello," and Rosi's "Carmen." His telecast of "Tosca" from the authentic settings in Rome was seen by more than 1 billion people in 117 different countries.

Tickets may be reserved immediately by purchasing 2003 season tickets for the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. Seat assignments begin in November.

For ticket information for "One Voice. One Orchestra. One Night Only. The Concert Event of a Lifetime," call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 1-800-844-8425 and online at http://www.tickets.usm.edu/.

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July 15, 2003 2:29 PM

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