The first Birgit Nilsson Prize ($ 1 million) has been awarded to the Spanish opera tenor and conductor Plácido Domingo, it was announced today. Plácido Domingo has performed in 130 different parts through his long international career.This year is his 40th at the Metropolitan Opera in New York where he has opened the season 21 times.
The Swedish opera star Birgit Nilsson died in December 2005. In her will she had set up an international opera prize of one million US dollars She had picked the name of the first winner and put it in a sealed envelope which was not opened by the Prize Committee until recently and made public today. Birgit Nilsson liked a little bit of drama and wanted the existence of the prize to be held secret for three years after her death.