World-renowned opera star Plácido Domingo returns to Chapman University’s Marybelle and Sebastian P.
Musco Center for the Arts
to receive an Honorary Doctor of Arts in a special hooding ceremony. All are welcome for a special afternoon of both academic ritual and song as Chapman University honors friend and artistic advisor Plácido Domingo, and celebrates the Musco Center for the Art’s successful First Year.


Paul Musco, Plácido Domingo and President Daniele Struppa at the Musco Center for the Art’s opening night gala

Taking place on March 28, the ceremony—normally reserved for academic commencements—comes one year, almost to the date, of Domingo opening Musco Center for the Arts with his signature voice. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., the event features the presentation of an Honorary Doctor of Arts to Plácido Domingo, three songs sung by Chapman opera students and alumni, an onstage unveiling of the bust of Plácido Domingo, a short video presentation of still photographs from the Musco Center for the Arts opening night, and several short speeches to recognize the first anniversary of Musco Center. Afterwards, guests can enjoy birthday cake on the Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza.

“This special occasion celebrates the creative pieces of Chapman University by combining a traditional academic ceremony with artistic performances on a beautiful performing arts stage,” said
Daniele Struppa
, Ph.D., president, Chapman University. “The career of Plácido Domingo has been nothing short of phenomenal and we are honored to confer this degree upon such a great talent and friend.”

José Plácido Domingo Embil, better known as Plácido Domingo, is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist. Recognized as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera, he is also a conductor and a major force as an opera administrator in his role as Eli and Edyth Broad General Director of LA Opera. His repertoire now encompasses 147 roles – a number unmatched by any other tenor in history – with nearly 3,700 career performances. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs have earned him 12 Grammy Awards.


Plácido Domingo on stage performing at the Musco Center for the Art’s opening night

“Plácido Domingo is one of the top ten creative people on the planet in the last 100 years,” said
Richard Bryant
, executive director of the Musco Center for the Arts. “Having Maestro Domingo christen our brand new Musco Center for the Arts one year ago, and then return now to receive an honorary degree demonstrates Chapman’s commitment to the arts at the finest levels.”

The event will also honor Domingo with one of Chapman’s signature busts. From poets to presidents, singers to statesmen, the gallery of bronze busts on the Chapman University campus recognizes an impressive array of historical figures. Domingo’s bust is a gift from Robert Day, the founder of Trust Company of The West, and also a long-time friend of Maestro Domingo.
Updated March 15: We have reached our R.S.V.P. capacity for this event. Please join our standby line—located outside the lobby entrance doors at Musco Center—starting at 1:30 p.m. on March 28 for an available seat. Please note: seating and section not guaranteed and is based on unclaimed reservations.

To see a short clip of the Musco Center’s grand opening light show in March 2016, visit