For his debut disc on Sony Classical, Spanish-born guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas paired up with classical music world’s reigning superstar, Plácido Domingo. The disc, titled “Volver” and released in October, finds the guitarist accompanying the opera great in traditional Iberian and Latin American favorites such as the bolero “Sabor a mí” (popularized by Trio Los Panchos and later, Luis Miguel), the fado “Coimbra” (most recently popularized by Amália Rodrigues, “The Queen of Fado”) and “Gracias a la vida” (by Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra).

The album was inspired by a 2016 tribute concert “Plácido en el Alma” (“Plácido in the Soul”) in Madrid featuring more than 50 singers, musicians and artists before an audience of 85,000 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and broadcast live by Real Madrid Television. Domingo had invited the guitarist to be one of his accompanying artists for the performance. The day after the concert, he called Sáinz Villegas and invited him to record a duet album. The result was ‘Volver.”

According to the guitarist, who makes his Chicago debut in concerts May 23-26 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the songs on “Volver” are associated with “the artists who sang in musical trios in the ’60s and ’70s on both sides of the Atlantic.” At Symphony Center, Sáinz Villegas will join the CSO and guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

TOP: Guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas joins opera icon Plácido Domingo in a 2018 concert marking the 20th anniversary of the Real Madrid Foundation.