The Spanish-born Domingo grew up in Mexico, and enthusiastic fans in the southern state of Yucatan erupted in applause on Saturday at his "Concert of 1,000 Columns." Many here see it like a homecoming; one of Domingo's first performances was in Yucatan in 1957.
The singers were dwarfed by the hulking mass of the site's main pyramid, eerily illuminated in red against a black sky, and the performance began with Mayan-style music from by The Monumental Chorus of the Mayab, accompanied by Indian drums.
Mexico's federal government turns down most requests to hold concerts at ancient temples. But it faces increasing pressure from state governors to promote ruins which, critics argue, are already swamped with tourists.
Officials did impose limits on stage and seating structures and the number of spectators for Domingo's concert, ensuring that it would be smaller than tenor Luciano Pavarotti's 1997 appearance at Chichen Itza, which drew 18,000. Since then, more than a half dozen concerts have been held at or near the ruins.
For more on the subject, see Mexico Says No to Exploitation.