Plácido Domingo was born on 21 January 1941 in the Retiro district of Madrid, Spain. His mother recalled that she and her husband knew he would be a musician from the age of five, due to his ability to hum complex music from a zarzuela after seeing a performance of it. In 1949, just days before his eighth birthday, he moved to Mexico with his family. His parents, both singers, had decided to start a zarzuela company there after a successful tour of Latin America. Soon after arriving in Mexico, Domingo won a singing contest for boys, and his parents occasionally recruited him and his sister for children's roles in their zarzuela productions. Domingo studied piano from a young age, at first privately and later at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, which he entered when he was fourteen. At the conservatory, he also attended conducting classes taught by Igor Markevitch and studied voice under Carlo Morelli, the brother of Renato Zanelli. The two brothers were famous practitioners of both baritone and tenor roles. Domingo's conservatory classes constituted the entirety of his formal vocal instruction; he never studied privately with a singing teacher.