NEW YORK (AP) -- After 41 years, Placido Domingo had to prove himself again. At the Metropolitan Opera, the 68-year-old star intends to fill in for the originally scheduled tenor — in the role that marked Domingo's triumphant 1968 Met debut. Back then, he also was pinch-hitting for the lead tenor in Francesco Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur." Friday night's scene promises to be, well, operatic: thousands of spectators awaiting the grizzled veteran of 622 Met performances in a part few tenors his age would dare tackle. The role of Maurizio in "Adriana Lecouvreur" was created in 1902 for the young Enrico Caruso, whose agile, romantic voice easily reached the highest note in the score, a B natural. Some in this week's audience will no doubt hold their breaths, wondering: Can Domingo do it again? He last sang the part at the Met in February 1983, then elsewhere into the 1990s — to rave reviews. But time takes its toll, even on a powerful voice like his. Plus, Domingo developed a cough before Tuesday's dress rehearsal at the Met, where others were fighting what he called "tails of colds." He walked through the rehearsal, but didn't sing. By Thursday, he told The Associated Press in an interview from his Manhattan apartment, he was "feeling very good." However, he said he might transpose certain passages with the highest notes down by a half-tone, or even a tone, easing the pressure a bit. Domingo said he looked forward to again singing "a very talisman role for me" — one that had always brought him luck, starting when he was 21 in Mexico City, where one critic grandly proclaimed, "tenor habemus!" (Latin for "we have a tenor!") In the 1960s, Italian tenor Franco Corelli was a much-loved star of Cilea's masterpiece, based on the life of the 18th century French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur. On the night of Sept. 28, 1968, Corelli became ill. Domingo was home in Teaneck, N.J., when his phone rang: He was being summoned to replace Corelli. Domingo hit Manhattan's West Side Highway, warming up in his car at the top of his lungs. Suddenly, he saw a man in a passing car laughing at him. The tenor recalls sticking his head out the window and yelling, "Where are you going?" The man yelled back, "The Met!" "Well, don't laugh," Domingo responded. "You'll be hearing me tonight." ——— On the Net: