Juan Diego Flórez is one of the greatest tenors in the world. Of that there can be no doubt.
Born on Jan. 13, the tenor has gone on to establish himself at every major opera house in the world in an ever-evolving repertoire that ranges from Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini all the way to the great French composers such as Gounod and Massenet. He has revived oft-neglected operas and throughout his career he has amassed a tremendous discography that is rivaled by very few artists these days.
He has over 20 recordings to his name, all of them of high quality. But some are simply on another level. Here’s a look at the seven recordings of Flórez that you simply can’t be without.
Voce d’Italia – Arias for Rubini
This set contains arias from the famed composers Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti, but from operas you would never expect. The most well-known work on the set “Guillaume Tell.” But what this album has is tremendous vocal passion and artistry. Flórez is at his florid best and his upper range is as flexible as it has ever been.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia – DVD
The tenor has another recording of the same opera that is also quite excellent, but this includes Flórez and Joyce DiDonato and their chemistry is irresistible. Flórez’s Almaviva is at its most mature and pristine, the tenor’s domination of the role unparalleled at this point.
La Fille du Régiment – DVD
There is also another DVD recording of this work with Patricia Ciofi, but Natalie Dessay is the decider here. She is at her best with Flórez, the two having an incredible time working off one another. And the nine high C’s have never sounded so clean or refreshing as they do here.
Le Comte Ory – DVD
The CD recording is quite good, but the trio of Flórez, DiDonato, and Diana Damrau is to die for. That final scene might be one of the most hilarious to ever be filmed on an opera stage. Buy this DVD if any on this list.
Zelmira – DVD
Flórez has a few Rossini serio recordings out on the market but here he is paired with a top-end cast that also includes Kate Aldrich, Gregory Kunde, Alex Esposito, and Marianna Pizzolato.
Guillaume Tell – DVD
Flórez and Marina Rebeka are a couple made in heaven in this opera and their scenes together raise this to another level. Nicola Alaimo is also quite good in the title role, arguably the finest modern recording of the opera on the market.
Flórez’s latest album is brilliant. Per OperaWire’s review, “Magic is undeniably the best word to use for this album as a whole. To this listener, there is no single misstep in Flórez, Minasi, and Sony’s ‘Mozart’ and it will certainly be exciting to hear the tenor take on more Mozart roles in the very near future.”