High Notes

Hispanic Heritage Month 2017: 11 Male Singers Who Have Become Icons In Opera

It is Hispanic Heritage month!

The Latin American community has, particularly in recent years, been a major boon to the opera world, providing it with great singers and composers, and a number of great operas. As the third part of this weekly series, we will look at some of the most popular male Hispanic singers currently dominating the operatic world.

Rolando Villazón 

The Mexican tenor has reinvented his career numerous times, making himself a specialist in the Mozart repertoire as well as in many Baroque works. He has written books, directed opera, been the host of numerous reality TV shows and even created a podcast. He also has an extensive amount of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon and Erato. This season the tenor continues his directorial endeavors in Germany and tours promoting his new Duets album with Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov.

Juan Diego Flórez

One of the most famous tenors in the world and considered the current King of High Cs, Flórez has established his career singing Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini. However, recently the Peruvian artist has commanded audience attention entering heavier repertoire while still continuing in the Bel Canto repertoire. This season he continues  his exploration with his role debut as Hoffmann in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” and returns to “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” and “Rigoletto.”

Javier Camarena 

Over the past few years, Camarena has become one of the most sought-after tenors. He broke out at the Metropolitan Opera in “La Cenerentola” and did the unpredictable by breaking the encore rules. Audiences went ecstatic and since then he has become the new King of The High Cs. This season he continues in the Bel Canto repertoire with Maria Stuarda,” “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “La Fille du Régiment” and “La Favorite.”

Marcelo Álvarez

Argentine-born Álvarez has been in demand for over the 20 years, singing in every major theater. He has successfully transitioned from the lyric to the spinto repertoire and has conquered many of the great tenor roles. His signature roles include Manrico in “Il Trovatore,” Cavaradossi in “Tosca” and Canio in “Pagliacci.”

Franco Fagioli 

The Argentine-countertenor is now recognized as the most promising in the industry. Fagioli has not only established as a leading interpreter of Baroque works but has successfully performed works from Rossini. He has an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and is performing this season at La Scala and the Dutch National Opera.

José Cura

Considered one of the greatest Otellos of our time, Cura has successfully maintained a career as a great singing actor, director, and recording artist. Now in the later stage of his career Cura has dedicated himself to experimenting in repertoire such as “Peter Grimes” and “Tannhauser.” This season he returns to “Andrea Chenier” at the Teatro Colon.

Erwin Schrott

Schrott has distinguished himself as a great singing actor stealing each scene he is in and has made his mark in Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini, and Gounod. The Uruguayan Bass-Baritone has also successfully crossed over into Tango. This season he returns to London, Monte Carlo, and Vienna to performing of his best roles.

Valeriano Lanchas 

Lanchas made headlines by becoming the only Colombian singer to make his Metropolitan Opera debut. The bass-baritone has since become an expert in the Bel Canto repertoire as well as Mozart works. He is considered a national icon and this season return to the Met for “Le Nozze di Figaro.”

Thiago Arancam

A winner of First Zarzuela Prize “Don Plácido Domingo”, First Audience Prize and Second Opera Prize at the Operalia competition, Arcancam swiftly became recognized for his vocal power and warmth. Dominating the spinto repertoire, he has sung all over the world and this season begins his season at the Pittsburgh Opera singing his signature Cavaradossi in “Tosca.”

Paulo Szot 

The Brazilian bass-baritone has successfully made a career as both an opera star and Broadway singer. He is a Tony Award winner, an award-winning cabaret singer and an expert in Mozart. This season he returns to the Opéra de Paris, Michigan Opera and makes his debut at the Teatro Real de Madrid.

Arturo Chacón-Cruz 

Chacón-Cruz is now entering his prime after already making numerous important debuts, singing with some of the world’s greatest artists and having won numerous competitions. The tenor has the distinction of having done over 20 productions of “La Bohème” throughout his career and is closing in on 30. He also has the distinction of performing  Verdi rarities such as “I Due Foscari,” “Atilla,” “I Masnadieri,” “La Battaglia del Legnano,” and “Oberto” as well as the role of Faust in three different operas in Gounod’s “Faust,” Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust,” and Boito’s “Mefistofele.”


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