Artist of the Week: Ramon Vargas

Mexican Tenor Returns to Bellas Artes for ‘Giovanna d’Arco’

By Francisco Salazar

This week the Opera de Bellas Artes is set to revive Verdi’s “Giovanna d’Arco” for the first time in 167 years. The company will showcase a cast of leading Mexican artists, including legendary tenor Ramon Vargas, who last year celebrated his 40th anniversary at the legendary Mexican theater.

Throughout his illustrious career, Vargas has received raves for his “golden” tone and has performed a wide array of repertoire, including numerous Verdi roles in such operas as “Attila,” “Rigoletto,” “La Traviata,” “Il trovatore,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Alzira,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “I Masnadieri,” “Luisa Miller,” “Falstaff,” “Don Carlo,” “Jerusalem,” and “I Lombardi alla prima crociata.” Now he adds the Carlos VII, a rarely performed work that has obtained a resurgence in the past years.

Regarding his decision to continue expanding his repertory at this stage in his career, the veteran tenor recently told OperaWire, “You have to know who you are and never try to pass that. That is what I think is going to guarantee that your instrument lasts longer and that you don’t force it.”

For those not present in Mexico for the production, Vargas has concert galas in Turkey, and a “Carmen” production in Romania.


To explore more of Vargas’ artistry, check out his recording of the Teatro alla Scala’s “La Traviata,” and Verdi’s “Don Carlos” from the Wiener Staatsoper.

Here he is in clips from “Rigoletto” and “Don Carlo.”



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