Obituary: Spanish Tenor Francisco Ortiz Passes at 82

By Nicolas Quiroga

Spanish tenor Francisco Ortiz Calurano, born in Almendralejo, Badajoz in 1938, died at the age of 82.

Ortiz began his musical studies when he was 20-years-old at the Madrid Conservatory, where he stayed for two years. He then moved to Italy at 24 to study at La Scala in Milan for four years. He made his debut in Prague in “Aida” in 1968 and a few months later he was hired at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela where he performed in such works as “Bohemios,” “El Barberillo de Lavapiés,” and “Doña Francisquita.”

He was hired by the Zarzuela and Operetta Company and assumed a frenetic pace of work, singing two or three works a day on a tour in Latin America; among the works performed during that tour were “Luisa Fernanda,” “Los Gavilanes,” “La Del Soto Del Parral, ”and “La Leyenda del Beso,” among others.

He toured around the whole world and sang on the most renowned operatic stages alongside such artists as Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson, Kiri Te Kanawa, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Oliviero de Fabritis, and others.