Juan Diego Flórez

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Juan Diego Flórez
JD Florez, Madrid 2010.JPG
Flórez in concert, 2010
Born (1973-01-13) 13 January 1973 (age 46)
Lima, Peru
OccupationOpera singer (tenor)
Years active1996–present
Website www.juandiegoflorez.com

Juan Diego Flórez (born January 13, 1973) [1] is a Peruvian operatic tenor, particularly known for his roles in bel canto operas. On June 4, 2007, he received his country's highest decoration, the Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Sun of Peru . [2]

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

A tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone voice types. It is one of the highest of the male voice types. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A2 (two As below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

Bel canto —with several similar constructions —is a term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.



Early years

Juan Diego Flórez was born in Lima, Peru, on January 13, 1973 where his father, Rubén Flórez, was a noted guitarist and singer of Peruvian popular and criolla music. In an interview in the Peruvian newspaper Ojo, Flórez recounted his early days when his mother managed a pub with live music and he worked as a replacement singer whenever the main attraction called in sick. "It was a tremendous experience for me, since most of those who were regulars at the pub were of a certain age, so I had to be ready to sing anything from huaynos to Elvis Presley music and, in my mind, that served me a great deal because, in the final analysis, any music that is well structured—whether it is jazz, opera, or pop—is good music". [3]

Lima Capital city in Peru

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and Mexico City.

Peru Republic in South America

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Música Criolla or Canción Criolla is a varied genre of Peruvian music that exhibits influences from European, african and Andean music. The genre's name reflects the coastal culture of Peru, and the local evolution of the term criollo into a more socially inclusive element of the nation.

Initially intending to pursue a career in popular music, he entered the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima at the age of 17. His classical voice emerged in the course of his studies there. During this time, he became a member of the Coro Nacional of Peru and sang as a soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass and Rossini's Petite messe solennelle .

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian composer of the Classical period

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.

Coronation Mass (Mozart) mass composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Krönungsmesse, composed in 1779, is one of the most popular of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 17 extant settings of the Ordinary of the Mass. This setting, like the majority of Mozart's mass settings, is a missa brevis, or short mass.

Gioachino Rossini 19th-century Italian opera composer

Gioachino Antonio Rossini was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some sacred music. He set new standards for both comic and serious opera before retiring from large-scale composition while still in his thirties, at the height of his popularity.

He received a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he studied from 1993 to 1996 and began singing in student opera productions in the repertory that is still his specialty today, Rossini and the bel canto operas of Bellini and Donizetti. During this period, he also studied with Marilyn Horne at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In 1994 the Peruvian tenor, Ernesto Palacio invited him to Italy to work on a recording of Vicente Martín y Soler's opera Il Tutore Burlato. Palacio subsequently became Flórez's teacher, mentor and manager and has had a profound influence on his career.

Curtis Institute of Music music school

The Curtis Institute of Music is a conservatory in Philadelphia that offers courses of study leading to a performance diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in Opera, or Professional Studies Certificate in Opera. It is among the most selective institutes of higher education in the world with a 4.8% admissions rate.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Vincenzo Bellini Italian opera composer

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before'."

International career

Flórez's first breakthrough and professional debut came in 1996 at the Rossini Festival in the Italian city of Pesaro, Rossini's birthplace. At the age of 23, he stepped in to take the leading tenor role in Matilde di Shabran when Bruce Ford became ill. He made his debut at La Scala in the same year as the Chevalier danois (Danish Knight) in Gluck's Armide , and later in the year he sang the role of Georges in Meyerbeer's L'étoile du nord with Wexford Festival Opera. His Covent Garden debut followed in 1997 where he sang the role of Count Potoski in a world premiere concert performance of Donizetti's Elisabetta . Debuts followed at the Vienna State Opera in 1999 as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2002, again as Count Almaviva. On February 20, 2007, the opening night of Donizetti's La fille du régiment at La Scala, Flórez broke the theater's 74-year-old tradition of no encores when he reprised "Ah! mes amis" with its nine high C's following an "overwhelming" ovation from the audience. [4] He repeated this solo encore at New York's Metropolitan Opera House on April 21, 2008, the first singer to do so there since 1994. [5] [6]

The Rossini Opera Festival(ROF) is an international music festival held in August of each year in Pesaro, Italy, the birthplace of the opera composer Gioachino Rossini. Its aim, in addition to studying the musical heritage of the composer, is to revive and perform his works in a unique setting that allows collaboration of scholars, artists, and audience. It is often simply referred to as the Pesaro Festival.

Pesaro Comune in Marche, Italy

Pesaro is a city and comune in the Italian region of Marche, capital of the Province of Pesaro e Urbino, on the Adriatic Sea. According to the 2011 census, its population was 95,011, making it the second most populous city in the Marche, after Ancona. Pesaro was dubbed "Cycling City" by Italian environmentalist association Legambiente in recognition of its extensive network of bicycle paths and promotion of cycling. It is also known as "City of Music" as it is the birthplace of the composer Gioacchino Rossini. In 2015 the Italian Government applied for Pesaro to be declared a "Creative City" in UNESCO's World Heritage sites. In 2017 Pesaro received the European City of Sport award together with Aosta, Cagliari and Vicenza.

<i>Matilde di Shabran</i> opera by Gioachino Rossini

Matilde di Shabran is a melodramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti after François-Benoît Hoffman’s libretto for Méhul’s Euphrosine and J. M. Boutet de Monvel's play Mathilde. The opera was first performed in Rome at the Teatro Apollo, 24 February 1821 conducted by the violinist Niccolo Paganini. The premiere was followed by a street brawl "between Rossini's admirers and his detractors."

Flórez is also active on the concert stages of Europe, North America, and South America. Amongst the many venues in which he has given concerts and recitals are the Wigmore Hall in London, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Teatro Segura in Lima, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In a departure from his usual repertoire, he sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the Broadway musical Carousel at the Berlin Live 8 concert in 2005.

Wigmore Hall recital venue in London

Wigmore Hall is a concert hall located at 36 Wigmore Street, London. Originally called Bechstein Hall, it specialises in performances of chamber music early music, vocal music and song recitals. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading centres for this type of music and an essential port of call for many of the classical music world’s leading stars. With near-perfect acoustics, the hall quickly became celebrated across Europe and featured many of the great artistes of the 20th century. Today, the hall promotes 550 concerts a year and broadcasts a weekly concert on BBC Radio 3. The hall also promotes an extensive education programme throughout London and beyond and has a huge digital broadcasting arm, which includes the Wigmore Hall Live Label and many live streams of concerts.

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées theatre and concert venue at 15 avenue Montaigne in Paris, france

The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is a theatre at 15 avenue Montaigne in Paris. The theater is named not after the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, but rather after the neighborhood in which it is situated.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Performing arts venue in New York City

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre (6.6-hectare) complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It hosts many notable performing arts organizations, which are nationally and internationally renowned, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

He was signed by Decca in 2001 and since then has released six solo recital CDs on the Decca label: Rossini Arias, which won the 2003 Cannes Classical Award; Una furtiva lagrima , which won the 2004 Cannes Classical Award; Great Tenor Arias which won the 2005 Echo Klassik award for the best arias and duets recital; Sentimiento Latino; Arias for Rubini , Bel Canto Spectacular and Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice , recorded live in May 2008. [7] In addition to his official discography, almost all his professionally performed roles have been preserved in radio broadcasts, and many also by television. He also sang the UEFA Champions League Final Anthem in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2010. [8]

Moving into more lyric roles, he made his debut in Massenet's Werther in Bologna in December 2016, returning to the role in Zurich in April 2017, described the Diapason critic as a triumph, demonstrating his exemplary discipline in accent and phrasing, excellent shading. and with the natural allure of a poet. [9]


Flórez's head and chest registers are perfectly integrated, with no audible break in the passaggio. [10] The ornaments of bel canto, including the trill, are well executed, and stylistic errors such as intrusive aspirates generally eschewed. [11] Perhaps the most distinctive technical accomplishment is the singer's mastery of coloratura heard to best effect in his Idreno ( Semiramide ) and Corradino ( Matilde di Shabran ). [12]

Awards and distinctions

Juan Diego Flórez has been recognized by his native country with several awards and distinctions. In May 2004, he received the Order of merit , from the Mayor of Lima; the Orden al Mérito por servicios distinguidos en el grado de Gran Cruz from President Alejandro Toledo; and was named an Honorary Professor of San Martín de Porres University. On June 4, 2007, he received his country's highest honor, the Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Sun of Peru , from President Alan García. He has been an Austrian Kammersänger since 2012. Flórez also appeared on the 2-sol stamp, part of a series of five stamps honouring contemporary Peruvian musicians issued on November 29, 2004. It is highly unusual for a living opera singer to have been honoured in his home country this way, particularly one so young. (Flórez was 31 at the time). [13] (The portrait of Flórez used on the stamp was by British photographer, Trevor Leighton, [14] and was also used for the cover of his 2003 CD Una Furtiva Lagrima.) [15]

From the classical music world he has received the Premio Abbiati 2000 (awarded by Italian critics for the best singer of the year); the Rossini d'oro; the Bellini d'oro; the Premio Aureliano Pertile; the Tamagno Prize; and the L'Opera award (Migliore Tenore) for his 2001 performance in La sonnambula at La Scala.

In 2009, Flórez was nominated for the Best Classical Vocal Performance in the 52nd Grammy Awards for his album, Bel Canto Spectacular (Decca). [16]

Personal life

Flórez married German-born Australian Julia Flórez in a private civil ceremony on April 23, 2007 in Vienna. [17] They held a religious ceremony at the Basilica Cathedral in Lima on April 5, 2008, which some of Peru's leading citizens, including President Alan García and author Mario Vargas Llosa, attended. [18] Flórez was present at the birth of his son, Leandro, who was born in April 2011, less than an hour before his father took to the stage in Le comte Ory , broadcast live around the world from the Met. [19] A daughter, Lucia Stella, was born in the family home in Pesaro, Italy, in January 2014. [20]

Roles sung on stage

Martín y Soler


Oratorio & Sacred Music

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  1. ECHO Musikpreis (2010). Opera Recording of the Year (17th and 18th century): Juan Diego Flórez Archived December 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "'Tenor Juan Diego Flórez es ejemplo para la juventud y expresión del orgullo peruano', afirma Jefe de Estado Presidencia de la República del Perú", Presidencia de la República del Perú Nota de Prensa Nº 581, 4 June 2007.
  3. 'Cantaba huaynos, rock y temas de Elvis', Ojo, 5 June 2006
  4. Owen, Richard (22 February 2007). "Pavarotti's heir breaks rules with encore on the high C's". The Times .
  5. Wakin, Daniel J. (23 April 2008). "Ban on Solo Encores at the Met. Ban? What Ban?". The New York Times . Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  6. "Show-Stopping Aria Encored at the Met". All Things Considered . National Public Radio. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
  7. "Tenor peruano presenta disco" Archived 2010-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  8. https://operawire.com/jonas-kaufmann-the-other-opera-stars-who-have-featured-at-the-champions-league-final/
  9. Dupuy, Emmanuel. Itinéraire d'un ténor. (Report on Werther in Zurich, 5 April 2017). Diapason , May 2017, No.657, p76.
  10. Isotta, P: "Un disperato fa la differenza" (Review of Falstaff, Teatro alla Scala), Corriere della Sera , 31 March 2001 and Brüggemann, A: "Gesang jenseits der Gravitation von Musik", Die Welt am Sonntag , 19 September 2004
  11. Gerardi. Enrico: "Salisburgo, trionfo da rock star per Juan Diego Florez" (Review of La Donna del lago, Salzburg 2002), Corriere della Sera , 29 August 2002
  12. See for example, Ashley, Tim: "Tale of three tenors" (Review of Rossini's Otello, Royal Opera House, London, February 2000), The Guardian , 2 February 2000; Canning, Hugh: "Bravissimo! Ancora!" (Review of Matilde de Shabran, Pesaro, August 2004), The Times , 15 August 2004; Alonso, Gonzalo: "Semiramide necesita unas tijeras" (Review of Semiramide, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, November 2005), La Razón, 23 November 2005
  13. Marion Lignana Rosenberg, He Can Sing an Aria or Frank a Letter, The New York Times , January 9, 2005. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  14. BBC Mundo, Juan Diego Flórez: un tenor como pocos, 17 March 2006
  15. Decca Classics New Releases April 2003 Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  16. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 52nd Grammy Award nominees (Classical); Radio Programas del Perú, "Juan Diego Flórez fue nominado al Grammy por Bel canto Spectacular" [ permanent dead link ], 3 December 2009
  17. "King of the high Ds" by Richard Morrison, The Australian (15 August 2009) Archived 18 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. "Opera Star Star Juan Diego Florez Weds in his Native Peru" (6 April 2008) International Herald Tribune, Associated Press
  19. Met Opera broadcast, April 9, 2011.
  20. "Juan Diego Flórez recibió el Año Nuevo con el nacimiento de Lucía Stella, su segunda hija" (1 January 2014) El Comercio , Retrieved 20 February 2014 ‹See Tfd› (in Spanish).
Further sources