JUAN DIEGO FLOREZ
Sometimes promoted as the successor to Luciano Pavarotti, Peru’s Juan Diego Flórez is actually a very different kind of tenor, and one of a sort that has not been seen much in recent years: his voice is light, extremely athletic, and suited above all to the bel canto tenor roles of the early nineteenth century. Among the accomplishments of his young career was the restoration to its proper place of a difficult passage, long considered unsingable, in the role of Almaviva in Rossini‘s Il barbière di Siviglia. His primary vocal model is not Pavarotti but Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus — a performer less well known to the general public but equally well admired among opera cognoscenti.
Born in 1973 in Lima to a folk guitarist father, Flórez sang when he was young in a rock band that specialized in Beatles and Led Zeppelin covers. What set him on the road to an operatic career was a free voice course he took in conjunction with membership in his high school choir. He enrolled at the Lima Conservatory when he was 17, moving on from there to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute on a full scholarship. One mentor was Peruvian tenor Ernesto Palacio, who became Flórez’s manager.
Have musical styles from other countries influenced the music scene in your country? Give some examples. 2 Who are the most popular musicians in your country right now? Do you like them? Do you know of any musicians in your country who sing in another language? 3. What has impresssed you the most in Juan Diego Florez’s life?