“While you are being dazzled by the precision, you’re also taken by the beauty of the tone. Flórez finds song as natural as speech.”
Juan Diego Flórez was born in 1973 and studied music both in his native Lima and at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. In 1996 he made his official operatic debut in Matilde di Shabran at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, where his expressive voice and astonishing agility made him an overnight sensation and led to his debut at La Scala the same year, aged only 23. Since then, Flórez has also appeared regularly at other major opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opéra, Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Barcelona’s Liceu, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Salzburg Festival, under conductors including Roberto Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniele Gatti, James Levine, Jesús López-Cobos, Sir Neville Marriner, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, Carlo Rizzi, Christophe Rousset and Marcello Viotti.
As today’s bel canto tenor of choice, Flórez has won particular acclaim in leading tenor roles of Rossini (Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola,L’italiana in Algeri, Semiramide, Otello, Le comte Ory, Il viaggio a Reims, La donna del lago and Il signor Bruschino), Donizetti (Don Pasquale, L’elisir d’amore, La Fille du regiment, Maria Stuarda, Elisabetta and Alahor in Granata) and Bellini (La sonnambula and I Puritani), as well as in operas by Verdi (Rigoletto and Falstaff), Puccini (Gianni Schicchi), Gluck (Armide), Mozart (Mitridate) and Nino Rota (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze). In 2007 he broke a 75-year tradition at La Scala by singing an encore in Donizetti’s Fille du regiment, the aria “Ah! mes amis” with nine high Cs, and he created a similar sensation in New York when he repeated the same feat at the Metropolitan in 2008. He is also active as a recitalist and concert artist in works including Rossini’s Stabat Mater.
Highlights in 2009 include performances of La Fille du regiment in San Francisco, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden and in Los Angeles, Rossini’s Zelmira at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro as well as recitals throughout Europe and at the Salzburg Festival. 2010 sees him in La Fille du regiment at the Met, Covent Garden and in Barcelona, La sonnambula at the Vienna State Opera, L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera and Zurich Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Milan’s Scala and La donna del lago at the Paris Opéra. Recital appearances include Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna and Munich.
Juan Diego Flórez has been an exclusive Decca artist since 2001, recording numerous solo albums and complete operas on CD and DVD; many of them have won awards including Germany’s Echo and the Cannes Classical Award. Among his most recent releases are complete recordings of Bellini’s La sonnambula with Cecilia Bartoli and Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Ainhoa Garmendia, Belcanto spectacular – awarded a Diapason d’or and a Choc du Monde de la musique in 2008 and nominated for a Grammy® 2010 as “Best Classical Vocal Performance” – and, on DVD, La Cenerentola with Joyce DiDonato. The Peruvian tenor has also received several other international critics’ prizes and been decorated with its highest accolade by the government of Peru.