Juan Diego Florez - Biography

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 stage 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, he has appeared regularly at all the major international opera houses under the world’s leading conductors.

As today’s bel canto tenor of choice, Flórez has won particular acclaim in the leading tenor roles of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, 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.

Recent seasons have seen him in L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera and at the Met, Il barbiere di Siviglia in Lima, Le comte Ory at the Met, I puritani in Tokyo, Linda di Chamounix in Barcelona, Rigoletto in Zurich, Matilde di Shabran in Pesaro, Guillaume Tell in Lima and Pesaro, Les Pêcheurs de perles in Madrid, La donna del lago at Covent Garden, and La Fille du régiment in Vienna, as well as in a concert at Machu Picchu with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. 2014 brings Sonnambula in Barcelona, Fille du régiment at Covent Garden, Roméo et Juliette in Lima, Cenerentola at the Met, Barbiere in Munich, Comte Ory at La Scala and La Favorite at the Salzburg Festival, as well as concerts in Marseille, Istanbul, Zurich, Geneva, Madrid, Liège, Baden-Baden, Ludwigshafen, Munich and Vienna.

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 Echoand the Cannes Classical Award. Among his more recent releases are complete recordings of Bellini’s La sonnambula, on CD with Cecilia Bartoli and on DVD with Natalie Dessay, Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Ainhoa Garmendia, Bel Canto spectacular – nominated for a Grammy® 2010 as “Best Classical Vocal Performance” – as well as a 2010 CD release of sacred songs entitled “Santo”. 2012 saw the DVD release of Rossini’s Zelmira, recorded at the 2009 Pesaro Rossini Festival, while 2013 brought Rossini’s Matilde di Shabran from the Teatro Comunale of Bologna. Scheduled for release in 2014: his first all-French album “L’Amour”, a survey of operatic arias from Donizetti to Massenet.

The Peruvian tenor has also received several other international critics’ prizes and been decorated with its highest accolade by the government of Peru. In 2012 he was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and honoured as Kammersänger in Vienna.