Sure, I know this looks crazy to everyone else, but I tend to think about opera singers raised or nourished in a particular country before I visit it for the first time. So for me, Peru meant a big pink neon sign (retaining all the elegance nevertheless) that announces with clarion ardor the name “Juan Diego Flórez.” Yes, that’s me.
What about my next new country? Let’s see.
- Ramón Vargas (1960- ): born in the capital of the country, is THE most elegant lyrical-spinto tenor of our generation. Thank this country for having given us this spectacular maestro.
- Oralia Dominguez (1925 – 2013): a stunning mezzo-soprano, who passed away in Milan, Italy, was born in a town called San Luis Potosí.
- Francisco Araiza (1950- ): born in the capital, was quite an item in the international opera scene. But like way too many lyrical tenors, he faultily chose the path of pursuing echt spinto and dramatic roles. Francisco, why did you venture Chénier and Giuseppe Hagenbach (the tenor role in La Wally) when you are a wonderful Idomeneo?
- Plácido Domingo (born in 1941 in Madrid, Spain) moved here with family in 1949 and pursued his musical studies in the capital.
- Rolando Villazón (1972- ): born in the suburbs of the capital, was the hottest item several years ago. Can’t say I care much for him — he’s too animated a character with all the physical gimmicks and vocal crooning, but he’s an earnest and passionate singer.
- Maria Callas (1923 – 1977): in the capital gave her arguably best all-around (or at the very least the most exciting) Trovatore Leonora, sang her best Aida (though never completely her role), and a somewhat wild but very intriguing Gilda.
And since I still am trying very hard not to jinx it, do allow my indulgence to refrain from pronouncing the name of the next destination…
*Photo source: http://www.ramonvargas.com/images/left_action.jpg