Birth of Peruvian tenor a gift to the world

Jessica Jost

Used under the Fair use Doctrine from
Every day, a baby is born. In the time it took you to open this webpage and read the first sentence, four babies were born. And today in history, Juan Diego Florez was brought into the world.
To the average American, this name means absolutely nothing. To Peruvians and opera lovers however, this name is synonymous with most in demand bel canto tenors of our time. A celebrated operatic tenor, his career began humbly enough; he worked as a replacement singer at his mother’s pub where he sung anything from huaynos to Elvis Presley. He enrolled at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in Lima, Peru at age 17.
His classical voice was cultivated there, and he was taken under the wing of the Peruvian tenor, Ernesto Palacio in 1994, who became Florez’s mentor.
His breakthrough came two years later when he performed as the leading tenor in Matilde di Shabran. He debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2002 as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
He has also released six solo recital albums with the Decca label,  and he has received the Gran Cruz de la Orden El Sol del Peru from President Alan Garcia, Peru’s highest honor bestowed to Peruvians. He was also nominated for a Grammy in 2009 for his album, Bel Canto Spectacular.
Today, on Jan. 13, The Blue Note hosted the Lunar Mansion, Ping Pong club took their yearbook picture in the PAC, but 3,728 miles away and 39 years ago, one of the world’s best tenors was born.
By Jessica Jost