Mexican tenor Javier Camarena is regarded as the outstanding Mozart tenor and bel canto specialist of his generation. Celebrated for his refined tone, brilliant top notes, flawless coloratura and authentic interpretations, he appears regularly in opera houses all over the world. As Ernesto (Don Pasquale) he is only the second singer in the history of the Metropolitan Opera to give encores at several performances.
He made his professional stage debut in 2004 as Tonio (La Fille du régiment) at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and has returned to the company many times since then. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Zurich Opera. In 2011 he made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut as Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), while other well-received guest engagements have taken him to the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra, the Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Dresden, Vienna and Munich State Operas. Among the conductors under whom he has sung are Abbado, Gatti, Luisi, Mehta and Welser-Möst.
He made his Salzburg Festival debut at two concerts in 2012. His most recent appearance was a recital of arias at the 2018 Whitsun Festival. Song recitals and gala concerts have taken him to New York, Oviedo, Seville, Andorra, Dublin, Madrid, Las Palmas, Peralada, Dallas, Zurich and Salzburg.
His discography includes three solo albums: Recitales (2014), featuring arias by Rossini, Scarlatti and Donizetti, together with Mexican songs; Serenata(2015), a compilation of Mexican works; and Javier Camarena Canta a Cri-Cri(2016), showcasing popular Latin American songs. October 2018 sees the release of Contrabandista, an album he has recorded with Cecilia Bartoli and that pays tribute to the music of Manuel García. He has also taken part in numerous live opera recordings on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.
Javier Camarena hails from Xalapa and studied at the city’s Universidad Veracruzana and at the University of Guanajuato, where he completed his studies with honours. In 2004 he won first prize in the Carlo Morelli Singing Competition in Mexico and the following year was awarded the Joan Oncina Scholarship at the Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, leading to his enrolment at the Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera under his mentor Francisco Araiza. Between 2013 and 2016 he was named one of Mexico’s leading figures by the magazine Líderes Mexicanos. In 2014 the magazine Quién numbered him among his country’s fifty most influential personalities.