Juan Diego Florez
Juan Diego Flórez was born in Lima in 1973 and began singing and playing Peruvian folk music and pop music at a very early age. He was 17 when he enrolled at Lima’s National Conservatory of Music and three years later won a scholarship to continue his vocal studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He made his professional stage debut in 1996 at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, stepping in at short notice to sing the leading tenor role of Corradino in Matilde di Shabran.
His expressive voice and astonishing agility made Juan Diego Flórez an overnight sensation and led to his debut later that year, at the age of just 23, to launch the new season at La Scala, Milan, under Riccardo Muti. Since then he has appeared at every major international opera house under the world’s leading conductors. His repertoire encompasses more than 50 operas. Having gained particular renown for performances of the bel canto repertoire at the beginning of his career, Juan Diego Flórez’s recent appearances as French Romantic heroes have met with great acclaim from press and public alike.
His latest role debuts include Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Ricciardo (Ricciardo e Zoraide) at the Rossini Opera Festival, Alfredo (La traviata) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Des Grieux (Manon) and the title role in Faust at the Vienna State Opera and Rodolfo (La bohème) at the Zurich Opera.
He has recorded numerous solo albums and complete operas on CD and DVD. Since June 2016 he has been an exclusive artist with Sony Classical, releasing a disc of Mozart arias in 2017 and Bésame mucho, an album of Latin American songs, in 2018.
He has been recognized by the BBC as one of the finest tenors of all time and has received many honours and awards, including Peru’s highest distinction, the Gran Cruz de la Orden El Sol del Perú. The Austrian government named him Kammersänger in 2012.
In 2011 Juan Diego Flórez founded Sinfonía por el Perú, an inclusive social project inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema. It runs orchestras and choirs throughout Peru to help the most vulnerable children and adolescents. In recognition of the foundation’s work Juan Diego Flórez was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2012 and received the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in January 2014.