Rolando Villazón

Through his uniquely compelling performances with leading opera houses and orchestras around the world, Rolando Villazón has firmly established himself as one of the music world’s most critically acclaimed and beloved stars and as one of the leading tenors of our day. Heralded as “the most charming of today’s divos” (The Times) with “a wonderfully virile voice…grandezza, elegance and power” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Rolando Villazón is among the most versatile artists of today, maintaining successful careers as a stage director, novelist, and TV personality next to his on-stage career.

Born in Mexico City, he began his musical studies at the national conservatory of his home country before joining the junior programs at the opera houses in Pittsburgh and at the San Francisco Opera. Rolando Villazón quickly made a name for himself on the international music scene after winning several prizes at Plácido Domingo’s “Operalia” competition in 1999 (including the Zarzuela Prize and the Audience Prize). This was followed in the same year by his European debut as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genoa and debuts as Alfredo in La Traviata at the Opéra de Paris and as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Staatsoper Berlin. Since then, Rolando Villazón has been a regular guest at the State Operas of Berlin, Munich and Vienna, La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Salzburg Festival, working with leading orchestras and renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. As a concert singer he has appeared at London’s Barbican Hall, the Philharmonia in Berlin and Cologne, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and New York’s Carnegie Hall, among others. In 2011 Rolando Villazón made his debut as a director in Lyon and since then has directed for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, the Vienna Volksoper and the Semperoper in Dresden.

In the 2021-22 season he returns to the Metropolitan Opera in New York for the role of Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and tours with harpist Xavier de Maistre and their recital programme “Serenata Latina” throughout Europe, with performances at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Musikverein in Graz, the Konzerthaus in Freiburg and the Liederhalle in Stuttgart. Side by side with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, he continues his concert series “Rolando Raconte” at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. Together with Christina Pluhar and the L’Arpeggiata he presents Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in Graz (Musikverein) and performs the programme “Orfeo son io” with arias and instrumental works of Emilio de’ Cavalieri, Jacopo Peri, Claudio Monteverdi, Luigi Rossi, Antonio and Sartorio, among others, in Paris (Salle Gaveau) and Bremen (Die Glocke, Musikfest). The tenor continues his work with Christina Pluhar and the L’Arpeggiata with presenting a semi-staged performance of “Combattimento: Eros and Thanatos” at the Müpa in Budapest. With KlassikRadio presenter Holger Wemhoff, Rolando Villazón presents a unique concert tour starting at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg and at the Alte Oper Frankfurt am Main. Further concerts take him to Straubing with the Salzburg Philharmonic Orchestra, to Reutlingen with the Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra and to Istanbul with Fatma Said and the Gedik Philharmonic Orchestra (Zorlu PSM) and celebrates its 50th birthday with a high-profile benefit gala concert on February 21st at the Haus für Mozart in Salzburg. He ends the season with directing Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Pfingstfestspiele Salzburg as well as at the Salzburg Festival 2022.

In 2007 the tenor became an exclusive artist for Deutsche Grammophon. He has sold over 2 million albums worldwide and recorded over 20 CDs and DVDs which have received numerous prizes. He is also a Chévalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest awards in the field of art and literature in France, his permanent residence. Rolando Villazón is ambassador of RED NOSES Clowndoctors International and member of the Collège de Pataphysique de Paris. His first novel “Malabares” was published in 2013, the second “Lebenskünstler” was published in April 2017. His third novel “Amadeus auf dem Fahrrad” was published in June 2020 and spent several weeks on the bestseller list of Der Spiegel magazine. Rolando Villazón presents his own programme series on Arte TV and has a daily show on Radio Classique in France, as well as a weekly show on the German station KlassikRadio. In early 2017, Rolando Villazón was appointed ambassador of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and in July 2017, he was named artistic director of the Salzburg Mozart Week from 2019 onwards.


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