Well, I am making a debut next year in two new Donizetti roles that I am very much looking forward to. Leicester in Maria Stuarda with Oper Frankfurt and Percy in Anna Bolena with Oper Köln. I love to sing bel canto and so far Donizetti really makes my voice very happy. I love these Tudor intrigue operas. I love these stories and books because of the complexity of emotions mixed with raw and powerful music. It's really an experience I'm looking forward to.
Well I am still very young in my artistic path. So I refuse to say a definite “no” to anything – especially since you never know where the voice will take you. But, I can say that I am not spending a lot of time studying for Tristan or Tannhäuser at present.
I would love to work with many artists, but what comes to my mind immediately are two beautiful mezzos that I adore and admire -- Joyce DiDonato and Susan Graham. They are thrilling artists. Also I'm very excited to soon work with the young Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado in Berlin next season. He's a fantastic guy that I also admire.
Well, I hope it wasn’t destroyed by Joyce or Susan!! I would dearly miss all of my salsa tracks, my full discography of Wunderlich, Björling, Gigli, Pavarotti and Di Stefano and some obscure electric dance music I like from my club days in Ibiza, Spain. But I have back-up so I am not too sad.
Well because it is such a popular opera, people already have so much in their imagination. They can already hear Pavarotti or Caruso or they can see in their minds the newer versions like Rent. I do not worry because I can make my own stamp on this. But, another thing is that people make the mistake of thinking that because this is about young lovers, that it is a perfect opera for young singers. Really, it is a very difficult piece requiring much experience – with big orchestration and hard music. It is difficult both for singers and conductors. But I love this opera and this role and look forward to share my interpretation with my friends in Los Angeles.
Though I love the full staging, I confess that I also really enjoy the concert performances. In concert, you have the chance to focus just on the music and on your own voice. I can really connect my artistry with the audience when I sing in concert.
Because I was born in Mexico, it has to be our mariachi singing and the zarzuela that I heard a lot from a young age. It’s fantastic yet difficult music that requires a high and free passagio freedom and good top to be able to do it well. It's so full of sentiment and raw emotion that it was an easy transition from that to opera.
I would like to do an opera based on The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. It would be fantastic to play a tenor Gandalf or a tenor Jon Snow!!! It would be awesome to sing Gandalf’s phrase from The Lord of the Rings "you shall not pass" in a high C.
Rodolfo's romanticism, Werther's sensibility and Nemorino's simplicity are the pillars of my own character.
My current obsession is my new bride, of course, the soprano Sara Gartland. And a far second to that is the game of golf!!! I got married in Pebble Beach and my wife’s family is very passionate and quite good at golf. In particular my father-in-law is very good – he is president of Avis, a sponsor of PGA. So he gets to play and go to places like Sawgrass and Doral and meet pros like Steve Stricker. I learned that golf is very much like singing. The technique is quite easy to understand but to master it takes years of constant practice. I love it even though I have a very high handicap.
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