Monday, October 26, 2009

Francisco Araiza (1950-present)

Mexican tenor. He began singing with a university choir, and became a pupil of the Mexican soprano Irma Gonzalez at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música. His début as the First Prisoner in Fidelio (1970) was followed in 1973 by appearances as Des Grieux (Massenet) and Rodolfo. He went to Europe in 1974 and studied in Munich with Richard Holm and Erik Werba; he then took a two-year contract at Karlsruhe, where he made his European début as Ferrando in 1975 and sang other lyric roles in Mozart and Italian operas. He sang the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer at Bayreuth (1978), and appeared at the Vienna Staatsoper as Tamino, a role he recorded with Karajan. His British début was as Ernesto (Don Pasquale) at Covent Garden in 1983; his American début the next year was at San Francisco in La Cenerentola, and he appeared as Belmonte at the Metropolitan Opera later the same year. He sang Gounod’s Romeo at Zürich, Lohengrin in Venice (1990) and Titus at Salzburg (1991). A lyric tenor whose voice has developed with experience (though heavier roles have at times taken their toll), he now takes leading Verdi and Puccini roles and also sings Werther, Faust, Hoffmann, Lohengrin and Walther von Stolzing. He has made notable recordings of Faust (1987), Catalani’s La Wally (1990), Spontini’s La vestale (1991), Verdi’s Alzira and Mozart and Rossini operas.

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