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Mexico celebrates 30 years of tenor Ramon Vargas

The other Mexican tenor had a night of celebration in his home town. Cecilia Soto reports for Slipped Disc:

 

On October 30, Mexican opera lovers celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ramon Vargas’ debut, with a wonderful opera gala at Mexico City’s Palacio  de Bellas Artes.

At age 22, in 1982, Ramon won the the prestigious Carlo Morelli Prize in Mexico City and months later he made his debut in Monterrey, in northeast Mexico, singing Mengone from Haydn’s Lo speziale. In 1986, he won the Enrique Caruso Competition in Milan, a prize that propelled his career in Europe. In 1992, I had the privilege of being at his debut at the Met in New York. I had bought tickets to hear Pavarotti as Nemorino but he got sick and the Met offered me to give my money back, I decided to stay and had the inmense pleasure of hearing Ramon for the first time.

Tuesday’s Gala was quite generous  as it featured the first act of La Boheme and of L’Elisir d’amore, and after intermission various arias including my favorite duet, Dio, che dell’alma infondere, from Verdi’s Don Carlo.  He was accompanied by the Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta, whom I also saw at his 25th annversary gala,  and by the Mexican soprano Maria Alejandres, among others.

Perhaps the best of that night, was to hear Ramon’s beautiful voice, youthful and rich, unharmed and ready to sing many more years.


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Comments

  1. Lovely to hear this – I always think he is under-rated. He has blown me away equally as Don Ottavio and Don Carlo [the latter that (apparently) ruins such lovely lyrical voices and is blamed by many for the demise of many tenors' careers...].

    It’s ” … nell’alma…” by the way…

    • CECILIA SOTO says:

      Hi Deborah, when I wrote “unharmed” my mind was remembering Rolando Villazón sad experience. Ramón has a truly beautiful voice. I like so much Don Carlo that my son’s name is Rodrigo, saludos, Cecilia

      PD sorry for the type error!

      • Thank you for the lovely words about Ramon Vargas. I, too, feel he has been very underrated. I recently heard him sing Don Ottavio, at the Met. I said at the time, that his performance was a voice lesson for tenors. The beauty of his voice, his legato and lyrical phrasing, and his breath control in Ottavio’s fiendishly difficult arias, were superb. Both of his arias absolutely stopped the show. And he was in high company, with Mariusz Kwiecien as the Don, and Luca Pisaroni, as Leporello. So I say “Bravo, Maestro” to him, and wish him 30 more years of beautiful singing.

  2. Arteta is a Basque soprano…….

  3. Donald Honan says:

    underrated is right… but the best often are: Kraus & Bergonzi were both practically ignored in their early careers… I’ve been a fan of Ramon ever since seeing him in San Diego in La Sonnambula… What heaven! He was so good we had to go back for a second performance {I’m not rich enough for that, usually}, and then did it again the next year when he MADE the Lucia di Lammermoor performances…

  4. Vargas has been under-rated for years, in the shadow of those far less talented than he. His Don Ottavio last year was a revelation to many opera goers who have tended to write off the role as wimpy, or worse, pray that the two arias will be over quickly. Mr Vargas brought quiet dignity to the role and let the music soar, and left me wanting to smack Donna Anna for treating him badly!
    I wish that he was a more frequent visitor to US houses and that more of our major orchestras would invite him to perform as a guest.

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