Francisco Araiza

Francisco Araiza

Francisco Araiza (born October 4, 1950 in Mexico City), is a Mexican operatic tenor. One of the leading tenors of his generation, he is particularly known for his performances in Mozart's lyric tenor roles.

He made an international operatic career starting with Mozart and Rossini roles and developed later on into the heavier lirico spinto repertoire (roles from Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Gounod and finally Wagner).

He studied voice with Irma Gonzalez in the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica and German repertory with Erika Kubacsek in Mexico City. In 1970 he made his debut in Mexico City as Jaquino in Beethovens "Fidelio". In 1974 he went to Europe and took master-classes with Richard Holm and Erik Werba at the Munich Musikhochschule after having won third place in the Bavarian Broadcasting Voice Competition. After three years at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (1974-77) he became a permanent member of the Zurich Opera House in 1977. Herbert von Karajan chose him for his recording of "Die Zauberflöte" (opposite Edith Mathis, Karin Ott and Janet Perry) and invited him to the Salzburg Festival in 1980. This was the start of his international career.

Araiza was named "Kammersänger" of the Vienna State Opera in 1988.

He also holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Mexico City.

He has performed in all the main opera houses of the world i.e. Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, La Scala Milan, Florence, Parma, Rome, Covent Garden London, Bastille Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, in Japan and has as well participated in all great international festivals like Bayreuth, Salzburg (where he had his debut in 1980 under Herbert von Karajan), Bregenz, Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, the Prague Spring Festival, Verona, Macerata, Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the Schubert Festival in Hohenems and the Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. In March 1984 he made his Metropolitan debut in New York as Belmonte.

From 1983 on this most versatile singer who was already known as the best interpreters of Mozart and Rossini became a leading tenor of the Italian lirico-spinto, the French and heavier German repertory with roles like Edgardo, Alfredo, Duke of Mantua, Riccardo III, Don Alvaro, Des Grieux, Faust, Hoffmann, Werther, Romeo, Max, especially however as the young Wagner hero with Lohengrin in 1990 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and recently Walter von Stolzing in the Metropolitan Opera's new production in 1993, which highlighted this vocal and artistic development equally acclaimed by public and press.

Besides his operatic engagement, Francisco Araiza is also a highly esteemed concert and Lieder-singer which can be shown by his nomination «Best musical event of the year 1988» for his Tokyo recital.

Francisco Araiza has worked with all the great conductors and stage directors like Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner, James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Patane, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Harry Kupfer, August Everding, 0tto Schenk, Giorgio Strehler, Franco Zeffirelli and Roman Polanski which has been documented in almost fifty recordings for labels as Philips, DGG, EMI, RCA, CBS, Teldec, Orfeo and Atlantis as well as in lots of video productions for which he was awarded with the «Deutscher Schaliplattenpreis» and the «Orphée d'Or».

An illustrated monograph called Voices of the World: Francisco Araiza was published by Atlantis in 1988 as well as his own chapter in the books named Great Interpreters published by Westermann, Bravo written by Helena Matheopoulous and Divo published by Harper & Row. In 1992 the German television station ZDF presented a personal portrait with the title Francisco Araiza. I am a romantic.

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