Rolando Villazón: It was as the winner of several prizes at Plácido Domingo’s “Operalia” Competition in 1999 (including the audience award and the Zarzuela prize) that Rolando Villazón first burst on the international music scene. He made his European debut that same year as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genoa, swiftly followed by further debuts at what would become two of his future artistic homes: the Opéra de Paris as Alfredo in La traviata; and the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth. He went on to become one of the most sought-after performers of his generation, as highlighted by a string of highly successful debuts with Europe’s leading opera houses such as the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Rodolfo in La bohème and the Vienna Staatsoper as Gounod’s Roméo.
The tenor has since frequently returned to Vienna for performances as Massenet’s Werther, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Des Grieux, the title role in Les contes d’Hoffmann and the Duke in Rigoletto. Munich audiences have seen Rolando Villazón perform the title role in Gounod’s Faust, Alfredo, and Roméo with the Bayerische Staatsoper in addition to concert performances of La bohème at the Gasteig which were recorded by Deutsche Grammophon and released on CD in 2008.
Rolando Villazón made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2005 with triumphant performances as Alfredo in a new production of La Traviata alongside Anna Netrebko and Thomas Hampson. Deutsche Grammophon released both CD and DVD recordings of the production in 2005. In 2008, he returned for a new production of Roméo et Juliette which was broadcast live on television and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for DVD release in 2009. Further acclaimed European festival appearances include Bregenz, Glyndebourne and Orange.