two top contemporary tenors!

One of my most popular posts on “Operatoonity” is called Today’s Top Tenors, a somewhat informal and exhaustive listing of purportedly the best tenors performing in the greatest houses in the world today. I created the list since I couldn’t find one on the Internet that was anywhere near up to date.

Since I posted it almost 18 months ago, “Today’s Top Tenors” has had more than 23,000 visits. And it attracts a lot of commenters as well, who are very well behaved, most of the time.

My latest commenter, who was in fact polite, nonetheless lamented in essence that he thinks the Golden Age of Tenors is behind us. And while he is certainly entitled to his opinion, which I am happy to post, I wanted him to know that he need lament no more.

I’m here, dear readers, with glad tidings of great joy. Ring out the opera bells! The Golden Age of Tenors is actually ahead of us–for decades to come.

And here’s two golden reasons why: David Lomelí and René Barbera. 

David Lomelí, Operalia winner, 2006

René Barbera, 2011 Operalia winner

Both young men (and I DO mean young) are past winners of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, an international opera competition for rising stars, both were featured here on Operatoonity (David and René), and (drumroll, please) both were just profiled in Opera News’ Sound Bites in the past year:

Click here for David’s Sound Bites profile.

Click here for René’s Sound Bites profile.

I haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing René perform in person, but I have watched every videotaped performance of his available, including his winning performance of “Ah Mes Amis” from The Daughter of the Regiment during the Operalia competition.

Here is René’s winning performance captured on YouTube  below, where he absolutely lasers all those top C’s. I can’t imagine Donizetti himself wasn’t smiling at this performance, never thinking any tenor would someday hit those notes straight on from the top rather scooping up to them in a yodel. I can’t help myself. I find myself clapping with joy every time I listen, as if I were in that Operalia audience, too.

YouTube Preview Image

 

In 2010, I had the extraordinary privilege of seeing David Lomelí starring in The Elixir of Love at New York City Opera, Lincoln Center.  He was absolutely captivating in the role of Nemorino, skewering all of our hearts with his sheer artistry and abundant energy. He leaves everything on stage when he performs. He doesn’t know the meaning of marking a performance. He stopped the show with “Una furtiva lagrima”–literally. The audience applauded for at least 3o seconds during a matinee! You can read more about what I thought of David’s performance at my Bachtrack review of Elixir.

In the meantime, here is one of my favorite YouTube recordings of David singing “Nessun Dorma”:

YouTube Preview Image

So, for the kindly commenter yearning for the Golden Age of Tenors, yearn no more, my friend.

A new age is just beginning. Oh, and a new list.

 

6 Comments

Filed under 21st Century Opera, artists, Bel canto opera, opera competitions, tenors, Uncategorized

6 Responses to two top contemporary tenors!

  1. Linda Sala

    What about the talented Jose Cura? How could you overlook him? Once you listen to him sing you become his fan. Love,Love,Loved him!

  2. B young

    What about Michael amante, is he a top tenor or just a light weight, pop tenor wannabe. He was pavorotti’s favorite singer and is billed as the next Mario Lanza, by Tony Bennett

  3. well they were unknown to me

  4. David Lomeli is fabulous. He was the second cast Duke in Rigoletto here last season opposite the equally fabulous Simone Osborne. What a pair! They more than matched the rather more famous couple in the main cast.

  5. Gale

    Hi, Raisa! I am a frequent visitor to a premier opera training academy in Philly and am constantly excited about the future of opera whenever I hear these up-and-coming stars. Thanks for stopping. And I will take a listen to Saimir!

  6. Great voices. Another fab tenor is Saimir Pirgu – take a listen on You Tube.
    On a more general note, how can anyone lament anything about opera now, in the era of Juan Diego Florez and so many great others (tenors and not)?! I say, opera has never been better.