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01 May 2015 | Classical

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Interview: LondonMex Style

Interview: LondonMex Style

By Wendy Garcés – LondonMex Style

1. How did you get involved with Opera at the very beginning?

This is a very interesting question, because where I come from we do not have an opera house or the culture to listen opera. I was taking voice lessons since I was 14 years old. When I was 17 years old, I met my voice teacher Jesus Li (Cuban) who unfortunately died in 1999 at his house by a fire accident in my natal city Hermosillo, Mexico. He was visiting my city to offer a concert. Next day after the concert, he offered a master class where I had the chance to sing for him. I remember I sang “O Sole mio” and he told me I could become a good tenor if I was willing to have disciplined and study vocal technique with him. In that time, I did not know what a tenor was but I loved the idea of studying opera.

2. In what majority did your family influence the way you develop your career as a musician?

I think my family somehow influenced my musical life since I was a child. Every weekend since I remember they were getting together and my uncles were bringing guitars with them to sing. As far as I remember, even my Grandmother was singing her favorite songs. So I grew up in this environment and I guess I just saw it very natural. Some uncles they were singing professionally but not opera, just commercial music.

3. At which stage of your life did you decided to become an opera singer?

A trip to Disneyland changed the path of my life. I went there just for a holiday in the summer of 2004. Once I was visiting Los Angeles, my aunt asked me If I was interested to sing in a Italian restaurant so she and my other relatives could have the opportunity to hear me sing for first time. We went there and for my surprise there were very important people in the opera world. I remembered I sang few arias and the famous Mexican song Granada. I got few phone numbers from very important people that night and in a week I have learned I had been accepted in the opera studio of UCLA. After that, I am feeling like every trip I do is like going to Disneyland.

4. Which musician has inspired you the most and how this has influenced they way you perform on the stage.


I think I have too many favorite musicians and singers that had influenced the way I perform on the stage, but at the top of my list is Pavarotti. I guess because the way he was able to communicate his emotions through the singing and how true he was when he was performing.

5. What is the secret behind a successful opera artist like yourself?


Finding in life what makes you happy is the real successful. I love what I do and I really enjoy it to the maximum. It doesn’t really matter where I am singing but how I feel doing it.

6. What can you tell me about your new CD that is coming up?


Well, I have been very excited about the recording of my first solo album. In first place because I will be accompanied by the famous Royal Liverpool Orchestra which I Know very well and done too many concerts with and also because will be conducted by my dear friend Toby Purser. Secondly, I am recording in Liverpool, a beautiful city and land of my idols “The Beatles”, and third because I am recording mainly famous opera arias of roles I have done already on stage or will continue singing in the near future and it represents somehow the way I am feeling now.

7. What is ahead in the horizon? Now that you have been on stage on very prestigious venues around the world.


I love concerts and recitals and I would like continuing doing them along the opera performances, they give you the opportunity to show your real personality and have more personal contact with your audience.

8. Is there any preferred Opera House around the world where you would like to perform and why?


I think there are too many opera houses I would like to sing because their prestigious and history like the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, etc. but I really don’t think about the houses, I think about the people that can listen my singing and I think is everywhere.

9. What advice can you give to the new musicians willing to become opera singers?

I think study vocal technique is very important and also be patient, disciplined and honest with themselves, but most of all, I think as singers, we would never lose the joy of singing, we would never lose the joy that we felt when for first time we tried to sing the first notes in our lives.

jesusleon46

November 27th, 2013

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