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Rolando Villazón

Through his uniquely compelling performances, Rolando Villazón has firmly established himself as one of the music world’s most critically acclaimed and beloved stars and as one of the leading artistic voices of our day. Celebrated and loved by critics and audiences alike, Villazón’s versatility is unique: in addition to his stage career, he is also a stage director, novelist, artistic director and presenter on television and radio.

Born in Mexico City, he began his musical studies at the National Conservatory of his native country before becoming a member of the junior programs at the Pittsburgh Opera and San Francisco Opera. Rolando Villazón quickly made a name for himself on the international music scene after winning several prizes at Plácido Domingo’s “Operalia” competition in 1999 (including the Zarzuela Prize and the Audience Prize). This was followed in the same year by his European debut as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genoa and debuts as Alfredo in La Traviata at the Opéra de Paris and as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Staatsoper Berlin. Since then, Rolando Villazón has been a regular guest at the Staatsoper Berlin, Munich and Vienna, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Salzburg Festival, working with leading orchestras and renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He has performed at venues including London’s Barbican Hall, the Philharmonie in Paris, Berlin and Cologne, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2011, Rolando Villazón made his debut as a stage director with an acclaimed production of Massenet’s Werther with the Opéra Lyon and has since directed at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, the Vienna Volksoper, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées and most recently at the 2022 Salzburg Festival, where his production of Il barbiere di Siviglia with a star cast under the direction of Cecilia Bartoli was acclaimed by critics and audiences.

In 2007, Rolando Villazón became an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon and since then has sold over 2 million albums worldwide with a catalogue including over 20 CDs and DVDs which have received numerous prizes. He was also awarded the title of Chévalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest honors in the field of art and literature in France, his permanent residence. Rolando Villazón is an ambassador for RED NOSES Clowndoctors International and a member of the Collège de Pataphysique de Paris. His first novel “Malabares” was published in 2013, followed by “Lebenskünstler” in 2017 and “Amadeus auf dem Fahrrad” in 2020, which was on Der Spiegel magazine’s bestseller list for several weeks. Rolando Villazón presented his own series “Stars of Tomorrow” on Arte, hosted on Radio Classique in France and can be heard daily on Klassik Radio with “Rolando furioso”. In 2017, he was appointed ambassador of the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg. He is currently the artistic director of the foundation.

During the 2023-24 season, Rolando Villazón returns to some of the world’s most prestigious stages. He begins the season with performances of one of his signature roles, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Orfeo) in a new production at the Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival. Another highlight is his return to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he sings Papageno in The Magic Flute. He revives his acclaimed portrayal of Loge in Das Rheingold at Berlin’s Staatsoper under the baton of Philippe Jordan and returns to Semperoper Dresden, for a revival of last season’s celebrated production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Rolando Villazón reprises another signature role, Alessandro in Mozart’s Il re pastore, with frequent collaborators L’Arpeggiata and Christina Pluhar in a concert version at Budapest’s MÜPA. He closes the season with a return to Vienna’s Staatsoper for a baroque gala alongside Cecilia Bartoli.