Javier Camarena: la voz que acaricia el alma

Javier Camarena, recently honored by the prestigious International Opera Awards as Male Singer of the Year, has positioned himself as one of the most sought-after artists performing, to resounding success, in most of the world's leading opera houses and concert venues.

He is the only singer in history to sing a bis in three different productions at the MET: La Cenerentola (2014), Don Pasquale (2016) and La Fille du Régiment (2019) where he achieved the unequaled feat of doing so in all seven of his performances, one of which was broadcast in the MET Live in HD. He went on to repeat the same feat in La Fille du Régiment at Madrid’s Teatro Real, at Barcelona’s Liceu as well as at the Royal Opera House where he sang a bis in each of his four performances

Among his principal roles are: Rossini´s Almaviva, Don Ramiro and Comte Ory; Mozart’s Belmonte and Ferrando; Donizetti’s Nemorino and Arturo; Verdi’s Fenton; and Bellini’s Elvino. In the last years, he has added new roles to his repertoire: Edgardo in Donizetti´s Lucia di Lammermoor and Gualterio in Bellini´s Il Pirata. He has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, Marco Armiliato, Maurizio Benini, Bruno Campanella, Giuseppe Finzi, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Evelino Pidò and Franz Welser-Möst.

The 2021/2022 season included tours of Spain and the United States (Naples, Dallas, Los Angeles), the new production of “Lucia de Lammermoor” at the Metropolitan Opera House and his debut as Tamino in Mozart's “The Magic Flute” at the Liceu from Barcelona. The 2022/2023 season includes “La Favorita” at the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo and presentation of his CD “Signor Gaetano”; “Elixir de Amor”, at the MET in New York; his debut as Alfredo Germont in Verdi's “La Traviata” at the Monte Carlo Opera, Monaco; Des Grieux in Massenet's “Manon” at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain; and Lucia de Lammermoor at the Bastille Opera in Paris, among other engagements.

Among his many distinctions, Camarena has received the Opera News Award (2020), the Bellas Artes Opera Medal, the ISPA Distinguished Artist Award and the Mozart Medal (all three in 2019). In 2014, his hometown Xalapa awarded him the Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada Medal as distinguished citizen. For the last few years, Líderes Mexicanos has included him in their list of Mexico’s most prominent leaders at both national and global levels, and Quién magazine named him as one of 50 leaders transforming their nation.

Camarena’s discography includes three solo titles for Sony: Recitales (2014), a live recording of arias by Rossini, Scarlatti and Donizetti with songs by Mexico’s Agustín Lara, María Grever and others; Serenata (2015), a collection of songs by Lara and other Mexican composers; and a traditional children songs album titled Javier Camarena canta a Cri Cri (2016). Noteworthy are his solo title with Decca Classics, Contrabandista (2018), exploring the life and music of legendary Spanish tenor Manuel García, the first album of the Mentored by Bartoli series and his recent release with Pentatone, Signor Gaetano, dedicated to Donizetti and received with great critical acclaim.

He appears on numerous operatic DVD/Blu-ray releases, captured live at Europe’s leading opera houses, among others: Mozart’s Così fan tutte (EuroArts, 2010), Verdi’s Falstaff (Unitel Classica, 2012), Rossini´s Le Comte Ory and Otello (Decca, 2014), Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (ArtHaus Musik, 2014) and a second version of Verdi’s Falstaff with Zubin Mehta conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (EuroArts, 2014), as well as Schubert and Mozart masses under Claudio Abbado recorded at the Salzburg Festival (Accentus, 2013).

Born in Xalapa in Mexico’s State of Veracruz, Javier Camarena initiated his musical studies at the Universidad Veracruzana before graduating with honors at the University of Guanajuato. In 2004, he took first prize in Mexico’s Carlo Morelli National Singing Competition and made his professional debut at Bellas Artes as Tonio in a staging of La Fille du Régiment. Soon thereafter he was invited to join Zurich’s International Opera Studio becoming a member of the ensemble of said opera house from 2006 to 2014.

Happily married and father of two children, he lives in Zurich; his hobbies include painting, cooking, movie-going, video-gaming and travelling with his family.