After a swift rise to the top, Argentine tenor Marcelo Alvarez is poised to become the star tenor of his generation. Hailed by reviewers from Europe to North America, Alvarez is drawing accolades both for his technique and his musicianship. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Alvarez has “a voice with genuine individuality, fine tone and a sweetly ringing top.” The Sunday Times considers Alvarez “one of the most musical and stylish tenors to emerge since the early days of Gedda and Kraus.”
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Alvarez pays tribute to a legend in popular music on his second recording for the label, Marcelo Alvarez Sings Carlos Gardel (SK 61480), featuring the Argentine tangos of singer and composer Carlos Gardel. Alvarez made his Sony Classical debut with Bel Canto (SK 60721), a collection of popular Italian lyric tenor arias from La traviata, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor, L’elisir d’amore and other operas.
For the 2000-01 season, Alvarez is scheduled to sing the title role in Faust in Munich; Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the title role in Werther in Toulouse; the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier and Alfred in La traviata at New York’s Metropolitan Opera; the Duke in Rigoletto in Tokyo and at the Vienna Staatsoper; his first performances as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore in Toulouse; and the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon at Paris Opera.
A native of Cordoba, Argentina, Alvarez attended university there and subsequently worked at a furniture factory, studying singing in his spare time. At the urging of his wife he left his job to pursue a vocal career, and they and their son moved to Buenos Aires and then Italy. Soon after his arrival in Italy he had his big break when, as understudy to the tenor in La traviata, he was called up to perform on opening night of the production.
He has since become one of opera’s great success stories, with appearances across the globe, in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Berlin State Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Hamburg State Opera, the Toulouse Opera in France and the opera house in Bilbao, Spain. He has made debuts to great acclaim at La Scala, at the Royal Opera, and at the Metropolitan Opera. Alvarez sang his first Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Toulouse in the 1998 season. Other engagements for that season included a new production of Rigoletto at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Massenet's Manon at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, where he sang the role of Des Grieux for the first time, and La traviata in Orange, where he also appeared in a gala concert.
During the 1999-2000 season, Alvarez appeared in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Bastille Opera in Paris, new productions of La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Teatro Comunale in Florence (for the 2000 Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), as well as a new production of Gounod's Faust at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich that marks both his debut in the role and at that theatre. Future plans include his debut with the Chicago Lyric Opera, and further productions through 2002 at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Bastille in Paris.
Alvarez will add Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore to his repertoire in Toulouse in June of 2001. Other roles in his developing repertoire include Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia, Fernand in La Favorite and Raoul de Nagis in Les Huguenots.