Rolex Arts Testimonee, Tenor Rolando Villazón

July 28, 2016

A Rolex Arts Testimonee since 2005, Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón has been dazzling audiences with his beautiful voice and masterful stage presence when he appeared on the international opera scene in 1999. He won 3 prizes in his mentor Plácido Domingo's Operalia singing competition and ended up taking second place overall. In the video embedded below, he honors Domingo before performing 'No Puede Ser' to a standing ovation.

Mexican Tenor Rolando Villazón (photo: Monika Rittershaus)
Villazón's singing career got its start in a very interesting way. He was discovered by baritone Arturo Nieto, who heard him singing in the shower in his Mexico City apartment. From there, he went on to compete in Operalia, then made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Alfredo in La Traviata. He has performed in operas by Verdi, Puccini and Mozart to critical acclaim. He appeared at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna with Plácido Domingo in front of millions of viewers and has also achieved success as a platinum recording artist.

His connection to Domingo has continued throughout his career. In 2007 he recorded an album of zarzuelas conducted by Domingo. His career was sidelined after 2007 due to a cyst in his vocal cords. He underwent surgery in 2009 and returned to the stage in 2010 as Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore at the Vienna State Opera. After that, he performed a series of recitals and later began performing Mozart tenor roles, releasing an album of Mozart concert arias in 2014.

For more information on Rolando Villazón including his performance schedule, videos, audio and more, visit his official website at


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