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: Don Pasquale (2014), La Cenerentola (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.
His 2021-2022 will include concert tours in Mexico, Spain and China as well as productions at the Royal Opera House, Opernhaus Zurich, Gran Teatre del Liceu and the MET.
In spite of the pandemic´s grave impact on his 2020-2021 season, he nevertheless was able to perform in La Fille du Régiment at Vienna´s State Opera and as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto in Florence; to offer concerts in Spain at Teatro Real and his debut at Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona; and to participate via streaming at the Donizetti festival in Bergamo and at the MET´s New Year´s Gala. He also recorded Il Pirata in Italy alongside soprano Marina Rebeka.
His 2019-2020 season included performances of Lucia di Lammermoor at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich; Puritani at Bastille in Paris; L´Elisir d´Amore at Teatro Real and Opernhaus Zurich; La Cenerentola at the MET; Don Pasquale at the Salzburg Lent and Summer festivals; and La Fille du Régiment at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Furthermore, he offered concerts in Spain, France, Italy, the United States and Mexico.
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 one 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; as well as 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).
He appears on numerous operatic DVD/Blu-ray releases, captured live at Europe’s leading opera houses. Filmed at the Zurich Opera are Mozart’s Così fan tutte (EuroArts, 2010), Verdi’s Falstaff (C Major, Unitel Classica, 2012), and, with Cecilia Bartoli, Rossini’s Le Comte Ory (Decca, 2014) and Otello (Decca, 2014). Captured at the Salzburg Festival are Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (ArtHaus Musik, 2014) and Verdi’s Falstaff, with Zubin Mehta leading the Vienna Philharmonic (EuroArts, 2014), and from Opéra Bastille comes Bellini’s La somnambula, starring Natalie Dessay (France Télévisions, 2010). The tenor may also be heard on live concert recordings of Gounod’s La Colombe, with Mark Elder conducting the Hallé (Opera Rara, 2015) and of Schubert and Mozart masses under Claudio Abbado’s leadership at the Salzburg Festival (Accentus, 2013).
He made his professional debut at Bellas Artes, as Tonio in a 2004 staging of La Fille du Régiment, after which he was invited to join Zurich’s International Opera Studio under the mentorship of fellow tenor Francisco Araiza joining the ensemble of said opera house in 2007. Four years later, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rossini’s Almaviva, which became one of his signature roles; others include the same composer’s Don Ramiro and Comte Ory; Mozart’s Belmonte and Ferrando; Donizetti’s Nemorino and Arturo; Verdi’s Fenton; and Bellini’s Elvino. Equally celebrated for appearances at San Francisco Opera, Paris Opera, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Dresden’s Semperoper, and the Vienna and Bavarian State Operas, the tenor 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.
Born in Xalapa in Mexico’s State of Veracruz, Javier Camarena studied with mezzo-soprano Cecilia Perfecto at the Universidad Veracruzana before completing his musical studies with honors under Hugo Barreiro and Maria Eugenia Sutti at the University of Guanajuato. In 2004, he took first prize in Mexico’s Carlo Morelli National Singing Competition, and the following year he won the Juan Oncinas Award at Barcelona’s Francisco Viñas Competition
Happily married, with two children, he lives in Zurich, where his hobbies include painting, cooking, movie-going, video-gaming and travelling with his family.
recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Budapest – studied at the Milan Conservatory and the Accademia Chigiana di Siena, and is widely recognized as one of the leading conductors of his generation, particularly devoted to the nineteenth century Italian operatic repertoire, and to the romantic and twentieth century symphonic repertoire.
Riccardo is a regular guest at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Teatro Regio in Turin, La Fenice in Venice, Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Verdi Festival in Parma and the Macerata Opera Festival. He has conducted at the Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, New York Metropolitan Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Münich.
Orchestral engagements across the world have seen him step onto the podium at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Dresden Sächsische Staatskapelle and conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Engagements in recent years have included Norma at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rigoletto at the Liceu in Barcelona, Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro la Fenice and in Bilbao, I Puritani in Budapest, Falstaff at the Parma Verdi Festival and in Dallas, Il pirata at Teatro alla Scala and Anna Bolena in Rome.
Riccardo’s 2021/22 season included noteworthy productions such as Rigoletto at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, The Three Queens concert with Sondra Radvanovski at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, La Sonnambula at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées La Cenerentola at the Teatro Real in Madrid, La Clemenza di Tito at the ABAO Opera in Bilbao, the inauguration of the Donizetti Opera in Bergamo with L’Elisir d’amore, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples (Le tre regine by Donizetti with Sondra Radvanovsky and Il barbiere di Siviglia), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (L’amico Fritz) and the New York Metropolitan Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor).
He also led the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma at the Toscanini Festival, the Bamberger Symphoniker in a BR-Klassik production, and returned to the Hungarian Radio Symphony to perform Mahler Symphony no. 2 “Resurrection” which received thrilling remarks.
Since 2017, Riccardo Frizza has been music director at the Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo, where in 2018 he conducted Il castello di Kenilworth, and in 2019 Lucrezia Borgia for the first performance of the new critical edition of the score published by Ricordi and Fondazione Teatro Donizetti, in 2020 Marin Faliero and Belisario and L’elisir d’amore in 2021. His Donizetti repertoire includes Lucia di Lammermoor, Linda di Chamounix, Maria Stuarda (at the MET with Sondra Radvanovsky), La fille du régiment, Lucrezia Borgia (at the San Francisco Opera with Renée Fleming), Roberto Devereux (again in San Francisco), and Anna Bolena (at the Opera di Roma).
Meanwhile upcoming highlights of the 2022/23 season include a new production of La Favorite at Donizetti Festival, La Traviata at Teatro Communale Bologna, Liceu Opera for a production of Il Trovatore and a return to La Fenice, Teatro San Carlo, and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
In June 2021 he won the Ópera XXI award for best music director. The accolade was awarded by Ópera XXI, the association of theatres, festivals and opera companies of Spain, for the outstanding Lucia di Lammermoor which was staged for ABAO Bilbao Ópera in October 2019.