Javier Camarena Profile Photo

Javier Camarena

“His good-sized voice is of uncommon beauty from bottom to top; the middle of the voice in particular is virile and darkish in color, but with a burnished glow… recitatives, subito pianos, long diminuendos on high notes, tasteful rubatos, cadenzas and variations that are born out of the drama…”

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  • 22.08.2018 - Javier Camarena: King of the High C’s (and Good Manners)

  • Javier Camarena is one of the world’s leading tenors, an exponent of Rossini, Donizetti, et al. He is also a guest at the Salzburg Festival this summer (in Bizet — not Carmen but The Pearl Fishers). I had a talk with Camarena, on a series hosted by the Salzburg Festival Society. Excerpts from that talk have been cobbled into a Q&A podcast, here.

    I’d like to tell you a story I told the audience here in Salzburg. Years ago, in 2011, I was covering a Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera. I was seated near the front, on the aisle, with one leg crossed over the other. My foot protruded into the aisle a bit.

    Shortly after the opera began, I felt someone brush up against my foot, moving down the aisle. This was unexpected. A man whispered to me, “Excuse me” — and then started to sing.

    It was Javier Camarena, portraying Count Almaviva. The particular production had him enter through the house, before mounting the stage. In my review the next day, I said that Camarena was not only an excellent young tenor but extraordinarily polite.

    He is, too. During this conversation in Salzburg, he told us he never sings at home, ever — because he doesn’t want to disturb the neighbors. I doubt they would mind.

    National Review

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