(born December 5
) is a prominent operatic tenor
known for his intense and original interpretations of his characters, notably Verdi
, as well as for his unconventional and innovative concert performances. He is also able to perform high baritone
roles with the extended lower parts of his vocal range.
José Cura was the first artist to sing and conduct simultaneously (both in concert and on recordings) and the first to combine singing with symphonic works in a ‘half and half’ concert format.
Cura made operatic history when he first conducted Cavalleria Rusticana and then stepped on stage after intermission to sing Canio in Pagliacci at the Hamburg Opera in February 2003.
A compelling actor and charismatic stage performer, Cura has been featured in numerous telecasts of opera and concert productions from venues around the world.
He created Cuibar Productions, formed by the following branches: Cuibar Phono Video (Recording Label), CuibArt (Artist Management).
He is also the Patron of the New Devon Opera and the Vice-President of British Youth Opera (BYO)
- 1993 - Signorina Julia by Bibalo, Teatro Verdi, Trieste, Italy; first starring role
- 1994 - Le Villi by Puccini, Festival della Valle d'Itria, Italy; first recorded performance
- 1995 - Stiffelio by Verdi, R.O.H. Covent Garden, London, UK; house debut
- 1995 - Nabucco by Verdi, L'Opera National de Paris (Bastille), Paris, France; house debut
- 1996 - Samson et Dalila, R.O.H. Covent Garden, London, UK, role debut
- 1996 - Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni, Ravenna, Italy; first televised performance
- 1996 - Tosca by Puccini, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria; house debut
- 1997 - La Gioconda by Ponchielli, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy; house debut
- 1997 - Otello by Verdi, Teatro Regio, Turin, Italy; role debut, broadcast live
- 1998 - Aida by Verdi, New Imperial Theatre, Tokyo, Japan; role and house debut. Inaugural season of the new theatre and first time an opera production was fully built in Japan
- 1998 - Manon Lescaut by Puccini, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy; recorded on video
- 1998 - Samson et Dalila, Washington Opera, USA, house debut
- 1999 - Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni, Metropolitan Opera, New York, USA; only the second tenor in Met’s history to make his debut on the season’s Opening Night (the other one having been Caruso in 1902)
- 2000 - La Traviata à Paris, filmed on location in Paris, France, and broadcast live to an audience of millions around the world
- 2001 - A Passion for Verdi, L.S.O., Barbican Centre, London, UK; available in DVD
- 2001 - Appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Polish orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia
- 2002 - Created Cuibar Phono Video (CPV), the recording label of Cuibar Productions, Cura’s own company. The same year, CPV releases Rachmaninov’s 2º Symphony with Sinfonia Varsovia; Cura’s first symphonic studio recording is considered by many to be among the best recordings ever of this work
Prizes and awards
- 1994 - 1st Prize Operalia – International Plácido Domingo Opera Singer Competition
- 1997 - Abbiati Award – Italian Critics Prize
- 1998 - Orphée d’Or - Académie du Disque Lyrique, France
- 1999 - Professor Honoris Causae – Universidad C.A.E.C.E, Argentina
- 1999 - Citizen of Honour – City of Rosario, Argentina
- 1999 - ECHO – Deutscher Schallplattenpreis: Sänger des Jahres, Germany
- 2000 - Chevalier de l'Ordre du Cedre - Lebanese government
- 2001 - Best Artist of the Year, Grup de Liceistes – Barcelona
- 2002 - The Ewa Czeszejko – Sochacka Foundation Award, Poland
- 2003 - Artist of the Year – Catullus Prize, Italy
- 2004 - Citizen of Honour – City of Veszprem, Hungary
- Anthony Holden, You wait years for a nice young tenor..., The Observer, November 7, 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- A thrilling voice and charisma to burn, The Daily Telegraph, April 16, 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- Trouble on the high Cs, The Daily Telegraph April 18, 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- 'Otello' delivers fury and passion, Washington Times, March 4, 2000. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- Octavio Roca, La Traviata Goes on Location in Paris, TV experiment brings drama, intimacy to Verdi, San Francisco Chronicle, August 25, 2000. Retrieved 28 May 2008.