Guest Artist Rolando Villazón

Since bursting onto the international music scene in 1999, tenor Rolando Villazón has established himself as one of the most critically acclaimed, beloved, sought-after and versatile performers of our time. In 1999, after winning several prizes at Plácido Domingo’s “Operalia” Competition, Villazón made his European debut as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genoa, swiftly followed by debuts at the Opéra de Paris as Alfredo in La traviata, and the Staatsoper Berlin as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth. Over the years, he has made a series of successful debuts and returns at the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls, with highlights including Les Contes d’Hoffmann at London’s Royal Opera House and La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at both the St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festivals, where he co-starred with Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.

In concert, he has appeared with leading orchestras and conductors around the world, including performances at the Salzburg Mozart Week with the Vienna Philharmonic, London’s Barbican and Royal Festival Halls, the éâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Berlin, Munich and Cologne Philharmonie, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Academy of Santa Cecilia and Carnegie Hall New York. He has also performed at sold-out concerts in Miami, Vancouver, Tokyo, Toulouse, Monte Carlo, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, Zurich, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Madrid, Copenhagen, Helsinki and others. Villazón has a vast discography, and in 2007, he signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, the classical music label that dates back to 1898.

Off-stage, Villazón has maintained successful careers as stage director, novelist and TV personality. He has appeared as a mentor and judge of ITV show “Popstar to Operastar” and a presenter on Arte, the German-French arts TV station. He is the author of Malabares, a novel written in Spanish, and he is working on a second. He is a cartoonist and he performs as a clown — “Dr. Rollo” — with the Red Noses Clown doctors in children’s hospices in Germany and Austria.

After being discovered while singing in the shower as a kid in Mexico City, Villazón began his musical studies at the National Conservatory of Music before entering young artist programs in Pittsburgh and at the San Francisco Opera. He is the recipient of many awards, including being named a Chévalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest awards in the fields of arts and literature in France.

To learn more about Rolando Villazón, visit

From the Concert

Streaming on:

Your purchase supports PBS and helps make our programming possible.