I met the tenor Jorge de Léon, winner of the José Carreras competition for the best singer of Spanish music, after the performance of Andréa Chénier in the Teatro Real in Madrid!
At the end of the 2009-2010 season, the opera in Madrid programmed a series of performances of Andréa Chénier with no less than 3 different casts. The tenors were Marcelo Alvarez, Fabio Armiliato and JORGE DE LEON. It was amazing how this young tenor interpreted the role of Chénier and the way he brought this role in full relief.
He was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and everything began with his grandfather who was a very important and well-known folklorist in the area he was living. Jorge started his studies at the School of Music in Tenerife where he received his first vocal lessons from Isabel Garcia Soto and some other professors, before he became a student of Alfonso Leoz with whom he still works with.
Jorge obtained several international awards at important singing competition. Amongst others:
- National Competition of Abaran in Murcia (Spain)
- International Competition Gavarre
- International Competition Giacomo Aragall
He debuted in the opera Lucia di Lammermoor followed by Simon Boccanegra, Aida, Carmen, Macbeth, Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro, Andréa Chénier, Cavalleria Rusticana, Cyrano. For all these operas he travelled to Montréal, the Opera in Nice, Sevilla, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Poland, Miami etc.
“…. I love many different roles and each time I want to discover something new. Each role brings me a souvenir. For that reason all these roles are belonging to my favourites. For the future, I still think of many new roles that I will sing as soon as these fit for my voice”.
From the left to the right: Jorge as Chénier and Jorge with the soprano Vela as Maddalena
Nowadays the artists are getting roles offered that are not good for the possibilities of their voice. This often happens through their agents and the singers accept these contracts with harmful consequences for their voice. Jorge says: “…. When a theatre offers me a role, I always discuss this first with my professor Alfonso Leoz in order to evaluate if this is good for my voice at that particular moment! The singers of previous generations that I really appreciate are Gigli, Björling, Schipa, Del Monaco …. Because they new perfectly how to sing!”
The zarzuela “Donna Francisquita”
About the stage management, Jorge is short and to the point: it is very important to convey what the author wants. It is a challenge for the stage manager to create something new with original ideas and with his personal point of voice but when it is shown to the public it can evoke different reactions.
“…. CALLES IS A MYTH THAT I ADMIRE (!) because I started to love opera thanks to my admiration for Callas, for her voice and for her personality …… WHAT MORE DO I HAVE TO SAY!”
Jorge after the performance of Chénier in Madrid together with my wife and my daughter!
- June 2010: Carmen in Valencia
- July 2010: concerts in the Canary Islands
- August 2010: Carmen in the Arena of Verona
- October 2010: Butterfly in Tenerife
- November/December 2010: Aida in Valencia
I wish this vital tenor a lot of success during his career and ARRIVIDERCI E PRESTO;