CULTURE

Rising Peruvian opera star to visit Athens in July

Tenor Juan Diego Florez may be only 35 years old, but he is already well established in his field – he has a full schedule of concert bookings until the year 2015. Wherever the rising opera star is booked to perform, shows immediately sell out. On July 20, local audiences will have an opportunity to hear this artist who started out in Lima, Peru, and managed, in just a short time, to dazzle audiences at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, at Milan’s La Scala, at London’s Covent Garden and at the Vienna Opera House. Florez will give one concert at the Herod Atticus Theater, where he will be joined by the ERT Greek Radio & TV National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Alessandro Vitiello. In his Athens concert, Florez will interpret works by Bellini, Rossini and Charles Gounod as well as Donizetti’s well-known nine high Cs aria «Ah mes amis» from «La Fille du regiment,» with which two years ago Florez won over the audience at La Scala, which broke with tradition by giving the tenor the first encore at the opera house in 75 years. Although neither his voice nor his body are reminiscent of Luciano Pavarotti, the following day the press compared the ovation Florez received to that given to the late Italian tenor. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Thorax Foundation, to go toward the construction the Evangelismos Hospital’s new wing and intensive-care unit. Florez has said that he tries to communicate with his audiences, wanting to move the people and help them to feel the music. He has said that he tries to make audiences experience what he is also feeling. Tickets can be purchased at the Greek Festival box office at 39 Panepistimiou, as well as on tel 210.723.4567 and at www.ticketservices.gr. For further information, call the Thorax Foundation on 210.722.2394.