Magazine article Newsweek

New Hero of the High C's

Magazine article Newsweek

New Hero of the High C's

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gates

Peruvian-born tenor Juan Diego Florez, 35, sang "La Fille du Regiment" at the Metropolitan Opera last week, and was cheered wildly after the showpiece aria "Ah! Mes Amis," with its nine high C's. He then sang an encore, hitherto banned at the Met, with a single exception: Luciano Pavarotti during a performance of "Tosca" in 1994. Florez spoke with NEWSWEEK's David Gates.

Why have you been the one to break the ban on encores?

I don't know. But since I began singing this opera the public has asked me for an encore, first at La Scala last year, then abroad, even in Tokyo. The word spreads, and it becomes like a tradition. At La Scala I didn't know I was breaking a ban of 75 years. It's better not to know.

Are you hurt now if they don't want an encore?

No, no, no. Because sometimes you're glad you're not doing all those C's again.

Is "Ah! Mes Amis" really as difficult as everyone says? …

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