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The tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who was born in 1973 in Lima, comes from a musical family in Peru and was already performing at an early age as a singer of folk and pop music. He later had professional vocal training at the Conservatorio Nacional in his native city; from 1993 to 1996 he studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. At the age of 23, in the summer of 1996, Flórez made his debut at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, where he performed in Matilde di Shabran and was acclaimed as a spectacular new discovery. Riccardo Muti subsequently engaged him in Gluck’s Armide for the season opening at La Scala in Milan and soon after in Verdi’s Falstaff and Rossini’s Barbier. Since then Juan Diego Flórez has appeared on the major opera stages around the world, above all as a bel canto performer: including at the Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Salzburg Festival. Flórez commands an excellent high range; one of his signature roles is Tonio in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, with its notorious series of nine high Cs in the aria “Ah, mes amis.” In the 2016-17 season, Flórez appeared in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, sang Elvino in Bellini’s La sonnambula and Gounod’s Romeo at the Vienna Staatsoper, and took part in a new production of Massenet’s Werther at Zurich Opera. In his homeland he founded the Sinfonía por el Perú in 2011, which is an educational project for disadvantaged children and youths modeled on Venezuela’s “El Sistema.” He is also committed to social issues as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Flórez, who has garnered such distinctions as the Cannes Classical Award and the Echo Klassik, was named a Vienna Chamber Singer in 2012; in 2014 he received the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos.