After studying Composition and Orchestra Conducting in his home town, Rosario, José Cura moved to Buenos Aires in 1984 to hone his skills. To gain insights into stage life, he worked in one of the professional choirs at the Teatro Colón from 1984 to 1988, where his voice developed into the distinctive bold and bright tenor with tints of dark baritone that led him to international fame. A career that, since 1991, has seen him frequent the World’s most prestigious theatres, as one of the greatest performers of the Italian and French traditional repertoire. To his already legendary interpretations of Otello, Stiffelio, Samson, Canio, Calaf, Dick Johnson, Cavaradossi, José Cura has added, in 2017, two new titles to great acclaim: Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes.
In 1999, José Cura resumed his conducting career, working with top orchestras like the London Philharmonia, the London Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Toscanini Orchestra, and the Hungarian Philharmonic, among others, thrilling audiences with his performances. 2007 saw the world-premiere of La Commedia è finita: the creative re-imagining of I pagliacci coupled with dance and mime, designed and directed by José Cura, which marked the beginning of his career as a stage director and designer. The unanimous praise by audience and critics for his productions of Samson et Dalila, La rondine, Cavalleria rusticana and I pagliacci have sealed his stature as a director of distinction. His production of Otello at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires was selected as one of the most successful productions of 2013 by international voting. His show A Scandinavian bohème (2015), a new production of Puccini’s La bohème for the Royal Swedish Opera, was considered by both press and audiences to be one of the most successful productions ever staged in the prestigious opera house. His production of Turandot at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in 2016 and his production of Peter Grimes in Bonn’s opera house in 2017, both received enormous acclaim by audiences and the specialised press.In May 2015, Maestro Cura was appointed “Artist in Residence” of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. As part of his commitments with the prestigious ensemble, he regularly conducts two symphonic concerts per season and has also premiered some of his compositions like the Magnicicat, Ecce Homo and Modus, on top of the world premiere of the symphonic version of Ariel Ramirez’s famous Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra, orchestrated by José Cura as culmination of the author’s wish, who before passing away, entrusted him his dream.
In June 2015, José Cura was honoured by the Argentinean Senate, with the Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Prize for his achievements in education and culture and, in November 2017, he was named Professor Honoris Causa of the National University of Rosario, Argentina.
Photo © Zoe Cura