Bravo Cura

Celebrating José Cura--Singer, Conductor, Director




Operas:  Carmen

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Early Carmen










Carmen @ San Francisco


First Don José in fully mounted production


















Laurel's favorite voice types fall in the tenor to bass range, and she has a string of anecdotes about singers with whom she has worked. During the Civic Auditorium Carmen, she alternated in the role of Manuelita, the Carmen-slashed cigarette girl in Act I. With each performance, the makeup gash on her cheek became gorier and gorier. During the final performance, the Don Jose, handsome Argentinean tenor Jose Cura (right), sat her down onstage and whispered, “I have a friend in the audience who is a plastic surgeon. I'm sure he could fix that.”

Anecdote from Laurel Winzler, supernumerary during






Carmen @ Arena di Verona 1998
























Carmen @ the Barbican - 1998



Carmen, Barbican, July 1998:  “It was chiefly a vehicle for the rich talents of the Argentinian tenor José Cura as Don José and the mezzo Olga Borodina as Carmen. As an example of two singers in prime vocal condition, it was impressive but the absence of theatrical space and spirit seemed to be an impediment to the full blossoming of their fated relationship.”  Telegraph, 18 July 1998, Geoffrey Norris

Carmen, Barbican, July 1998:  “This was Bizet confined to the concert platform.  But Sunday’s Carmen carried a fire and finesse that outclassed many a staging hung with all the trappings of a Seville the composer never visited. José Cura’s brigadier [was] careful to develop his José gradually and not give away too much too early. His tenor is fast developing the baritonal qualities of Plácido Domino and Cura uses them to powerful effect, making José end as a gored bull, tormented beyond endurance. Behold the humble prototype of the Otello that Cura is about to sing around the world.”  The Times, 15 July 1998, John Higgins

Carmen, Barbican, July 1998:  “The only unproblematic element was José Cura's José, getting the applause that befits someone on his way from the wings to center-stage as reigning Italian (-style) tenor. He didn't try to portray José as a psychopath, a notion which has to be imported into the part. Rather he remained the mother's boy with a surging libido, and insofar as there was any team to collaborate with, he was the ideal member.”  The Spectator, 15 July 1998, Michael Tanner





Carmen @ the Bastille - 1998









Carmen, Paris, March 1998:  “The true star of the evening [was] the Argentine tenor José Cura (Don José). He created a performance that was very melodramatic, passionate, much less reserved than in San Francisco. At the end of the opera, when he implores Carmen, he is literally in tears and crying more than singing when he shouts “Do not leave me!””  La Scena Musicale, Vol. 3, No. 7 Mai / May 1998



Carmen, Bastille, March 1998:  “José as José is obviously the major asset of this reprise at the Bastille. At the premiere, there was evidence, in the large voice, rich in the middle, the slightly sharp but powerful high notes and the generous phrasing, that makes us forget the lack of nuances (the B flat is sung full out) of this electric presence.”  ConcertoNet, January 1999, Vincent Agrech





Carmen @ Staatsoper in Vienna
















Ravenna 2000

Carmen, Ravenna Festival, 2000:  “This was the best performance I have yet seen from Cura, with wonderfully spontaneous reactions, showing quite a talent for comedy in Act I. Vocally, Cura injected desperate passion in the voice, almost bursting with a sexual sob, as he sang 'Carmen', when he gives into his passion. The Flower Song was performed as a sweet and impassioned plea, with lyricism and sensitivity of phrasing.”  Opera Now, November/December 2000, Antonia Couling










Verona 2003

Italy-Opera: Argentine Tenor Stars in Verona

ROME (ANSA), 3 JUN 2003 - The Argentine tenor José Cura, 41, is one of "the most complete singers of his generation, known for his expressive voice, musical intelligence, bright careful recitation, and intense Latin presence,” wrote La Repubblica in Rome, which published an interview with the singer.

Entitled "Cura, A Seducer at the Arena,” author Leonetta Bentivoglio argues that "it is written he will be the most famous Argentine in the world after Maradona, some have defined him as the heir to Placido Domingo, he is active in the best theaters and with the greatest conductors (Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta and many others)" and is, without doubt, “one of the most complete singers of his generation."

“In addition, he has a handsome TV face, a timely dowry when singers deomonstrate their successes in filmed productions or reproduced on video or DVD,” continued the article.  This year, the Rosarian Cura will be the star voice at the Arena di Verona, whose season runs from 21 June to 31 August with five operas:  Turandot, Aida, Carmen, Nabucco, and Rigoletto.  

The first production will be “Turandot” in a new staging by the Russian Yuri Alexandrov and Viascheslave Okunev, in which Cura will debut in the role of Calaf.  Then the Argentine tenor will be Don José in Carmen in the Franco Zeffirelli staging and Alfred in La Traviata.

“It will be almost a Cura festival within the mega-festival of the historical Arena,” says the journalist. 

“To think that when for the first time in Europe I arrived at Verona and asked to do an audition for the choir, I was refused because I was a foreigner,” recalls the singer, born in Rosario (Santa Fe Province) who now lives in Madrid with his wife and three children.

“I said to myself, I will return to the arena just as a soloist and in 1997 I replace Carreras at the last minute in Carmen.  My real debut was in 1999 with Aida, disseminated over the Internet, which was a great media event,” he continues in the interview with the Roman newspaper. 

Cura acknowledges that he “feels very comfortable in front of the television camera, recalling that he was the first tenor who sang Otello live” from Turin in 1997 under the direction of Claudio Abbaod.  He says that the experience of Traviata, which he performed under the direction of Giuseppe Patrono Griffi was also memorable.

“He taught me so much about film, as did Liliana Cavani, the director of Cavalleria rusticana, which I did with Riccardo Muti in Ravenna.” With respect to what it means for the tenor to sing in the Arena di Verona, José Cura admits that he somehow feels devoured by the public.  “It is impressive to be surrounded by 18,000 spectators.” (ANSA)







































































Last Updated:  Saturday, May 23, 2015  © Copyright: Kira