The Cordovan tenor Pedro Lavirgen dies at the age of 92, one of the great stars of Spanish poetry

Cordovan tenor Pedro Lavirgen (Bujalance, Córdoba, 1930), Considered one of the great stars of the golden generation of Spanish lyrical singers, he died this Sunday at the age of 92, as reported by the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM).

Pedro Lavirgen made his debut at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in 1962 with ‘Doña Francisquita’. “He triumphed for decades on the main international stages. Rest in peace, teacher,” INAEM lamented on Twitter.

The artist’s family has also received the condolences of the Teatro de la Zarzuela which, through Twitter, has shown its “enormous” sadness at the death of “one of the greatest Spanish singers”. “In this house, which will never forget him, he reaped innumerable triumphs,” the institution has pointed out.

During his career, Pedro Lavirgen received numerous recognitions in the world of opera.

The Teatro Real has shared a few words of affection towards Lavirgen, to whom they will dedicate the next lyrical performance in the Carroza del Teatro Real, on April 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Córdoba. The Madrid coliseum was unable to witness performances by the artist because “the heyday of his brilliant career occurred during the period in which the coliseum in Plaza de Oriente was a concert hall and operas were performed at the neighboring Teatro de la Zarzuela” .

“Lavirgen could not interpret the great characters who exalted him at the Teatro Real. But in 2018, we dedicated the performances of Aida to him (with musical direction by Nicola Luisotti and staging by Hugo de Ana), honoring one of the greatest interpreters of Radamés in our country“, has pointed out the Real.


Born in Bujalance, in 1930, he was part of the choir of the Teatro de la Zarzuela for a while, after a brief stint in the Chamber Choir of Radio Nacional de España and while he began his studies in Madrid, both at the Conservatory and at the Escuela Superior of Dramatic Art. He completed his technical training with fellow singer Miguel Barrosa. One of the first presentations of him in public took place in Zaragoza, in 1959, singing the tenor part in Marina de Arrieta.

After working with José Tamayo in the Amadeo Vives Lyric Company, in 1964 he made his international debut in Mexico with Aída by Verdi. That same year he played the role of Don José, in the opera Carmen, by Bizet, at the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, ​​a coliseum where he performed for eighteen consecutive years.

In 1976 he made his debut at La Scala in Milan, again as Radames (Aida) together with Montserrat Caballé. This was followed by debuts in the Vienna State Opera (where he performed for twelve seasons), at the Metropolitan in New York, at the Colón in Buenos Aires, at the Verona Arena and at the opera houses in San Francisco, Munich or Berlin, reaching his voice even to the stages of Tokyo.

Pedro Lavirgen triumphed as a singer on the main Spanish stages. Retired from the stage in 1993, since then he has carried out his teaching work from the chair of singing at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid.

Throughout his extensive career, Lavirgen amassed an extensive and highly demanding repertoire, full of roles for dramatic tenor and spinto, such as Calaf in Turandot, Don José in Carmen, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Manrico in Il trovatore, Radames in Aida, Canio in Pagliacci and a long etcetera.

By Editor

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