Ramón Vargas is one of the leading tenors of our time and among the most sought-after worldwide. Born in Mexico City, he studied at the Cardenal Miranda Institute of his hometown, with Antonio Lopez and Ricardo Sanchez. After winning the Carlo Morelli National Vocal Competition, he made his debut in Haydn’s Lo Speziale in Monterrey, Mexico.
His breakthrough came when the Mexican conductor Eduardo Mata hired him to sing Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff, and later Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. After winning the Enrico Caruso Tenor Competition of Milan in 1986, he moved to Austria, where he completed his vocal studies at the Wiener Staatsoper Opera Studio Program, under the guidance of Leo Müller. Then he made his European debut in Luzerner Theater in 1988 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. In 1990, he met the renowned teacher Rodolfo Celletti in Milan, who became his vocal coach. Ramón Vargas’ Metropolitan Opera debut took place in 1992, singing Edgardo while substituting Luciano Pavarotti in Lucia di Lammermoor opposite June Anderson. This was soon followed by a debut on the stage of La Scala, in 1993, where he sang Fenton in Strehler’s new production celebrating the centenary of Falstaff, conducted by Riccardo Muti. He now regularly performs at all the major opera houses around the world to great acclaim:
Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires (La Favorita, Hoffmanns Erzählungen), London Royal Opera House (Un Ballo in Maschera, La Bohème, Rigoletto, La traviata), Teatro Alla Scala di Milano (Falstaff, Rigoletto, La Traviata), Metropolitan Opera New York, performing 19 different roles and over 220 performances (Attila, La bohème, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, among others), Teatro Real de Madrid (Werther, Un Ballo in Maschera ), Opéra National de Paris (Rigoletto, La Traviata, Lucia Miller, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Titus), San Francisco Opera (Un Ballo in Maschera, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor), Wiener Staatsoper (La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux, Don Carlos, Un Ballo in Maschera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Arena di Verona (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto), and others.
In addition to his operatic career, he is also an accomplished concert singer, with an extensive repertoire ranging from Italian classical songs, romantic German Lieder, and melodies by French, Mexican, and Spanish composers from the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1998 he gave a memorable recital at La Scala and his renditions of popular Mexican songs have been met with enthusiasm at massive concerts across Europe and Mexico. He was awarded the Lauri Volpi Award for the Best Opera Singer during the 1993 Italian season, and in 1995 Italian critics were unanimous in decorating him with the Gino Tani Award for the Arts. In 2000, British Opera Now declared Ramón Vargas Artist of the Year. Since 1999, Austrian Festspiele magazine has awarded him among the best tenors in the world. In 2001, he received the ECHO Klassik – Singer of the Year Award from the German Phono Academy. In 2005 he was given the Puccini Award by the Puccini Foundation.
In Guadalajara, Mexico he was awarded the Moncayo Award in 2015. In Martina Franca, Italia Mr.Vargas received the Rodolfo Celletti Award in 2017, and soon after the Opera News Award in New York 2018. In 2020 he traveled back to Mexico, where he received the Ortiz Tirado Award in Sonora.
Ramón Vargas’ multi-awarded discography includes Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Scala di Seta, Tancredi, Maometto II, Il Turco in Italia; Donizetti’s La Favorite; Bellini’s Zaira, I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Massenet’s Werther; Granados’ Goyescas; Verdi’s Falstaff and Alzira. I Masnadieri at Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Don Giovanni at Grand-Théâtre de Genève, Un Ballo in Maschera; Un Ballo in Maschera at the Staatsoper Hamburg Grand-Théâtre de Genève and Teatro Real. He was awarded the Rodolfo Celletti Prize in 2017 and the Opera News Award in New York in 2019.
In 2020 he took part in productions including Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti at LA Opera, Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi at Hamburg State Opera, and Un Ballo in Maschera by Giuseppe Verdi at Teatro Real.
Soon he will perform Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, he will make his debut at the Royal Opera of Wallonie in Liège with the opera I Lombardi, Tosca at the Greek National Opera and La Gioconda at the Capitol Theater in Toulouse.