Spanish tenor who is renowned for the conviction of his acting and his sensitive musicianship.
Born in Spain, he moved to Mexico with his family in 1950. In Mexico he studied the piano as well as conducting and singing. In 1957 he made his debut as a baritone but his first major tenor role was Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata in 1960. He sang with the Israeli National Opera from 1962 to 1965 and made his New York debut at the City Opera in the US première of Ginastera's Don Rodrigo in 1966. He first sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1968 (as Maurizio in Ciléa's Adriana Lecouvreur). His first appearance at La Scala was in Verdi's Ernani in 1969. Two years later he appeared at Covent Garden as Cavaradossi in Tosca. Since then he has been in great demand in all the leading opera houses. He has also taken starring roles in several films, including Zeffirelli's La Traviata (1983) and Otello (1986) and Francesco Rosi's Carmen (1985). He reached a worldwide audience in 1990, when he appeared in an internationally televised concert in Rome with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, as part of the celebrations marking the 1990 World Cup. In 1994 he was appointed artistic director of the Washington Opera.