Peru's operatic knight set to enchant Taiwan

Famed singer will take stage at Taipei National Concert Hall in December for concert featuring some classics

Juan Diego Flórez will perform at National Concert Hall on Dec. 1

Juan Diego Flórez will perform at National Concert Hall on Dec. 1 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Peruvian operatic tenor Juan Diego Flórez is expected to take the stage in Taiwan after becoming the first person to perform an encore at the Teatro La Scala Opera House in Milan, in 74 years.

To preserve the musical flow of operatic pieces, the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini set down the unwritten rule in 1921, preventing singers from performing encores between songs. After Russian opera legend Feodor Chaliapin broke the taboo for his retirement concert in 1933, no opera singers had dared challenge the tradition until Flórez took the stage in 2007, reported CNA.

During his performance of the aria, "Ah! Mes Amis," from the Italian opera "La Fille du Regiment," Flórez received a five-minute standing ovation after successfully hitting all nine high-C's featured in the song — oft described as the Mount Everest for tenors.

From a young age, the Peruvian talent would perform at his mother's musical restaurant when the scheduled singers failed to show up. In June, 2007, Flórez was decorated with the Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Sun of Peru, the highest honor of his home country.

This will be Flórez's first visit to Taiwan and his concert is set to start at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1, at the Taipei National Concert Hall. Several classic operatic pieces, including Carmen, La Bohème, and La Traviata, are on the musical menu.

For more information about Juan Diego Flórez's performance and ticket pricing, visit the ERA Ticket website.

Peruvian opera singer Juan Diego Flórez (CNA photo)