WORLD-FAMOUS FOR HIS INTENSE AND ORIGINAL INTERPRETATIONS OF OPERA CHARACTERS, AS WELL AS FOR HIS UNCONVENTIONAL AND INNOVATIVE CONCERT PERFORMANCES, TENOR JOSÉ CURA IS A FAMILIAR NAME ATOP THE MARQUEES OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS THEATERS.
After studying composition and conducting in his home town, Rosario, José Cura moved to Buenos Aires in 1984 to hone his skills. To gain insights into stage life, he worked in one of the professional choirs at the Teatro Colón from 1984 to 1988, where his voice developed into the distinctive bold and bright tenor with tints of dark baritone that led him to international fame.
In 1999, José Cura resumed his conducting career, working with top orchestras like the London Philharmonia, the London Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Toscanini Orchestra, and the Hungarian Philharmonic, among others, performing operatic and symphonic works, thrilling audiences with his performances both in the pit and on stage.
2007 saw the world-premiere of La Commedia è finita: the creative re-imagining of Pagliacci coupled with dance and mime, designed and directed by José Cura, marked the beginning of his career as a stage director and designer. In 2010 he set designed, directed and starred in Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila at the Badisches Staatstheater, crafting an innovative, modern take on the classic . The production is available on DVD. The unanimous plaudits of the audience and critics for his La Rondine at the Opéra de Nancy and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, both in 2012, sealed his stature as a director of distinction. In 2013, his production of Otello at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires was selected as one of the most successful productions of the year by international voting. His show “A Scandinavian bohème” (2015), a new production of Puccini’s La Boheme for the Royal Swedish Opera, was considered by the press and public to as being one of the most successful productions ever to have been presented at the prestigious opera house. In Autumn 2016, his production of Turandot at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, received enormous acclaim. In 2017, his co-production of Peter Grimes in Bonn and Montecarlo, in which he also debuted the title role, was labeled as “… A masterful evening”. Lately, in 2018, his new production of Nabucco for the Prague State Opera was claimed to be “… A brilliant and thoughtful and integrated fusion of sets, lighting and costumes.”, and his new production of Fanciulla del West was premiered to great acclaim at Tallinn’s opera house.
2014 was marked by José Cura’s return to his activity as a composer: in November, the South Bohemian Opera premiered his Stabat Mater, written in 1989 and in Easter 2015, after his return as Don José at La Scala, the world premiere of his Magnificat, written in 1988, took place at the Teatro Massimo di Catania.
From 2015 to 2018, Maestro Cura was appointed “Artist in Residence” of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. As part of his commitments with the prestigious Czech ensemble. There he conducted the world premiere of his triptych Ecce Homo, in March 2017 and in September 2017, the world premiere of Modus (the Kyrie of his Requiem Mass) as well as the symphonic version of Ariel Ramirez’s famous Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra, commissioned by Ramirez himself.
In February 2019, Maestro Cura was appointed the first “Principal Guest Artist” —singer, composer and conductor— in the history of the Hungarian Radio Art Groups. Together with the Hungarian institution, he recently recorded the oratorio Ecce Homo, and on January 29th 2020, he conducted the world premiere of his Montezuma and the Red Priest “opera buffa ma non troppo”, at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.
The hiatus in his stage work that followed —imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic— gave José Cura the time to complete two pending composing projects: a Te Deum and a guitar concerto. His Te Deum, drafted in 2019 and orchestrated in 2020, was successfully premiered with the London Philharmonia and the Bucharest Radio choirs in September 2021 during the Enescu festival, and his Concierto para un Resurgir, for guitar and orchestra, was premiered in September 2021, in Saarbrücken, together with his Symphonic Suite based on his opera Montezuma and the Red Priest.
José Cura’s Requiem Mass, Requiem æternam, for triple choir, soloists and orchestra, has been successfully premiered in Budapest the 9th of May 2022, with the MTVA art groups and the Hungarian National choir.
In 2015, José Cura was honored by the Argentinean Senate, with the Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Prize for his achievements in education and culture and in 2017 he was entitled Professor Honoris Causa of the National University of Rosario, Argentina, where he followed his composer studies in the decade of 1980.