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Jacobs School of Music

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Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, January 14, 2011

IU Jacobs School of Music Professor Carlos Montané celebrates 'Half a Century of Being a Tenor'

Jan. 14, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Carlos Montané, professor of voice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, will make a rare Bloomington stage appearance as he sings in "Half a Century of Being a Tenor" on Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. in Auer Hall. The concert celebrating his 50-year career is free and open to the public.

Carlos Montané

Print-Quality Photo

The Cuban tenor will be accompanied by pianist Piotr Wisniewski on repertoire including works by Caldara, W. A. Mozart, Obradors, Perez Freire, Sandoval, Scarlati, Richard Strauss, Verdi and von Gluck.

About Carlos Montané

Carlos Montané made his professional debut in 1961 at age 23, singing the role of the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto with the Cuban National Opera. A few days later, he left the country to come to the United States via Panama, where he sang a concert at the National Theater.

In 1963, Montané won the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions in Boston and went to the finals at the Metropolitan Opera House. In 1964, he sang at Yankee Stadium for the opening of the baseball season and also sang for President Lyndon Johnson's inauguration ball.

In 1965, he made his U.S. debut as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Jan Pierce as Edgardo. The same year, he sang a performance of Riccardo Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini in New Jersey, which was attended by Giuseppe Martinelli, who had done the U.S. premiere in the 1920s, and upcoming soprano Mirella Freni.

From 1965 to 1968, Montané sang in night clubs in southern Florida and New York State and had the honor of having Louis Armstrong play the introduction of Granada as he was the opening act in the show. After winning the William Mathews Sullivan vocal competition, Montané moved to Germany in 1968 to try to begin a career. Finding no success, he returned to the United States in 1969 and again won the William Mathews Sullivan competition.

In 1970, Montané debuted as Alfredo in La Traviata with the New York City Opera, joining young tenors Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Michael Molese and Enrico Di Giuseppe as well as other great singers, including soprano Patricia Wise, now a professor of voice at the IU Jacobs School of Music. During the following two years with New York City Opera, he sang the tenor roles in Rigoletto, La Boheme, Tosca and Un Ballo in Maschera.

Montané sang his first Renato Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut in 1973 in Seattle. That role opened his career in Germany, as he sang it the same year with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and 32 performances of it in three seasons with Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf as well as with the Metropolitan Opera.

His career took off after that, and Montané performed mainly in Europe and the U.S. with opera companies in Hartford, Milwaukee, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Pittsburg, Rio de Janeiro, Monterrey (Mexico), Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Winnipeg, Hamburg, Paris, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, Oslo, Barcelona, Graz and Salzburg as well as Cape Town, Durban, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Islamabad, Lahore, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain Cairo and Oman.

In 1980, Montané sang the title role in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux with Montserrat Caballe as Elisabetta at the Opera Royale de Wallonie, Liege, Belgium; as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Martina Arroyo at the Hamburg Staatsoper; the same role at the Deutche Oper Berlin with Jacobs Professor Costanza Cuccaro as Oscar; and in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly with Jacobs Professor Teresa Kubiak as Cio-Cio San. He also sang a duet from Tchaikovsky's unfinished opera Romeo and Juliet with the London Symphony Orchestra in London.

His repertoire included Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, Ernani, Don Carlo, La Forza Del Destino, Macbeth, Nabucco, Oberto, Conte Di San Bonifacio (including the professional U.S. premiere with the San Diego Opera), Rigoletto, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, La Boheme, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Lucia Di Lammermor, Roberto Devereux, Francesca Da Rimini and Faust as well as requiems by Verdi, Donizetti and Bottesini and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.

Montané has also performed with Montserrat Caballe, Gilda Cruz Romo, Patricia Wise, Fernando Corena, Mario Sereni, Ferrucio Furlaneto and many other great singers.

In November 2010, he sang a concert in Las Vegas for the seventh consecutive year.

Montané is the founder of the Indiana University Goodwill Concert Tours, bringing groups of 10-12 to tour the Middle East and Asia for a total of 42 concerts.

He has presented master classes in Urbania, Piobbico, Ferrara, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Leipzig, St. Petersburg (Russia), Weimar, Saarburg, Vianden, Seoul, Taegu and Kwangju and performed for Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.