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Tenor Rising: Rolando Villazón

With "Three Tenors" star Luciano Pavarotti announcing his retirement, the opera world is looking for a new voice to join Placido Domingo and José Carreras in their operatic triumvirate.

The chance to fill Pavarotti's rather large shoes has fallen to several talented young tenors, including Italy's Salvatore Licitra, Juan Diego Florez of Peru, Mexican Ramón Vargas and his countryman, Rolando Villazón.

NPR's Liane Hansen spoke with Villazón, in his early 30's, about his music and his recordings of such great works as Verdi's La Traviata which have opened the curtain for him to take center stage.

Villazón debuted at New York's Metropolitan Opera last fall, in La Traviata. His luck -- or lack thereof -- had him sharing the stage with Renée Fleming, one of the most popular and accomplished American sopranos. Not only did Villazón hold his own, he stole the show.

Villazón's debut release is Italian Opera Arias featuring selections from the operas of Donizetti, Puccini, Verdi and others.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.