Episode 57. Francisco Araiza @ 70

Episode 57. Francisco Araiza @ 70



On October 4, the great Mexican tenor Francisco Araiza celebrated his 70th birthday. On that day I promised my listeners a full episode on this exceptional artist in the very near future. And here it is! I’m thrilled to trace Araiza’s career path, from his studies with the great soprano Irma González through his early career encounters with Herbert von Karajan. Through the 1980s through the 1990s, Araiza was simply the greatest lyric tenor on the planet. I share live and studio recordings of his nonpareil performances of Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti, and the heroes of the French repertoire through his assumption of heavier repertoire including Verdi, Puccini, Beethoven, and Wagner. Though his critics dubbed these journeys ill-advised, I would argue that Araiza’s singing, always rooted in a very secure technique, in fact followed the natural trajectory of his voice and allowed him to retain vocal health and longevity. I also highlight his deeply-felt Lieder performances, including an exceptional live performance of Schubert’s Winterreise.


Richard Strauss; Zueignung, Op. 10/1. Francisco Araiza; Irwin Gage (Salzburg 11 August 1987]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Tamino mein! O welch’ ein Glück (Die Zauberflöte). Francisco Araiza, Edith Mathis, Volker Horn, Victor von Halem, Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker

Manuel M. Ponce: Soñó mi mente loca. Irma González; Miguel García Mora

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Un’aura amorosa (Così fan tutte). Francisco Araiza; Heinz Wallberg, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Ich baue ganz auf deiner Stärke(Die Entführung aus dem Serail). Francisco Araiza, Heinz Wallberg, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fuor del mar (Idomeneo). Francisco Araiza; Colin Davis, Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Gioacchino Rossini: Sì, ritrovarla io giuro (La Cenerentola). Francisco Araiza; Gabriele Ferro, Cappella Coloniensis, Chor des Westdeutschen Rundfunks

Gaetano Donizetti: Voglio dire (L’elisir d’amore). Francisco Araiza, Rolando Panerai; Ralf Weikert, Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper [live Wien, 1989]

Gaetano Donizetti: Cercherò lontana terra… E se fia che ad altro oggetto (Don Pasquale). Francisco Araiza; Heinz Wallberg, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Gioacchino Rossini: Cujus animam (Stabat Mater). Francisco Araiza; Claudio Abbado, Chamber Orchestra of Europe [1985 television broadcast from Versailles]

Giacomo Puccini: O du liebliches Mädchen [O soave fanciulla] (La bohème). Francisco Araiza, Lucia Popp, Wolfgang Brendel; Stefan Soltesz, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim: Maria (West Side Story). Francisco Araiza; Ralf Weikert, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Jésus “Chucho” Monge Ramírez: México Lindo. Francisco Araiza; Daniel García Blanco, Sinfonico de Mariachi, Aguilas de America, Musicos del Sindicato Unioco de Trabajadores de la Musica [S.U.T.M.]

Richard Strauss: Di rigori armato il seno (Der Rosenkavalier). Francisco Araiza; Heinz Wallberg, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Jules Massenet: Ah, fuyez, douce image (Manon). Francisco Araiza; Ádám Fischer, Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper [live Wien 1983]

Charles Gounod: Ah, lève-toi, soleil (Roméo et Juliette). Francisco Araiza; Fernando Lozano, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México [Concierto “Profeta en su tierra,” Teatro de la Ciudad Mexico City 1986]

Jacques Offenbach: Ô Dieu, de quelle ivresse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann). Francisco Araiza; Ion Marin, Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris [live Paris 1992]

Mariella Devia

Giuseppe Verdi: È il sol dell’anima… Addio, addio (Rigoletto). Francisco Araiza, Mariella Devia; Eduardo Mata, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino [live Firenze 05.11.89]

Ileana Cotrubas

Giuseppe Verdi: Risorger ne’ tuoi lumi (Alzira). Francisco Araiza, Ileana Cotrubas; Lamberto Gardelli, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

Umberto Giordano: Un dì, all’azzurro spazio (Andrea Chénier). Francisco Araiza; Gustav Kuhn, European Community Youth Orchestra [live München 1993]

Richard Wagner: Morgenlich leuchtend (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Francisco Araiza [live New York 1993]

Gustav Mahler: Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde (Das Lied von der Erde). Francisco Araiza; Carlo Maria Giulini, Berliner Philharmoniker [live Berlin February 1984]

Ludwig Van Beethoven: In des Lebens Frühlingstagen (Fidelio). Francisco Araiza; Gustav Kuhn, European Community Youth Orchestra [live München 1993]

Franz Schubert: Frühlingstraum (Winterreise, D.911). Francisco Araiza; Jean Lemaire

Franz Lehár: Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert (Giuditta). Francisco Araiza, Ralf Weikert, Münchener Rundfunkorchester

4 thoughts on “Episode 57. Francisco Araiza @ 70”

  1. Feliz cumple, Pancholino. Qué bendición tan grande ver el éxito increíble que has tenido y la extraordinaria carrera que realizaste. Que Dios te siga bendiciendo. Te sigo admirando.

  2. This is by far the best and most qualified documentary I have ever heard about the unique career of Maestro Francisco Araiza! (And I heard many podcasts on the occasion of his 70th birthday!) The compilation is fantastic und shows his broad repertory and versatile artistry. Mr. Gundlach’s comments (What a pleasant speaking voice he has!) are truly enlightening and reveal a great knowledge about singing and creating. Thank you so much for this most remarkable and enjoyable podcast!!

    1. Thank you so much, dear Stella! It helps to have been so inspired by the voice and artistry of the subject! (Also delighted that you like my speaking voice!)

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