Tenor Joel Prieto has become one of the most sought-after and exciting artists of his generation. After being awarded the highly coveted distinction of first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, he has performed in some of the most prestigious opera and concert venues around the world. The Spanish-born tenor, raised in Puerto Rico, continually captivates audiences, bringing depth and subtlety to leading roles, infusing characters with vitality, elegance and beauty.
Mr. Prieto’s 2019-2020 season begins with a return to the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, in his role debut as Idamante in Robert Carsen’s new production of Idomeneo. He reprises his role as Sam Kaplan in Street Scene, this time in his debut at the Opera de Monte-Carlo, and sings Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
Joel Prieto’s 2018-2019 season included house debuts at Opéra de Lausanne as Ferrando in Così fan tutte and La Monnaie / De Munt National Opera as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Mr. Prieto also returned to Teatro Real as Fenton in Falstaff, and to Gran Teatre del Liceu for his role debut as Grimoaldo in Rodelinda.
Highlights of Joel Prieto’s recent seasons include debuts at the Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Aix-en Provence Festival, and the Orchestre National de Lyon, as well as returns to the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, the Staatsoper Berlin, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. He has had frequent collaborations with Puerto Rico’s Centro de Bellas Artes, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Casals Festival, and the San Juan Bautista Choir. On the concert and recital stage, Joel traveled to Moscow for his recital debut in Russia at the Dom Muzyki Chamber Hall, collaborating with pianist Semjon Skigin. He also sang his first Mozart Requiem with the Houston Symphony conducted by their new music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada. He has performed Fenton at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse; Don Ottavio at the Salzburg Festival and Houston Grand Opera; Ferrando at the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Washington National Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and Palm Beach Opera; Tamino at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatsoper Berlin; Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Ernesto at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; and Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Puerto Rico.
Joel Prieto has collaborated with conductors such as Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Trevor Pinnock, Robin Ticcati, Daniele Gatti, Roberto Abbado, Ivor Bolton, Ottavio Dantone, Daniele Callegari, Zubin Mehta, Bruno Campanella, and Adam Fischer; and stage directors Sir David McVicar, Robert Carsen, Claus Guth, Christof Loy, Francisco Negrin, Stephen Lawless, Daniel Satler, Emilio Sagi, Harry Kupfer, Frederic Wake-Walker and Hans Neuenfels.
On the concert stage, Joel performed Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at the Salzburg Festival, Haydn’s Stabat Mater at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Haydn’s Creation at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville and the Evangelist in Herzogenberg’s Die Geburt Christi at the Monastery of Wolhusen in Switzerland. He also participated in a benefit for Pakistan with Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott, Anna Prohaska and Piotr Bezcala, at the Bergen Nasjonale Opera gala with Barbara Frittoli in Norway, and the Bad Kissingen Music Festival gala. On the recital stage, Joel has performed in Wigmore Hall with pianist Ian Burnside, and in the Rosenblatt Recital Series, to great acclaim.
Joel Prieto was born in Madrid; his mother is Puerto Rican and his father is Spanish. At the age of four he moved to Puerto Rico and currently splits his time between Berlin and Paris. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he moved to Europe for professional training, first as a member of the Atelier Lyrique at Opéra National de Paris, and then the Salzburg Festival for the inaugural Young Singers Project. He was part of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2006-2008, launching himself to international status after joining Plácido Domingo in the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda at the Theater an der Wien in 2008. On the competition circuit, Joel swept Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition: First Prize, Zarzuela Prize and Culturate Prize as well as receiving the distinction of being the Best Male Singer by the Association of Lyric Singers in Spain.
“Prieto’s firm and dramatically warm voice, which reaches incredible highs of beauty and magnificence, has that perfectly balanced blend of inner ardor and great musical heritage’s mighty brightness. A truly enriching night of majesty and cultural satisfaction even for the hardest to please.”