Tenor Joel Prieto has become one of the most sought after artists of his generation. After winning the highly coveted first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, he has sung in many prestigious opera and concert venues around the world. The Spanish-born tenor, raised in Puerto Rico, captivates audiences, bringing depth and subtlety to leading roles, infusing characters with vitality, elegance and beauty.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Joel moved to Europe for professional training. He became a member of the Atelier Lyrique at Opéra National de Paris, and performed in the inaugural Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival. He was part of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2006-2008, and gained international recognition after joining Plácido Domingo in the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda at the Theater an der Wien in 2008. He was also named Best Male Singer by the Association of Lyric Singers in Spain.
In past seasons, Joel has performed Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid and Teatro Municipal in Santiago; Ferrando in Così fan tutte at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, BBC Proms, the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Lincoln Centre in New York, the Spoleto Festival, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and Washington National Opera; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, the Salzburg Festival and the Houston Grand Opera; Ernesto in Don Pasquale at the Opera de Puerto Rico and Teatro dell’Opera in Rome.
Mr. 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. In 2014, he gave his warmly received debut recital in Moscow at the Dom Muzyki Chamber Hall, alongside pianist Semjon Skigin.
He has sung a wide range of roles. In the 2014-2015 season, he sang Fernando in the zarzuela Doña Francisquitaat at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and reprised the role of Belfiore in a new production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, conducted by Harry Bicket. He also sang his first Mozart Requiem with the Houston Symphony conducted by their new music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
Highlights of his 2016-2017 season include a return to the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse in a role debut as Bénédict in a new production of Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict, and a debut at Los Angeles Opera with James Conlon, for his role debut of Belmonte in Die entfuhrüng aus dem Serail, a role he later reprised at Semperoper Dresden.
Mr. Prieto’s 2017-2018 season started with Les Troyens at Semperoper Dresden and a Christmas Concert at Puerto Rico’s Centro de Bellas Artes with the San Juan Bautista Choir and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the Teatro Real for Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and gave a concert at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico in which he sang Mozart’s Requiem, as well as West Side Story Suite No. 1 with the Puerto Rico Symphony.
Joel’s 2018-2019 includes house debuts at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Idamante in Idomeneo, at the Opéra de Lausanne as Ferrando in Così fan tutte and at La Monnaie / De Munt National Opera as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He returns to the Gran Teatre del Liceu for his role debut as Grimoaldo in Rodelinda. 2019 marks his debut as Orphée in Orphée aux Enfers at the Salzburg Festival.
“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.”