Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this talented young opera tenor has demonstrated great talent and appeal on the way to international recognition.
With a vocal qualities similar to the reknown Placido Domingo, Hernández has performed a wide variety of demanding operatic roles such as Mario Cavaradossi, in Tosca’s “Don José”, Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Boheme” and Hoffman in Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffman”.
Hernández’ musical training started at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music in San Juan and as a student there gave his first public performance; a highly successful debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. His studies continued at Juilliard, in New York. His first professional performance was in the role of Rodolfo” in “La Boheme” with the New Jersey Opera Company in 1989.
Since then, Hernández has performed with many of the most famous opera companies around the world, including the Bavarian State Opera in Muich, Germany, The German Opera Company in Berlin, the Monte Carlo Opera, The Grand Theater in Geneva, Switzerland, The Royal Theater in Madrid and in other cities like Paris, Venice, Verona, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Caracas, Mexico City, Miami, Detroit, San Diego, New Orleans and San Juan in his native Puerto Rico.
In 1991, Hernández was handpicked by Giancarlo Menotti to perform in the Spoleto Festival, in his new production of his own opera, “Goya”. A recording of this performance appears among Hernández’ discography. The following year, he was similarly selected by the internationally recognized Luciano Pavarotti to perform alongside the famous Italian tener in “Pavarotti and Friends” as part of the series, “Live from the Lincoln Center”.
Among the other works in his expansive repertoire are La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette, Rigoletto, Cavalleria Rusticana, Madama Butterfly, Il Duca d’Alba, Don Carlo, I Pagliacci, La Vida Breve, The Tales of Hoffmann, Verdi’s Requiem, Faust and Macbeth.
Hernández has made several recordings including the Cantata del Desdichado Alonso Ramírez, the opera Goya, composed by Giancarlo Menotti, Cantata Antillana a collection of romantic songs from Latinamerica, and an album of arias performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lalo Schifrin, and Verdi’s Requiem with Budapest Symphony Orchestra.
Like his great predeccesor, Antonio Paoli, Hernández has also given private performances for royalty as he did in 1992 for Prince Charles of England and for Prince Ranier of Monte Carlo and King Karl Gustav XVI and Queen Sylvia of Sweden the following year. He also performed in the debut of a new production of Madam Butterfly for Queen Margarite II of Denmark in 1996, and similarly, in the new production of La Boheme with the Flemish Opera in Antwerp for Queen Fabiola of Belgium 1997.
His recent performances include Don José in the opera, Carmen, performed with the Baltimore Opera and the Paris National Opera. In 1997, he performed in a new production of Verdi’s Requiem in Nantes, France and in Spain, he performed the Basque opera “Amaya” in Bilbao. The following year, he performed aiain, a role very familiar to him: Mario Cavaradossi, in Puccini’s opera Tosca with the Canadian Opera of Toronto. More recently, Hernández has performed the title role in “The Barber of Seville” in the opera Carmen in both Monte Carlo and Madrid, and in La Boheme with the Puerto Rico Opera.
The well-deserved fame of this rising star is likely to spread based on his great talent.
César Hernández, tenor