Tenor Juan Diego Florez dreamed of rock, not opera stardom

Opera sensation Juan Diego Florez has said he used to dream of being a rock star and never imagined he would one day take centre stage at the Last Night of the Proms.

The Peruvian tenor, 43, started out singing Elvis Presley and Rolling Stones songs in his mother’s pub in Lima, and never considered a career in opera.

He told Radio Times magazine: “At 15, I had a band called Graffiti, playing covers of the Beatles, the Stones, classic rock.

“I never thought I would sing classical music.

“If you told me there would come a day when I’d be headlining the Last Night of the Proms, I would never have believed it.”

Juan, who sells out opera houses from La Scala to the Met, has previously performed at the Proms and Proms in the Park – where he will also appear this year.

However, he has never yet performed at the Last Night celebrations at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

“The Last Night is such a magnificent event and I’m so happy to be part of something that is so popular, so festive,” he said.

“Especially as the audience also includes lots of young people – that’s important to me.”

The star will be singing arias that he has been performing throughout his career, but the audience will also be treated to classic Last Night fare.

“Of course, I’m so excited to sing things like Rule, Britannia!” he said. “I will definitely be getting into the Promming spirit.”

This week’s Radio Times is on sale today.

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