Juan Diego Flórez was born in Lima, Peru on January 13, 1973 where his father,
Rubén Flórez, was a noted guitarist and singer of Peruvian popular and criolla music.
Initially intending to pursue a career in popular music, he entered the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima at the age of 17. His classical voice emerged in the course of his studies there under Maestro Andrés Santa María.
During this time, he became a member of the Coro Nacional of Peru and sang as a soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass
and Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle.
He received a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he studied from 1993 to 1996.
During this period, he also studied with Marilyn Horne at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
In 1994 the Peruvian tenor, Ernesto Palacio invited him to Italy to work on a recording of
Vicente Martín y Soler's opera Il Tutore Burlato.
He subsequently became Flórez's teacher, mentor and manager and has had a profound influence on his career.
From singing in Lima's piano bars, Flórez has, in a
short number of years, reached all of the major opera houses and
established a career as the world's foremost Rossini tenor.
His big break in this repertoire came in 1996 when he
was cast in a minor role in the Pesaro production of Mathilde di Shabran.
The lead tenor, Bruce Ford, was indisposed and Flórez replaced him at
very short notice. That performance made a great impact and the rest
Flórez is sure of his vocal path which moves steadily
through the bel canto field of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini where he has
become the new "king of the high Cs".