Bio: Francisco Almanza, Lirico-Spinto Tenor
With performing experience spanning four continents, Chihuahua, Mexico, native Francisco Almanza completed his education at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is a past participant of the Chautauqua Opera Studio, Houston Grand Opera Studio, Sarasota Opera Apprentice Program, Pittsburgh Opera Center at Duquesne, and San Francisco Opera' prestigious Merola Opera Program. He debuted Don José with the Merola Opera Program, which he has sung over 50 times with Western Opera Theater, Anchorage Opera, West Bay Opera, Erzgebirgische Theater und Orchester, and Theater Goerlitz. Mr. Almanza has participated in many master classes with renowned artists such as Mdme. Régine Crespin, Dame Joan Sutherland, Thomas Hampson, Renata Scotto, Carol Vaness, Justino Díaz, Martin Isepp, and Donald Runnicles.
As an ensemble member of the Stadttheater Heidelberg (2001-2004), he debuted many important lyric tenor roles, including Edgardo, Tamino, Des Grieux, in Massenet‘s Manon, Walther v. d. Vogelweide in Tannhaeuser, Fenton in Falstaff, and Ferrando in Cosi fan Tutte. As a freelance artist, he has appeared with Caramoor International Festival/The Orchestra of St. Luke's, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Landestheater Detmold, Theater Solingen, Festival d‘Antibes, Festival de La Coste, Theater Krefeld/ Moenchengladbach, Opéra du Luxembourg, Opéra National de Lorraine, Stettiner Oper, Theater und Orchester Neubrandenburg/Neustrelitz, Virtuosi Brunenses/Bad Hersfeld Opera, Theater fuer Niedersachsen, and Anchorage Opera. His roles include Cassio, Il Duca di Mantua, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, Radames, Don Jose, Don Alvaro, B. F. Pinkerton, Jack O‘Brien in Mahagony, and Albert Gregor in Die Sache Makropulos.
In concert, Mr. Almanza has appeared with Ensemble Vocal/Sinfonietta de Lausanne, St. Louis Bach Society, Philharmonie Thueringen, Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Muenchener Symphoniker, and Heidelberg Philharmonic in Gala Concerts as well as in works such as Beethoven’s Mass in C, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Haendel‘s Messiah, and Verdi's Messa da Requiem.
In Spring of 2011, Mr. Almanza made his Opera National de Paris debut in the roles of Spoletta in Tosca under the baton of Maestro Renato Palumbo and Roderigo in Otello alongside Aleksandrs Antonenko and Reneé Fleming, under the musical direction of Maestro Marco Armiliato. In 2013 he made his debut witht the Xiamen Philharmonic in Xiamen, P.R. China, under the direction of Prof. Zheng Xiaoying.
Most recently, Francisco returned to Operafabriken to performe the role of Otello in Verdi's masterpiece of the same name. In the summer of 2015, Mr. Almanza made his Scandinavian debut with Operafabriken in Malmö, Sweden, in the role of Enzo in Ponchielli‘s La Gioconda and was honored to perform in concert with the Jussi Björling and Birgit Nilsson Societies at the King's Gardens in Stockholm.
Mr. Almanza is also a past winner of the prestigious Concorso Lirico Internazionale-Trofeo LA FENICE in Viareggio, Italy, where he was awarded the 'Giuseppe di Stefano' Prize for best tenor as well as 1st place over all.