Bio: Tenor Joel Prieto has become one of the most sought-after and exciting artists of his generation since he was unanimously awarded the highly coveted distinction of first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in 2008. The Spanish-born tenor, raised in Puerto Rico, continually captivates audiences, bringing depth and subtlety to leading roles, infusing characters with vitality, elegance, and beauty.
He has performed in some of the most prestigious opera and concert venues around the world such as: Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Covent Garden Royal Opera House and Wigmore Hall in London, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, Opera de Oviedo, Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Semperoper in Dresden, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opéra National de Paris and Téâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Téâtre du Capitol in Toulouse, Opéra de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, La Monnaie de Munt in Brussels, Theater an der Wien and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Great National Theater of China in Beijing, NHK Hall in Tokyo, Opera de Puerto Rico, and Teatro Municipal of Santiago in Chile among others. As well as in the most important festivals: Salzburg Festival, Santa Fe Opera Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Festival dei due Mondi Spoleto, Bad Kissingen Summer Festival, Festival Casals, Festival of Spanish Lyric Theater, Festival d’Aix-en- Provence, and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York.
Joel Prieto, of a Spanish father and a Puerto Rican mother, was born in Madrid and moved to Puerto Rico at the age of four, where he grew up. His father and mother are writers, one of his sisters is a painter, and the other one a photographer. He grew up in an artistic family environment, which allowed him to start in music very early. At the age of five, he began taking violin lessons and at six he joined the San Juan Children’s Choir, founded by Pablo Casals and Evy Lucío. He did his studies at the University of Puerto Rico, the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, and the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He then moved to Europe as a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra National de Paris and later of the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival. During the 2006-2008 seasons he was part of the permanent ensemble at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.
The tenor has participated in many highly relevant productions recorded on DVD and streamed on live broadcasts throughout his career, collaborating with directors such as Zubin Mehta, Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Trevor Pinnock, Robin Ticcati, Daniele Gatti, Roberto Abbado , Ivor Bolton, Ottavio Dantone, Daniele Callegari, Bruno Campanella, Adam Fischer and stage directors such as Sir David McVicar, Robert Carsen, Claus Guth, Christof Loy, Emilio Sagi, Barrie Kosky, Francisco Negrín, Stephen Lawless, Daniel Satler, Harry Kupfer , Frederic Wake-Walker and Hans Neuenfels, among others.
Joel began his career singing the main roles of the Mozartian and bel canto repertoire, now establishing himself as a lyric tenor with roles such as Romeo, Edgardo, Nemorino, Lensky, Alfredo, Faust, Don José, and Rodolfo, among others.
In the 2021-22 season stands out his debut as Don José in the opera Carmen at the Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante (ADDA) with Maestro Josep Vicent and stage director Emilio Sagi. Also his return to the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Narraboth in the opera Salomé.
Joel Prieto won several awards in the 2008 edition of the Operalia Contest: First Prize, Zarzuela Prize, and Culturarte Prize, thus jumping onto the international circuit. In addition, he has received the “Voices of the year” award as the best male voice of 2013 awarded by the Association of Lyrical Singers of Spain. He currently resides in Madrid, Spain.
“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.”