One of the leading tenors of our time and one of the most sought-after worldwide, Ramón Vargas was born in Mexico City. He studied at the Cardenal Miranda Institute of his hometown. In 1982 he made his debut in Haydn’s Lo Speziale, in Monterrey, Mexico. His breakthrough came in 1983, when the Mexican conductor Eduardo Mata hired him to sing Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff, and then Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Upon winning the Enrico Caruso Tenor Competition in Milan, in 1986, he moved to Austria to study at the school of the Wiener Staatsoper. In 1990 he met in Milan the renowned teacher Rodolfo Celletti, who became his vocal coach.
Ramón Vargas’ international debut took place in 1992, when the New York Metropolitan Opera asked him to sing Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor opposite June Anderson, substituting Luciano Pavarotti. This was soon followed by a debut on the stage of La Scala, in 1993, where he sung Fenton in Strehler’s new production celebrating the centenary of Falstaff, conducted by Riccardo Muti. He regularly performs at all the major opera houses of the world: London Royal Opera House (Un ballo in maschera, La bohème, Rigoletto, La traviata), Teatro alla Scala di Milano (Rigoletto, La traviata), Metropolitan New York (Attila, La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier), Opéra National de Paris (Rigoletto, La traviata), San Francisco Opera (Un ballo in maschera, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor), Wiener Staatsoper (La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux), Arena di Verona (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto) and others.
In addition to his operatic career, he is also an accomplished concert singer, with an extensive repertoire ranging from Italian classical songs to romantic German Lieder and melodies by French, Mexican and Spanish composers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
He was awarded the Lauri Volpi Award for the Best Opera Singer of the 1993 Italian season, and in 1995 Italian critics were unanimous in decorating him with the Gino Tani Award for the Arts. In 2000, British Opera Now declared Ramón Vargas Artist of the Year. In 2001, he received the ECHO Klassik – Singer of the Year Award from the German Phono Academy.
Among his latest successes Un ballo in maschera at Teatro Real de Madrid and at Teatro de la Maestranza in Sevilla, Roberto Devereux and at Los Angeles Opera in Los Angeles, Les contes d’Hoffman at Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires, Don Carlo at Wiener Staatsoper and at Opernhaus Zürich, Don Giovanni at Grand-Théâtre de Genève, I masnadieri at Opéra de Monte-Carlo, La bohème at Staatsoper Berlin, La clemenza di Tito at Opéra National de Paris.