“Prieto has the sort of looks that advertising executives dream of, matched to an appealing sincerity. The voice is soft, tender, evenly produced – a beautiful instrument that projects well.”
– Andrew Clark / Financial Times
Tenor Joel Prieto has become one of the most sought-after and exciting artists of his generation. After being awarded the highly coveted distinction of first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, he has sung in some of the most prestigious opera and concert venues around the world. 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.
In the 2014-2015 season, Joel Prieto returns to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona for Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and sings Tamino in a new production of Die Zauberflöte with Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile. He will also perform as Fernando as a role debut in the Zarzuela Doña Francisquita at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and return to Opera de Puerto Rico as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. In an exciting debut at Santa Fe Opera, he will reprise the role of Belfiore in a new production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, conducted by Harry Bicket. On the concert and recital stage, Joel will travel to Moscow for his recital debut in Russia at the Dom Muzyki Chamber Hall together, collaborating with pianist Semjon Skigin. He will also sing his first Mozart Requiem with the Houston Symphony conducted by their new music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
The 2013-2014 season included a return to Deutsche Oper Berlin as Fenton in Christof Loy’s new production of Falstaff, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Iopas in Les Troyens. At the Staatsoper Berlin, Joel returned as Tamino, opposite Rene Pape, made his role debut as Narraboth in Strauss’ Salome, conducted by Zubin Mehta; at Glyndebourne Festival singing in a new production of La finta giardiniera, as well as a debut as Nemorino in L’elisir d’Amore at Opera de Puerto Rico. On the concert stage, he was the tenor soloist in a televised Christmas holiday special in Vienna, featuring Angelika Kirschlager, Luca Pisaroni, Ursula Langmayr, the Vienna Boys Choir and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as concerts in Puerto Rico.
In past seasons, Joel Prieto has performed Fenton at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse; Don Ottavio at the Salzburg Festival and Houston Grand Opera; Ferrando at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Washington National Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and Palm Beach Opera; Tamino at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatsoper Berlin; Tybalt in Romeo et Juliet at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Ernesto at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; and Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Puerto Rico.
Joel Prieto has collaborated with conductors such as Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Trevor Pinnock, Robin Ticcati, Daniele Gatti, Roberto Abbado, Ivor Bolton, Ottavio Dantone, Daniele Callegari, Zubin Mehta, Bruno Campanella, Adam Fischer and stage directors Sir David McVicar, Robert Carsen, Claus Guth, Christof Loy, Francisco Negrin, Stephen Lawless, Daniel Satler, Emilio Sagi, Harry Kupfer, Frederic Wake-Walker and Hans Neuenfels.
On the concert stage, Joel performed Mozart’s C Minor Mass at the Salzburg Festival, Haydn Stabat Mater at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Haydn’s Creation at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville and the Evangelist in Herzogenberg’s Die Geburt Christi at the Monastery of Wolhusen in Switzerland. He also participated in a benefit for Pakistan with Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott, Anna Prohaska and Piotr Bezcala, at the Bergen Nasjonale Opera gala with Barbara Frittoli in Norway, and the Bad Kissingen Music Festival gala. On the recital stage, Joel has performed in Wigmore Hall with pianist Ian Burnside and on the Rosenblatt Recital Series, to great acclaim.
Joel Prieto was born in Madrid; his mother is Puerto Rican and his father is Spanish. At the age of four he moved to Puerto Rico and currently splits his time between Berlin and Paris. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he moved to Europe for professional training, first as a member of the Atelier Lyrique at Opéra National de Paris, and then the Salzburg Festival for the inaugural Young Singers Project. He was part of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2006-2008, launching himself to international status after joining Plácido Domingo in the Zarzuela Luisa Fernanda at the Theater an der Wien in 2008. On the competition circuit, Joel swept Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition: First Prize, Zarzuela Prize and Culturate Prize as well as receiving the distinction of being the Best Male Singer by the Association of Lyric Singers in Spain.