Cura, José , Argentine tenor, conductor, and composer; b. Rosario, Dec. 5, 1962. He began to take lessons in voice and guitar when he was 12. At 15, he made his debut as a conductor at an open-air choral concert in Rosario. After training in composition at the Univ. of Rosario and in voice at the singing school at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aries, he pursued vocal studies with Horacio Amauri. In 1991 he went to Italy and completed his vocal training with Vittorio Terranova. On Feb. 1, 1992, he made his operatic debut as the Father in Henze’s Pollicino in Verona. In 1993 he sang Jean in Bibalo’s Miss Julie in Trieste and Albert Gregor in The Makropoulos Affair in Turin. In 1994 he won a prize in the Operalia Competition and made his U.S. debut as Loris in Fedora at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. In 1995 he was engaged as Paolo in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini in Palermo, as Stiffelio at London’s Covent Garden, and as Ismaele in Nabucco at the Opera de la Bastille in Paris. He returned to Covent Garden in 1996 as Samson and as Cavaradossi, and also sang Osaka in Mascagni’s Iris in Rome, the title role in II corsaro in Turin, and Pollione in Los Angeles. In 1997 he portrayed Enzo in La Gioconda at Milan’s La Scala, Turiddu in Bologna, and Otello and Samson in Turin. He sang Radames in the reopening of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo in 1998, and also appeared as Des Grieux at La Scala and as Samson at the Washington (D.C.) Opera. In 1999 he appeared as both a singer and a conductor at London’s Royal Festival Hall. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Turiddu on Sept. 26, 1999. Cura was engaged to sing Don Carlos in Zurich and Turiddu at Covent Garden in 2001. Among his compositions are a Requiem (1984), a Stabat Mater (1989), and various songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire