Juan Diego Flórez came late to classical music, preferring instead pop and Elvis Presley. Following appearances at La Scala and Covent Garden, he was anointed as the new Pavarotti, but Jessica Duchen discovers that the world's favourite tenor is his own man
When Juan Diego Flórez got married in the Basilica Cathedral, Lima [Peru], back in 2008, the astounding scenes could have been welcoming royalty.
Maintaining vocal health, he says, means maintaining physical health. "Sleeping well is the main thing. And eating well; I'm vegetarian, which works for me. I do sports - I play tennis, sometimes I play soccer." Like football, singing is an intensive physical activity: "The fact that I'm 37 and my voice hasn't changed much is, I think, a positive thing, because the voice is at its best from 25 to 35. This is the prime; after that, it starts going down. It's the same for footballers, who don't play any more after they are 35. We sing with our muscles. So if you're 37 to 40 and you still have the qualities, characteristics and high notes that you had when you were 30, it means you're doing a good job. It means you're going to sing your repertoire for a long time, which is great because this is he repertoire that made you famous and that the public love. They don't want to hear me sing whatever else; they want to hear me sing bel canto."