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Super-tenor Jose Cura to visit IU School of Music on Sunday

EDITORS: To receive a press photo of Cura, contact Ryan Piurek at 812-855-5393 or rpiurek [at] indiana [dot] edu (rpiurek@indiana.edu) .

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Argentinean opera star Jose Cura, one of the next generation of "super-tenors," will deliver a guest lecture at the Indiana University School of Music on Sunday (Jan. 18) at 8 p.m. in Auer Hall.

A singer, actor, composer and conductor, Cura has been compared favorably to opera's legendary "Big Three" (Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti). He is currently receiving high praise for his starring role in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's revival of Samson et Dalila. The Chicago performance and Bloomington lecture constitute rare U.S. appearances for the 41-year-old native of Rosario, Argentina.

"In opera there are a few starring roles that only a few people can perform. Cura is one of those people. He's a dramatic tenor who has a strong body and a very strong voice," said Ernesto Bitetti, chair of the IU School of Music's guitar program and a close friend of the Cura family. Bitetti, who is also from Rosario, played guitar on Cura's 1998 album Anhelo, a collection of Argentine songs that Cura composed, conducted and performed.

Cura's lecture is titled "Singer and Musician ... Antonyms?" He is expected to discuss the preparation required of a singer who is pursuing a professional opera career.

One of the few contemporary singers specializing in verismo-style Italian opera, Cura has received universal acclaim for his leading roles in Camille Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila and Giuseppe Verdi's Otello. His brash and unconventional portrayal of the Moorish general has made him, like Placido Domingo, one of the world's most sought-after Otellos.

In 1999, Cura made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, becoming only the second tenor in the Met's history to make his debut on opening night. (The first was legendary "king" of tenors Enrico Caruso.) Additionally, he has released a number of critically praised opera, recital and symphonic CDs. His 2004 performing calendar includes dates in many of Europe's premier concert halls.