Juan Diego Flórez came in and showed us how to sing coloratura. And we discovered we are not worthy

9 October 2015, 13:55 | Updated: 10 October 2015, 08:40

Tenor Juan Diego Flórez is one of the greatest opera singers in the world and we want to be him. So we asked him to come in to Classic FM to show us how to sing like him.

Let’s start with the easy bit: how to stand.

Everyone knows how to stand right? *BUZZER NOISE * wrong! JDF shows us how it’s done. Yeah, we just called him JDF.


Ok, but surely we know how to breathe? Right…

Nope, sorry. Here’s Juan Diego Flórez to put you on the right track.


So now, you can sing like this...

Juan Diego Flórez's Recital at Salzburg Festival

#SalzburgFestival Without bowtie but with his guitar, Juan Diego Flórez sings "Besame mucho"!Enjoy the full recital here: http://ow.ly/Qwdue

Posted by medici.tv on Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Now you’ve mastered (ahem) the basics. On to coloratura

Coloratura is all those fancy flashy high bits in operas by Rossini, Donizetti and the like.

For example:


To sing these highly ornamented passages singers – like Flórez or Joyce DiDonato – have to have a rock-solid technique. We asked Flórez how to sing them.

The problem is, though, that it comes naturally to him.

TL; DR version: how do you sing coloratura? You just sing coloratura.


What about those high notes?

JDF is famous for singing vertiginously high notes – like the high Cs in this aria from Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment.

 We asked him how you hit them.

TL; DR version: how do you hit those high notes? You just hit those high notes.


How does it feel when you completely nail those high, fast notes?

Because we imagine it feels AWESOME.


How do you keep up your energy?

Often those crazy high arias come right at the end of an opera, when JDF (we’re making this a thing) has already been signing for a couple of hours.

How does he make sure he has enough energy for that?


What do you do just before a performance?

It turns out he only turns up a few minutes before the show. Stage managers at opera houses around the world, you must have nerves of steel. We salute you.


Finally, what’s your advice for young singers

We asked Flórez for some words of wisdom for any singers who wanted to follow in his high-note-touting footsteps.


Juan Diego Flórez's new album, Italia, is out now – and you can watch a video of a track from the recording right here.