On January 24th, 2009 tenor José Manuel Zapata (right) and pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre (top right) performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall to pay homage to the great tenor, composer, and professor Manuel García (1775-1832). Born in Granada, Spain, Zapata shares his Andalusian roots with García, a Seville-native.
García is one of the most colorful and influential characters in the history of opera. One of Spain's most famous artists, he had an international career that started in Spain and took him to Italy, Paris, New York, and Mexico. Perhaps most known for being the original tenor of Rossini's The Barber of Seville, García also composed over 30 original pieces and starred in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He was responsible for bringing Italian opera to New York. García was also the father of María Malibran and Pauline Viardot, two of the great divas of the 19th century.
This recital was a tribute to his life, his work, and his heritage, and included works by García as well as Rossini, Turina, and Toldrá.