|Year of Birth:||1972|
Rolando Villazón Mauleón (born February 22, 1972) is a French/Mexican tenor. He now lives in France, and in 2007 he became a French citizen.
Villazón has published several books, including the novels Malabares and Paladas de sombra contra la oscuridad which have been translated into French and German. He is a member of the Collège de 'Pataphysique in Paris.
He was raised in Fuentes de Satélite, a suburban area of Greater Mexico City, Mexico. In an interview for Mexican television, Villazón told the story of how he was discovered as a tenor. He said that one day, as he was getting out of the shower in his apartment in Mexico City, somebody came knocking on his door; it was baritone Arturo Nieto, a friend of his neighbour, who had heard him singing while in the shower. He told Rolando he had an amazing voice and invited him to his music academy to develop his voice; it was there that Villazón fell in love with opera.
He came to international attention in 1999 when he won second prize in Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition (losing to Bulgarian bass Orlin Anastassov), as well as the first Zarzuela prize. The same year he sang for the first time in Italy as des Grieux in Manon at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. In 2000 he appeared for the first time at the Berlin State Opera, as Macduff in Macbeth. Over the years he has presented many of his best roles there, among them José in Carmen and des Grieux in Manon.