Alfredo Kraus (24 November 1927 – 10 September 1999) was a Spanish tenor, and considered among the legendary tenors of the 20th century along with others like Plácido Domingo, Franco Corelli, José Carreras, Jon Vickers and Luciano Pavarotti. His best known role was the title role in Massenet's Werther. Kraus was of Spanish and Austrian descent.
Kraus was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain. He began his musical career at the age of four taking up piano lessons, singing in the school choir by age eight.
In 1956, Kraus made his professional operatic debut in Cairo as the Duke in Rigoletto, which became one of his signature roles. The following year, he sang Alfredo at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon in a production of La Traviata with Maria Callas, a live recording of which was later released.
Kraus made his Covent Garden debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959 and his La Scala debut as Elvino in La Sonnambula in 1960. He made his U.S. debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago 1962 and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1966 in Rigoletto.
In the subsequent decades, he extended his repertoire to include more Italian operas such as Lucrezia Borgia, La fille du régiment, Linda di Chamounix and La favorita by Donizetti; and French operas such as Roméo et Juliette, Les contes d'Hoffmann and Lakmé, while continuing to sing his hallmark roles of Des Grieux in Manon and Werther. He also recorded a number of rarely performed French operas including La jolie fille de Perth and Les pêcheurs de perles, both by Bizet, and La muette de Portici by Auber.
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