Image by Will Perez Ronderos
Consistently praised for his smooth, rich, powerful voice, thrilling top notes and magnetic stage presence, Argentine-Australian baritone José Carbó has performed in the leading houses of the world including Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Real Madrid, Los Angeles Opera, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Seattle Opera and Opera Australia.
Established as “Australia’s leading Verdi lyric baritone” (Limelight Magazine), José's triumphant Verdi debut as Renato in Un ballo in maschera at Opera Australia was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “an object lesson in Verdi singing”. This led to further important Verdi role debuts including the title role in Rigoletto, Rodrigo in Don Carlo and one of his now-signature roles; Germont La traviata. Recent La traviata engagements for Opera Queensland (2022) and Opera Australia (2021) have seen him exceed seventy performances of Germont. 2023 will see two more Verdi role debuts for José in the title role of Macbeth for Opera Queensland and Iago in Otello for West Australian Opera.
In 2022 he returned to Europe with his house debut at the Ópera de Tenerife, Spain, in gala concert Nancy Fabiola y sus Invitados and 2023 includes a return to Escamillo in Carmen for West Australian Opera and Perth Festival as well as being a featured soloist in Opera Queensland's 2023 Festival of Outback Opera.
Before the pandemic in 2020, José was Alfio/Tonio in Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci for Festival Opera New Zealand. In 2019, he made his anticipated role debut as Scarpia in a new production of Tosca for Opera Queensland, followed by Sharpless in Graeme Murphy's new production of Madama Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House for Opera Australia. He completed the year with a return to his favourite Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Victorian Opera in Melbourne and Tasmania. In concert, José appeared with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia Orchestra, Fremantle Chamber Orchestra and the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.
In 2018, José reprised his signature role of Germont La traviata, opposite Corinne Winters, for Opera Australia, toured Australia with superstar Sumi Jo in their recital Mad for Love, made his role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly in Opera Australia's China Tour, and toured Australia with The José Carbó Trio.
In 2017, he sang Germont La traviata opposite Ermonela Jaho and Alfio/Tonio Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci for Opera Australia, for which he received his third Helpmann Award nomination, a Green Room Award nomination and was praised for his “peerless Prologue, sung with polished and glowingly powerful cantabile.” (Sydney Morning Herald)
Other recent appearances include Riolobo Florencia en el Amazonas for Los Angeles Opera, Germont La traviata and Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, both opposite Jessica Pratt, for Victorian Opera and Zurga Pearlfishers for Opera Australia. In 2015, José joined the roster of principal artists at the Metropolitan Opera. Other artists José has appeared alongside include Ferruccio Furlanetto, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Latonia Moore, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Dmitry Korchak and Pavol Breslik.
Before adding more dramatic roles to his repertoire, José performed his first signature role of Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at Seattle Opera in his 2011 US debut, Teatro Real Madrid, Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and State Opera of South Australia. He made his European debut in 2005 at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in the title role of Le nozze di Figaro and his La Scala debut in 2009 in Il viaggio a Reims. In 2012 he won a Helpmann Award for his portrayal of Fritz Die tote Stadt with Opera Australia. Other roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Belcore L’elisir d’amore, Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello La bohème, Silvio Pagliacci, Escamillo Carmen, Dandini La cenerentola, Lescaut Manon, Don Alfonso Così fan tutte, Sonora La fanciulla del West and Tomsky in Pique Dame.
On the concert platform with the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand, José has performed Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Mass in C and Choral Symphony, Carl Orff Carmina Burana, Rachmaninoff The Bells, Fauré Requiem and Brahms Eines Deutsches Requiem, Ralph Vaughan-Williams Mass in C minor, Mendelssohn Paulus and Elgar Dream of Gerontius.
José’s debut album, My Latin Heart, released by ABC Classics, was nominated for the ARIA Classical Record of the year and debuted at No. 1 on the Limelight Magazine Classical Music charts. He also appears on DVD/Blu-Ray and CD as Marcello in La Bohème for Opera Australia and on CD in Classical Spectacular and 50 Best Opera with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra released by ABC Classics.