Edgar Ernesto Ramírez made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Leicester in POV's April 2012 production of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. He returns in 2015 for another Donizetti the role – Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor
Mexican-American tenor Ernesto Ramírez is garnering rave reviews for his distinctive Italianate sound, his youthful exuberance, and for his expressive musicality. He has performed to great acclaim for audiences in France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the United States and has recently made his long awaited debut in his homeland of Mexico at both the iconic Teatro del Bicentenario and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Ernesto is much in demand in Mexico and Canada during the 2014-2015 season, with highlights including Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for Pacific Opera Victoria and Benedict in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict with Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Sala Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City. Further performances in Mexico include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (Mexico City), Verdi’s Requiem with Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería at Teatro Bellas Artes, Handel’s Messiah with Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM and Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara, Mexico). For the International Cervantino Festival, he sings Tony in West Side Story at Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato and back in Canada will be featured as Paco in La vida breve for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert.
In spring 2014, while engaged as a cover for the title role of Roberto Devereux with the Canadian Opera Company, he was given a performance alongside soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Other recent and upcoming operatic engagements include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Palacio de Bellas Artes, Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Teatro del Bicentenario in Mexico and with the "Rossini in Wildbad" Belcanto Opera Festival in Germany, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Hamilton, Leicester in Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore with Angers-Nantes Opéra, Festival Folies D'O Montpellier and with Sarasota Opera, the title role in Stiffelio, Raoul in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots (Canadian premiere), Rinaldo in Armida, Decio in the rarely performed La Vestale by Mercadante and Arturo in I Puritani with Toronto's Opera in Concert, Alfredo in La traviata with the Sarasota Opera, Javier in Luisa Fernanda with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Hamilton, and Ruiz in Il trovatore, starring Ramon Vargas and Alfred (Cover) in Die Fledermaus with The Canadian Opera Company.
In the United States he has performed Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi for Santa Barbara Opera and for UCLA Opera, Alfredo in La traviata with Opera in the Ozarks in Arkansas, Rodolfo in La bohème and Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, both at the Opera Institute of Boston University. As a young artist at the Opera Institute of Boston University, Ramírez appeared as Lázaro Carriles in the world première of Before Night Falls. He performed other contemporary roles, such as Mr. Owen in Postcards from Morocco and Jonathan Orfeo in Hostage.
His activities on the concert stage as a featured soloist include Messiah with the Brott Festival in Hamilton, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Symphony, Paulus' To be Certain of the Dawn with the Grand Rapids Symphony, an Opera Gala with Opéra de Quebec, an Opera Gala in Zurich with Francisco Araiza, a concert of operatic favourites with the Brott Festival, solo performances with the Israeli Opera Studio in Tel Aviv, an Opera Gala at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, concerts at the Degollado Theater in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as engagements with the New West Symphony Young Artists with Maestro Boris Brott, Boston Pops Opening Night with Maestro Keith Lockhart, and the Boston Lyric Opera in their concert series. He also performed at Opera Santa Barbara's gala celebrating Puccini's 150th birthday, hosted by Simonetta Puccini.
Ramírez is winner of the Kahn Award at Boston University College of Fine Arts, the Giulio Gari Competition, The Performing Arts Foundation Competition, and the New West Symphony Young Artist Prize. He has received awards from the Léni Fé Bland Foundation, the Profant Foundation, and the ORCH Foundation, as well as from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Los Angeles, the Society of Singers Foundation, and the Jaume Aragall International Singing Competition.
He earned a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet performance from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and graduated from Boston University's Opera Institute under the guidance of Soprano Sharon Daniels. His coaches, teachers, and mentors include Armen Guzelimian, Joan Dornemann, Rachel Andrist, Engelberto Aguilar, Harlan Snow, Oscar Samano, Bruno Pola, Jerry Hadley, Maria Spacagna, Piero Giuliacci, Francisco Araiza, Raúl Giménez, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Jaume Aragall and Ramón Vargas.
He holds dual Mexican and American citizenship and makes his home in Toronto, Canada.
Ernesto Ramirez, who was the cover for Roberto Devereux, got the nod today ... The singing was thoughtful, well-planned. I have not heard a performance that was so accurately pitched in a very long time ...Ramirez is not Pavarotti ... but to my ear, the resemblance is striking. The line, the lovely precision attack on high notes ... I hope this is the big break that shows the world what Ramirez can do.
Leslie Barcza, barczablog.com, May, 2014, on the Canadian Opera Company's Roberto Devereux
in the dramatically taxing role of Leicester ... Ramírez showed himself to be that rarity, a tenore di grazia who combines dramatic flair, vocal charm, and musical taste –what a pleasure it is to encounter a hero in an Italian opera who, without shortchanging the effect of his big moments, never for a moment descends into shouting!
Bernard Jacobson, seenandheard-international.com, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Maria Stuarda, April, 2012
Below: Ernesto Ramírez performs Si ritrovarla io giuro, from La Cenerentola (October 2013)