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Luis Gomes: tenor

Luis Gomes. Photo: Renato Guerra

Based in London but originally from Portugal, tenor Luis Gomes is only at the beginning of his career but has already sung in countries including Portugal, France, Italy, Latvia and the UK. He is midway through his time on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House.

When did you know you wanted to become an opera singer?

I started really young, knowing that music was what I wanted. My first singing teacher told me that if I wanted to have a career in singing, I had to get up and go somewhere else, so I had that in mind. I started at the conservatoire in Lisbon and then six years ago, I moved here to do my undergrad at Guildhall. After that I did the opera course for two years and then a year at the National Opera Studio, before joining the young artists programme here.

Did you grow up around classical music?

Not really. I don’t belong to a musical family at all. I’m lucky because my parents love music, but classical music wasn’t really in the house. The first time we had classical music at our place, it was me that brought it. All my love for classical music really comes from my first singing teacher and he started putting me on the way to where I am now.

What attracts you to opera?

At first, I appreciated how amazing and how impressive opera was and I always wanted to work hard and do something that was worth working for. I love singing for people, and the interaction that comes with that is very rewarding. I recently performed in Dialogues des Carmelites at the Royal Opera House as an understudy [the show featured a 167-strong chorus of homeless people, ex-homeless people and ex-offenders]. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing with them. Sometimes we forget how special what we do is, so it’s good to be around these people and see how much they enjoy it. It reminds me of why I love it.

Tell me about the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

It’s a two-year programme, and I’m coming to the end of my first season. A programme like this is an incredible opportunity and you get to work with the best people. That was the main thing for me. It’s an opportunity to work in a big opera house and see how the big stars work on a day to day basis and also how they deal with things. That’s a great thing for us to learn and something that you can’t really get as a young singer unless you’re in a programme like this.

Do you enjoy the travelling part of your job?

Yes, definitely. I think I enjoy every place I go because every place has such specific characteristics and the people are so different. I love all the southern European countries because of my roots, but every place is special and I’m really lucky that I get to see them all. I have travelled more in these six years than I had in the previous 22 and I would never have imagined I would be singing at the Royal Opera House with the best singers and conductors. I’m very lucky.

The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme summer performance takes place on July 20 at the Royal Opera House. 

CV: Luis Gomes

Training: Lisbon Conservatory of Music and Drama, National Opera Studio, Jette Parker Young Artists Programme

Agent: Jonathan Turnbull at Askonas Holt

First Role: Pinkerton (cover) in Madama Butterfly for Opera Holland Park (2013)


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