VC Talks: an interview with Jose Romero, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner


  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Romantic Music Competition 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018

Jose Simerilla Romero, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been praised for his “remarkable bright ringing tone”, and “charming comedic quality” by the Orlando Sentinel and has been called “a promising young tenor”, and “one to keep an eye on” by critics. He received his Music education from Valencia College, Stetson University, Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy, the Vienna Summer Music Festival, Berlin Opera Academy, and has recently been accepted into the Los Angeles Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Residency Program.

He began his vocal training specializing in Classical and Romantic repertoire under countless world renowned and critically acclaimed professional vocal coaches such as Plácido Domingo, Stephen King, and Joyce Didonato in her illustrious masterclass series at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Romero has competed in a wide variety of National Singing Competitions like the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competition, the NATS National Student Auditions, and the Greatest Composers International Music Competition.

Mr. Romero has sung as a soloist in many choral associations like the FMEA (Florida Music Education Association) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), and has performed in multiple operatic roles and productions with many of Central Florida’s most prestigious theatre and opera companies like Opera Orlando, Central Florida Vocal Arts, Orlando Light Opera, The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, Opera del Sol, First Coast Opera, and EMMA Concert Association.

Recent performances include, Rodolfo in La bohème, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, Count Danilovich in The Merry Widow, Captain Tarnitz in The Student Prince, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Albert Herring in Albert Herring, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Gabriel Von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus.

Mr. Romero crafts his own dream in music and the performing arts, with a commitment to authenticity as his guide. “There are millions who have great voices, but they don’t sing with heart, singing with heart is the goal,” he says. “Anything less is cheating the audience.”

What year were you born?

Do you come from a musical family?
No I do not come from a musical family, however my parents have always been art enthusiasts, and lovers of opera which led me to be exposed to classical music at a very young age.

Who are your musical idols?
My parents are huge fans of opera and classical music. I remember since I was a small child I would listen to my Father’s old cd recordings of operas and classical hits, his favorite voice type was always the tenor voice. Therefore I was always exposed to singers such as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Mario Lanza, Franco Corelli, Mario Del Monaco, Jussi Björling, Fritz Wunderlich, and Enrico Caruso. As a result they in turn became my Musical Idols and source of inspiration once I decided to become an opera singer.

Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I am currently a resident Young Artist at the Domingo/Colburn/Stein program with L.A. Opera which is great because I get to see, speak, and be mentored by one of my greatest musical idols Maestro Placido Domingo. I am not quite sure what will be my future educational plans after Los Angeles. I am making my debut wit Los Angeles ópera this season and will be attending some Opera programs and festivals in the summer. After I finish the program here with L.A Opera I would have to make sedición whether I feel I am ready to take on the professional world or perhaps enter another Residency program, perhaps the Lindemann program in New York with the Metropolitan Opera.

What is more important: talent or hard work?
I don’t think that neither one trumps the other. There is a saying “nothing worth having comes easy” and it definitely applies to the operatic singing field. I believe talent is absolutely necessary to give yourself and others a glimpse at the kind of potential you posses. Natural talent will give the singer advantages at the beginning of their studies and will work almost as a kind of jump-start to realizing the kind of potential a singer may posses, but it won’t achieve it on its own. Hard work, dedication, and will-power coupled with hours dedicated to practicing and studying will nurture that talent and help it bloom to fulfill its true potential. Singing is much more than just knowing how to open your mouth, It involves knowing and understanding languages, diction, style, pedagogy, history, music theory, and the ability to read music and all of the dynamic markings a composer wrote to make that music come to life. If you’re not the type of person to put in the hours of work to accomplish this then unfortunately this field isn’t for you. In this case I would say hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Thank you very much for talking to us.

In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.