Famed tenor delivers high Cs, and baby, in NYC

April 10, 2011 4:07:15 PM PDT
Tenor Juan Diego Florez has really delivered: a host of high Cs to a worldwide audience of millions - and minutes earlier, his own baby boy in New York City. If you think opera plots are melodramatic, consider the real life plot of tenor Juan Diego Florez.

At 38, Florez is one of the premier opera singers in the world.

On Saturday, he became a father for the first time.

"It's just happiness that you can't tell. You have to experience it," Florez said.

For this musician it was a mad race against time.

Florez had stayed up all night with his wife Julia, a soprano, waiting for their little one to come.

They waited and pushed and waited until little Leandro was ready to make his debut Saturday afternoon.

"At 12:17 [p.m.], something like, that my wife said I feel the head of the baby. I was already almost dressed for the performance so at that point I took my clothes off because I wanted to be in the pool together. And at 12:22 [p.m.], the baby was born," Florez said.

As glorious as that moment was, the tenor did not have the luxury of basking in the miracle of life.

He was due on stage at the Metropolitan Opera in a matter of minutes in the lead role of Rossini's comic opera "Le Comte Ory", which was being broadcast live worldwide.

So off he ran to hair, makeup and costume and in less than 1/2 hour after the birth of Leandro, Juan Diego Florez was on stage singing his heart out.

Mother and baby were doing just fine, getting checkups at Manhattan's Roosevelt Hospital.