A quick biography


the path of a young costa rican tenor

It is all about the journey

«Mr. Zuniga's light tenor seemed suitable for bel canto opera. He harmonized beautifully...» Meche Kroop. Voce di Mece Reviews.

Hailing from Cartago, Costa Rica, Tenor Esteban José Zúñiga Calderón is pursuing the degree of Doctor in Musical Arts with a specialization in Historical Performance Practice at the University of Oregon, under the tutelage of Professor Eric Mentzel and Dr. Camille Ortiz. He began his exploration in the world of opera with Cuban tenor Omar González in 2007. In 2013 he began his undergraduate studies with Lic. Franklin Castro Steller, at the National University of Costa Rica, earning under his tuttelage a Bachelor in Music degree in 2016, and a Licenciatura in 2018. Later that same year, he moved to New York City, where he obtained his Master of Music degree in Manhattan School of Music, thanks to a full scholarship granted by this institution, studying voice with Professor Maitland Peters, and later with former Metropolitan Opera tenor Neil Rosenshein. Zúñiga has also had the opportunity to work with a number of important figures in the world of North American Classical Music, such as Sherril Milnes, Martina Arroyo, Arturo O'Farril, Mignon Dunn, Ashley Putnam, Gary Wedow, Katherine Malfitano and Kent Tritle. He is currently studying at the University of Oregon, to get his Doctorate in Musical Arts with a specialization in Historical Performance Practice, under the supervision of Professor Eric Mentzel, tenor specialist in Historically Informed Performance and early music. Zúñiga was recently awarded the Ann Wayne Lamon Musgrove Scholarship, as winner of the Opera Competition in the University of Oregon in 2022.

Esteban Zúñiga Calderón has performed several leading and supporting roles in opera, as well as oratorio, chamber music performances, concerts and theater plays. He has recently appeared as Lindoro in L'Italiana in Algeri, Ernesto in Don Pasquale by G. Donizetti with Cascadia Chamber Opera, Prince Ramiro in La Cenerentola by G. Rossini with Geneva Light Opera, Othien in Ourland by P. Davis as part of the Aquilon Music Festival, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles by G. Bizet in Manhattan School of Music, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart (Principal with the National University in Costa Rica, Cover with the National Lyric Company of Costa Rica). Other main roles Zúñiga has sung include Henrik in A Little Night Music by Sondheim, Oronte in Alcina by Handel, Juan Luis in El Huesped del Sevillano by J. Guerrero and El Poeta in El Poeta Calculista by M. García. His comprimario roles include Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus by J. Strauss, Don Curzio, in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Parpignol in Puccini's La Boheme, The First Armored Man and Second Priest in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos by R. Strauss and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi by G. Puccini. As a soloist, Zúñiga has performed in Camille Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion (Both as Evangelist and Tenor Soloist), Der Kaffekantate, Magnificat and Cantata 7, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert's Mass in Eb and Auf dem Strom, Dixit Dominus by Marianna von Martinez, H. Schütz's Exequien, Monteverdi's Tempro la Cetra (cantata) and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has also covered the roles of Jason in Medée by M.A. Charpentier, Mr. Hooker in Emmeline, by T. Picker, Mercury in The Judgement of Paris by J. Eccles and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell. Throughout the years he has also sung in plenty of solo recitals, chamber music concerts, collective performances and fundraising events.

Zúñiga has also dedicated many years to vocal pedagogy, and has helped singers from all ages to overcome technical problems, accomplish better vocal technique and the domain of their repertoire. His trajectory as a voice teacher goes back more than 12 years. During that time, Zúñiga has organized and hosted dozens of concerts and recitals for his voice students, in order to help them gain experience and confidence on Stage. He has helped an important number of people to enter the world of music and vocal performance, serving as voice teacher, mentor, coach and even accompanist on certain occasions. He has also served as advisor and coach for choruses, ensembles and even rock bands.