Below here are some pictures of opera performances (on stage and film)
Click on the thumbnail to see the larger version with description


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The Beginning
Justino Diaz was born 29 January 1940 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While still in high school he saw his first opera from a chorus in a local production of Verdi's "La forza del destino". At the early age of 17 he made his debut as "Ben" in Menotti's "Telephon". He went on to the New England Conservatory where he studied with Frederick Jagel and joined the Metropolitan Opera Studio. In 1963 he won a contract at the Metropolitan Opera in New York after winning the singing competition of the New York Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air. He made his Metropolitan debut in October 1963 as "Monterone" in Verdi's "Rigoletto".

Some roles
Justino Diaz has sung many roles in his long career which brought him in opera houses all over the world. In the first period of his career he sang mostly  leading bass roles like: "Rodolfo" (Bellini's "Sonambula"), "Méphistophélès (Berlioz's "Faust"), "Raimondo" (Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor"), Don Basilio (Rossini's "Barbiere di Siviglia"), Philip II (Verdi's Don Carlo). In the period after 1980 he started to focus on leading baritone roles like "Scarpia" (Puccini's "Tosca), "Jago" (Verdi's Otello"),  and the title roles of Verdi's "Rigoletto" and "Macbeth" .

Some facts
In 1966 he sang "Anthony" in the world premiere of Barber's "Anthony and Cleopatra" at the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. He created "Francesco" in the world premiere of Ginastera's "Beatrix Cenci" at the opening of the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in 1971. Justino Diaz has also appeared in a few opera films. In 1967 he portrayed "Escamillo" in Bizet's Carmen which was produced and directed by Herbert von Karajan. In 1986 he portrayed "Jago" in Franco Zeffirelli's film "Otello".  "Jago" became a kind of signature role for Justino Diaz and he sang it in famous opera houses like The Metropolitan Opera in New York and Covent Garden in London. On March 29, 2003, Justino Diaz retired, after a carreer which lasted 40 years. His last performance was at the Luis A. Ferrer Center of the Beautiful Arts. Before he retired, he held a farewell tour where he closed all of his performances with the song "Old Black Joe", which was the same song he sang at the age of 10 at the Robinson Elementary School.


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