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Classical/Pop Powerhouse Latin Tenor Fernando Varela

Fernando Varela sings what he loves, whether it is a pop hit, an original song he wrote, or Puccini's noblest tenor aria "Nessun dorma." He will now be at the center of a worldwide stage with the release of Vivere, his first album and debut for DG/Verve Label Group, to be released March 10, 2017. The album will be launched on the heels of a PBS television concert special airing nationwide (check local listings), and an extensive fall U.S. tour (dates to be announced).

Vivere had a long and globe-trotting birth - 2 years of writing and recording at Abbey Road Studios in London, and in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and Orlando (where Varela lives), as well as in Belgium, the homeland of his producer Patrick Hamilton. The album consists primarily of originals Varela wrote - a rarity for crossover singers - alongside interpretations of classics such as "Nessun dorma" and "All By Myself."

"The greatest challenge was to combine various styles in a way that blended them harmoniously," Varela says. "Vivere," the soaring, anthemic title track is the album's signature song. The Latin word "vivere" means "to live," even "to endure," and Fernando hopes the message of positivity in the song will inspire those who hear it.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Varela was eight years old when his family moved to Florida. Growing up listening to vibrant pop music, he also sang in his school choir and later in the chorus of the Central Florida Lyric Opera. With no formal training - and maybe to impress a girl he liked - Varela later auditioned for a spot at a renowned music school. The jury laughed at him and sent him packing with the advice to keep his day job, even to stay away from music due to his lack of talent.

That voice professor's dismissal only fired the ambitions of Fernando Varela, son of a motivational speaker and a young man determined to realize his dream. Having previously built a career in finance, he decided to walk away from a lucrative career path and roll the dice on his voice. He set off on a worldwide odyssey, absorbing music wherever he went and making friends who would shape his future.

Luciano Pavarotti's longtime conductor Giancarlo Chiamarello became a trusted advisor to Varela, as did the celebrated Metropolitan Opera coach and conductor Joan Dornemann and even the legendary soprano Licia Albanese. Then a YouTube performance video of Varela caught the attention of Grammy-winning writer and producer David Foster, who mentored him for two transformative years. Varela toured the world with Foster, earning the respect of singers such as Barbra Streisand and Lionel Richie. The experience led him to join the trio Forte Tenors, in which he appeared on "America's Got Talent" and later at the White House, Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York, and in Las Vegas. The experience led him back to his original dream - a solo career.

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