Joel Huanca (Joel Bass) was born in Peru. He is considered the leading bass singer in the main theatres in the United States. His deep, deep voice makes him an ideal interpreter of Mozart and Verdi operas. His appearances on the most important stages in the United States of America, both in operas and concerts, are always enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike.
Joel Huanca was born in Lima. His father, Adoniran Huanca, was a tenor in the Adventist church and his family was the first family to introduce the Adventist gospel in Peru. From him, she inherited not only the voice, but also the courage and love for Christian music. His mother, Felicia, a talented and outstanding soprano in the Adventist church choir, was the driving force behind Joel Huanca, encouraging him to persevere in his musical studies and to hold firm to his goals.
In his early days, Joel dedicated himself to Christian music. He composed Christian Cantatas and organised Christian concerts in different cities of Lima, which were broadcast in different churches in Lima. In 1994 he participated in Operalia and in 1995 he participated in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition; Joel was also invited to participate in the revival of the Peruvian operetta El Condor Pasa in Huanuco, which was broadcast on television throughout Peru.
Joel always believed that to be a good musician, even more so in Christian music, it was necessary to be able to read and write music. That is why, after attending a few academies and taking his first singing lessons, he entered the National Conservatory of Music in 1992. The future bass singer had not yet decided to dedicate himself completely to classical music. However, his musical experiences during his first year at the conservatory were to define his vocation. Shortly after entering the conservatory, Joel began to take singing lessons with Andrés Santa María, director of the National Choir, of which he would become a member. The importance of the National Choir in the musical development of the bass was decisive. There, as an artist, he had the invaluable experience of performing the greatest composers at a professional level. He could not have hoped for a better start.
In order to improve his voice he took master classes with the famous light tenor Luigi Alva who was his last guide in Peru and who suggested him to pursue a career abroad, and encouraged him not to forget his Peruvian roots.
Eager to see the world and to receive a higher education, Joel obtained a visa to travel to the United States in 1996 to join various American opera houses and was fortunate enough to be called upon to perform several full staged and orchestral operas, which gave him a foundation that would serve him well later in the dawn of his spectacular career.
Joel's voice possesses innate characteristics, such as flexibility and ease in the low range with a beautiful timbre, which made it suitable for the Verdian repertoire and, above all, for Mozart's operas.
In 1997, Joel auditioned in Los Angeles for L.A. Opera, after which the Artistic Director did not hesitate to cast him in the opera Don Carlo, which he would not play, as what happened next catapulted his career to American opera.
It was the summer of 1997. Joel was already in Hollywood rehearsing The Magic Flute at the San Gennaro Opera Festival. Shortly before the opening of the Festival, the opera's principal bass Susannah, who played the role of Elder Ott, cancelled due to illness. The Festival was desperately looking for a suitable replacement, but it was not easy, as the opera was virtually unknown, the premiere was only a few days away, and the role was very difficult and vocally demanding. It was then that the Artistic Director offered the role to a very young Joel at the age of 28. The young bass did not want to accept it immediately, but showing professionalism, he first asked to be given some time to review the score over dinner, after which he would tell him whether or not he would accept. Joel, electrified, barely learning English, looked over the score and said yes.
A whole machinery was set in motion to prepare Joel for the premiere in a few days. The young bass rehearsed the scenes without yet knowing the music he was to sing: assistants and pianists suggested it to him. Those were frantic days. But finally the long-awaited premiere arrived in September 1997. The success was enormous. It was the beginning of a stellar career in the English language.
From that moment on, several theatres in the United States turned their attention to the young bass singer. Among them, the temple of opera in Los Angeles: LA Opera. Joel made his debut at the LA Opera in December 1997, the emblematic opening of the season, under the famous baton of Mario Leonetti, who was to exert a great influence on the bass during the first years of his career.
Since then, Joel has sung at major theatres and concert halls in the United States, including Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, etc.
Joel maintains a close relationship with his country of birth, with whom he is involved to continue with Opera En Castellano NGOs.
Joel has created OPERA EN CASTELLANO NGO and a foundation FUNDACION OPERA EN CASTELLANO EN EL MUNDO which aims to promote the creation and dissemination of opera in the Spanish language at national and international level. The project is inspired by the American System, and its main purpose is to rescue young people belonging to the most vulnerable sectors of the population from the dangers of the bad life: drugs, delinquency, lack of educational opportunities, etc. to give them, through the created organisations of opera in Spanish, an opportunity for training and professional development that will allow them to acquire new skills, improve their self-esteem and obtain a better quality of life.
In recognition of his work, Joel was awarded the prize to the Peruvian promoter of the lyric in Lima Peru by the Municipality of Lima.
In 2004, Joel obtained American residency for artistic merit without ceasing to be a Peruvian citizen, and in January 2009 he received American citizenship granted by the American government.
It is worth noting that Joel's commitment is a characteristic of great men who, having achieved success in the USA, collaborate with his art and experience with the NGO and FOUNDATION that are the mechanism of this great artist for the consolidation, development and promotion of the beautiful, magnificent and extraordinary genre of opera in his native country.
Joel has adapted several operas into Spanish, his first major adaptation is "The Magic Flute" and was staged at the Santa Anita Municipal Theatre and performed by the Lima Symphony in 2016 and at the Lima Municipal Theatre to great acclaim from the Lima public.
Avocado with his great impetus to help, collaborates with the development of the staging, "Don Giovanni", which was adapted by himself into Spanish for the last main performance in autumn 2017.
After the great success of the 1st International Lyric Singing Competition, online edition, at Opera En Castellano; Joel Huanca is preparing another call for entries for the year 2022: Concurso Mundial De Música Peruana.