International opera star Simon Estes, a Centerville native, says his nearly six-decade-long career on the opera stage is drawing to a close.
“Most opera singers retire between 50 and 60 years of age…I’m almost 84 and a half. I’ll be 85 my next birthday in March.”
Estes plans to continue singing and advising students at Iowa State and the Des Moines Area Community College — but he will retire from opera after his last performance in Porgy and Bess with the Des Moines Metro Opera on July 24th. During an interview on Talk of Iowa on Iowa Public Radio, Estes talked about the keys to his longevity.
“First of all, I think God gave me very special vocal cords or vocal folks, as the doctors say…I never smoked. I didn’t drink alcohol. I didn’t take any drugs, of course…I was very disciplined always. I only sang the right repertoire at the right time in my life.”Opera Star Simon Estes
Estes made his opera debut in West Berlin in 1965. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School of Music. Estes has performed more than 100 roles with 84 major opera companies around the globe.
(image from Wikipedia)