The privilege of honoring the legacy of Justino Díaz

El Nuevo Día focuses on the legacy of Puerto Rican opera singer Justino Díaz, who was recently honored at the Kennedy Center. [Also see previous post Justino Díaz: The Undersung Opera Star.]

It is very difficult to awaken vocation in those who have not had the opportunity to know that another type of art and being respected by the public are possible. This is an issue of inequality and lack of prospects, because in Puerto Rico there are many missed opportunities to encourage different artistic manifestations and to see how they spontaneously flourish.

Justino is the best example. A native of Cataño [Puerto Rico], he overcame the challenges and sacrifices that come with an outstanding career on the main stages of the world, in a genre where what counts is the power of the voice and the ability to handle it, stage presence, and dramatic intensity. Justino had all that, and also the congeniality that made him an admired figure, acclaimed by the most important theaters on the planet.

Consistently, the Puerto Rican baritone has contributed his knowledge in projects to promote arts and culture in Puerto Rico. He has done it through teaching, with master classes at the Conservatory of Music in San Juan, as well as with his diverse work dedicated to carrying out multiple editions of the Casals Festival.

Elegant and discreet, away from the media fanfare, unpretentious in his public presentations and in his responses, and completely devoted to his career, Justino Díaz now enjoys the international recognition he deserves.

But he certainly deserves more. There is still the true tribute of the country of his birth, which is to teach about his achievements to the new generations, and exhort them to enjoy the privilege of following in his footsteps.

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in Spanish), see

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