The Golden Belt Community Concert Association will present Fernando Varela, whose strong tenor voice has endowed him with the power and raw emotion for singing both rock and opera. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Great Bend Municipal Auditorium, Lakin and Stone.
This GBCCA event is available to concert association members. Full-time students will be admitted to the concert for a $5 donation at the door by showing their school I.D. The auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m.
Two of Varela’s studio albums, “Prelude” and “Inspiration,” released in September 2012, feature beautifully orchestrated songs from Varela’s signature “Orbison Medley,” John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and numerous other titles.
As a prelude to his musical career, Varela’s melodious antics at age 3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, imitating Michael Jackson, helped him develop a strong tenor voice and paved the way for his discovery on YouTube by one of Jackson’s producers, hit-maker and 16-time Grammy Award winner David Foster.
Ultimately, Varela won Foster’s “Born to Sing” contest culminating in a guest appearance with David Foster and Friends at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Varela’s performance was reviewed as a show stopper and was followed by numerous appearances with Foster, singing alongside superstars including Barbra Streisand, Lionel Richie, Neil Diamond, and many other noted performers.
Born in Puerto Rico, Varela at age 8 relocated with his parents to central Florida. During his senior year in high school, he was accepted into the Central Florida Lyric Opera, and in the next five years, he was transformed from an amateur singer into a dynamic professional performer.
While with the CFLO, Varela performed throughout the country in more than 16 fully staged operas and hundreds of concerts. In the fall of 2004, he joined the Resident Artist Program with the Palm Beach Opera. Later, he met two people who drastically changed his career. The first was world-renowned voice instructor Cesar Ulloa, with whom he was able to fine-tune his technique. The second was Maestro Placido Domingo, one of the greatest tenors of all time, and Varela was able to work for him at Palm Beach Opera’s Gala.
In 2005, Varela was chosen as a feature performer for The Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, produced by Walt Disney World Entertainment and televised internationally on Telemundo.
Since then, Varela has performed and won critical acclaim in more than 31 countries, inspiring standing ovations from audiences as large as 10,000 people strong.