The Mexican tenor, (José) Francisco Araiza, was educated in Mexico City. He studied voice with Irma Gonzalez in the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica (where he sang in its choir) and German repertory with Erika Kubacsek. Francisco Araiza made his concert debut in Mexico City in 1969, where he subsequently appeared for the first time in opera in 1970 as Jaquino. He went to Europe and took master-classes with Richard Holm and Erik Werba at the Munich Musikhochschule after having won the Bavarian Broadcasting Voice Competition. He also holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Mexico City.
Following his studies, Francisco Araiza was a member of the Karlsruhe Opera from 1974 to 1977. Since 1977 he has been a permanent member of the Zürich Opera House. He has performed in all the main opera houses of the world i.e. Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, La Scala Milan, Florence, Parma, Rome, Covent Garden London, Bastille Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, in Japan and has as well participated in all great international festivals like Bayreuth, Salzburg (where he had his debut in 1980 under Herbert von Karajan), Bregenz, Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, the Prague Spring Festival, Verona, Macerata, Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the Schubert Festival in Hohenems and the Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. In March 1984 he made his Metropolitan debut in New York as Belmonte.
From 1983 on this most versatile singer who was already known as the best interpreters of Mozart and Rossini became a leading tenor of the Italian lirico-spinto, the French and heavier German repertory with roles like Edgardo, Alfredo, Duke of Mantua, Riccardo III, Don Alvaro, Des Grieux, Faust, Hoffmann, Werther, Romeo, Max, especially however as the young Wagner hero with Lohengrin in 1990 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and recently Walter von Stolzing in the Metropolitan Opera's new production in 1993, which highlighted this vocal and artistic development equally acclaimed by public and press.
Besides his operatic engagement, Francisco Araiza is also a highly esteemed concert and Lieder-singer which can be shown by his nomination «Best musical event of the year 1988» for his Tokyo recital.
Francisco Araiza has worked with all the great conductors and stage directors like Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner, James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Patane, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Harry Kupfer, August Everding, Otto Schenk, Giorgio Strehler, Franco Zeffirelli and Roman Polanski which has been documented in almost fifty recordings for labels as Philips, DGG, EMI, RCA, CBS, Teldec, Orfeo and Atlantis as well as in lots of video productions for which he was awarded with the «Deutscher Schaliplattenpreis» and the «Orphée d'Or».
An illustrated monograph called Voices of the World: Francisco Araiza was published by Atlantis in 1988 as well as his own chapter in the books named Great Interpreters published by Westermann and Divo published by Harper & Row. In 1992 the German television station ZDF presented a personal portrait with the title Francisco Araiza. I am a romantic.
Francisco Araiza is considered to be one of the most important tenors of our time. He was named "Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera" in 1988.