Famed Tenor Delivers High C's-- and Baby--in NYC

By VERENA DOBNIK
|  Sunday, Apr 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:12 PM EDT
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Famed Tenor Delivers High C's-- and Baby--in NYC

Tenor Juan Diego Florez and his wife, Julia, cradle their new son, Leandro

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Tenor Juan Diego Florez has really delivered: a host of high Cs to a worldwide audience of millions — and minutes earlier, his own baby boy in New York City.

Florez helped two midwives in the birth of his son, Leandro Florez, at 12:25 p.m. Saturday. The tenor had stayed up all night with his wife, Julia, after she went into labor at their rented apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

While the couple awaited the birth of their first child, the world waited for the 38-year-old Peruvian to sing the tenor lead in Rossini's comic opera "Le Comte Ory" at the nearby Metropolitan Opera — starting at 1 p.m.

The baby got the cue: He bawled first.

He came into the world in time for his daddy to hold him for a minute before rushing to the Met.

"It was beautiful," Florez said later in an interview during the broadcast. "It was a home birth with a pool, in the water, it was very nice and very calm."

But then, it was a mad rush. "I gave the baby to Julia," he said. "I was so sad to leave."

The show went on — a live transmission heard in movie theaters and on radio, also starring soprano Renee Fleming and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

Mother and baby were doing just fine, getting checkups at Manhattan's Roosevelt Hospital

"I didn't sleep all the night," Florez said, "but I'm so happy."

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