LIFESTYLE

Star Peruvian Tenor Delivers Baby, Then Performance

Tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who has been called the successor of Luciano Pavarotti, proved he can really deliver on Saturday. The fruits of his labors: A live broadcast heard by millions and, minutes earlier, his own baby boy in New York City.

Flórez helped two midwives in the birth of his son, Leandro Flórez, 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.

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"It was beautiful," Flórez 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 Diana Damrau 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," Flórez said, "but I'm so happy."

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