SEBASTIÁN JULIÁN GAYARRE GARJÓN
Roncal, 1844 - Madrid, 1890
This is the most internationally famous Roncal native. Julián Gayarre has gone down in history as one of the best tenors ever in the world of opera. He was introduced to the world of music by Mr Conrado García, who got him to join the Pamplona Choir upon observing his immense talent. After that, the young Roncal-born tenor began a brilliant career culminating on 2 January 1876. That day, Gayarre interpreted his predilect opera, La Favorite, on the most prestigious stage for song, La Scala, in Milan. Confident in himself, the Roncal-born star went on stage and was heard by the most demanding audience to ever have listened to him. That night, Julián Gayarre - who had been a modest shepherd only a few decades before - established himself forever as the best tenor in the world. Moscow, Vienna, Milan, Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Rome, Monte Carlo, Lisbon... one by one and always triumphing, he performed in the most exclusive auditoriums. European royalty bowed down to his voice as he earned some of the most prestigious medals and awards. For those around him, what they most admired about the tenor was his deep love for his birth village. Gayarre believed being a Roncal native was the most prestigious title he had. He died in Madrid on 2 January 1890. His body was transferred amongst popular fervour to the village of Roncal where it rests under an artistic mausoleum, the work of sculptor Benlliure.