Opera Singer. Born in Fontecha, Alava, Mardones was considered a renowned bass in Spanish opera. Mardones began his musical career as a boy soprano at local choirs. He then studied at the Conservatory of Madrid. Mardones made his 1891 debut at the Teatro de la Opera in Buenos Aires and later at the Opera de Rio de Janeiro. In Argentina, Mardones was acclaimed by critics as probably the best bass voice of all times and he decided become an opera singer. Until the end of the century Mardones mostly sang in Spanish opera houses and Zarzuela theatres. From 1909 to 1916 he was engaged at the Boston Opera and he was often compared to Feodor Chaliapin. In 1910, he was the first Basque singer who recorded the National anthem of Argentina and in 1913, Mardones was invited by Arturo Toscanini to sing the bass solo in Verdi's Requiem. In 1917 he changed to the Metropolitan Opera House and appeared there until 1926. He then returned to his native country where he was active until the time of his death.
Bio by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni