Leon J. Makasjian was born in Hollywood California, June 16, 1972.  Through early childhood his love for Italian & classical music coupled with natural vocal abilities prompted him to sing along tenors.  In fact Leon has early childhood recordings of "O Sole Mio" already in operatic tenor style.  Of course, his parents Zare & Maro Makasjian nurtured their children Linda, Armen and Leon  with the love of classical, French and Italian music. Leon often would sing along his brother Armen's piano accompaniment, who is also an accomplished pianist.  Upon graduation from Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian school (Leon's father Zare D. Makasjian, was one of the main founding fathers of Alex Pilibos Armenian School & Church in Hollywood, 1969), Leon attained a bachelors' degree & further a Juris Doctor degree in law.  Nevertheless, Leon's love for singing never lost sight as he began informal vocal studies with tenor Guiseppe Bergamo from Vicenza, Italy.  Later, Leon began more formal vocal studies with world renown Spanish baritone Dr. Hernan Pelayo, who was in turn a pupil of the great Italian tenor, Beniamino Gigli. At this time, Leon appeared in many concerts and events at the University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, the Hollywood Palladium, to name a few venues.  Throughout this time, Leon also had the fortune to work with virtuoso pianist Michael Galloway whose accompaniment added unique style and depth to any musical score.  Leon's personal interpretation of operatic arias and Neapolitan melodies pinnacled with his masterful piano accompaniment.  Leon had a unique interpretation of Neapolitan romance songs namely Vierno, Vurria and Dicitencello Vuie his personal favorite.  Michael Galloway accompanied Leon at all public performances.  In 2002, Leon recorded Operatic Arias & Beloved Melodies which included his personal favorite collection of arias and love songs from Naples, Italy. This recording was personally dedicated to tenor Jose Carreras in Cerritos the same year. Since early childhood, Leon had sung along tenor Luciano Pavarotti who remains his classical favorite.  Leon's singing influence cannot be complete without the mention of great Italian singer Claudio Villa.  Although not an operatic tenor by career, Villa's powerful tenor range and velvety vocal color in the lower ranges and incredible repertoire of Italian music impressed Leon's earliest childhood perhaps even at age two.  In 2002, Leon married fiancee Nairie, who accompanied him on every recording and performance since 1998.  Since 2002, along with his parents, Leon and Nairie visited most of Europe for extended periods of time.  This gave Leon the great opportunity to personally visit the birthplace not only of opera, but of the composers, great tenors, beautiful melodies and great opera houses of Europe.  Leon once stated "from the quaint hilltop villages of Italy, Spain and France as well  as the grandeur of Northern Europe such as Berlin, St. Petersburg, one could follow the same footsteps of the great composers who must have felt the very emotions before composing the music."  From a beloved Neapolitan ballad to a tragic operatic aria, the foundation could be found in the very places where this music came into being.  This gave Leon even greater interpretation of the very beloved music he loved to sing since childhood as well as adding a new dimension of audiences and fans throughout Europe.  In 2007, Leon and Nairie were blessed with a beautiful angel from heaven Mariana Rita Makasjian who is not only a great audience and fan, but is a gifted musician on her own singing along classical, French and Italian melodies since age two.  She also recreates on the piano any melody she hears just by her ear, as well as creating varied piano melodies totally from her heart based on different emotions.  Mariana's favorite videos still remain "The three tenor" concerts of Rome & Paris and without a doubt Luciano Pavarotti remains her first choice of all great tenors.  It is amazing to see her sing along classical tenors, sopranos, as well as more contemporary French female vocalists including Lara Fabian (Adagio), and Clemence Preux (Concerto pour deux voix) just to name a few.  Leon has not only introduced Mariana to opera and great tenors but to great music from classical Europe (Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven) as well as from contemporary composers including Eugene Doga, Saint Preux, Ennio Morricone.  Leon has firmly believed that great music cultivates children creating "sensitive yet vast beings" and continues to encourage young parents to start early in the introduction of fine music to the youngest of minds.  In 2008 to 2017, Leon once again had the great fortune to travel with his family and daughter Mariana around the world including the farthest reaches of Europe, South America, Antarctica and the Pacific Islands.  Of course, this also has become a great musical journey for both Leon and Mariana in meeting diverse cultures, music, as well as the addition of new appreciative audiences and fans.  Recently, Leon began a new recording of classical arias from Tosca, Turandot, Werther, Leoncavallo, Les Pecheurs de Perles and others.  Leon always reiterates "it is not only the ability to reach high tenor notes but to sing them naturally and to feel the music be it a tragic aria or love ballad."  Leon also believes that even in the middle high octave range a tenor can sound brilliant and exciting to an audience by complementing the natural vocal postion.  Leon remains thankful to God that he has had the ability to sing what he likes most.  He once said, "without the grace of God, we can do nothing on our own."  He is also grateful to his parents for their unwavering infinite support and early childhood exposure to great music.  Leon is also grateful to his wife Nairie, who has been present at all performances, recitals, recordings since 1998 adding everlasting support.  Last but not least, Leon thanks God for angel Mariana who has become his greatest fan, audience and inspiration.  It is Leon's greatest pleasure in life to sing with his beautiful daughter Mariana which has become a daily ritual and treasure to behold.

A new recording of arias will be available in 2018-19.  Updates of all upcoming events, performances and recitals will be made on this website.

Operatic Arias & Beloved Melodies 2002 CD available for purchase

Contacts:

LMN PRODUCTIONS at leontenor@yahoo.com