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Jesús Quiñones Ledesma

Dramatic Tenor

(10/26/1933 – 3/19/2013)


En Español


Jesús Quiñones Ledesma was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico.  From early age, he exhibited a great artistic talent in music, starting to study music since elementary school.  He took singing lessons and continued his vocal studies upon High School graduation.

STUDIES IN ITALY (1950–1956)

Surprisingly Ledesma, at the age of sixteen, took a long journey to Italy, and studied for six consecutive years with Apollo Granforte, one of the best world known baritone singers.  During a time period, Grandforte went to work for the Opera Theater in Turkey, and brought with him “Gesu”, (Ledesma), to continue the lessons as a lyric tenor.

 As a twenty year old winner of “Young Artist’s competition”,  ALISCO in 1955, Ledesma, performed his first debut in Milano, Italy, at the Nuovo Theatre, singing Pietro Mascagni’s opera ”Lodoletta”.  At the season opening, Ledesma, who was chosen from a group of more than seven-hundred tenors, sang as “Flammen”.   It was an outstanding success, which opened other doors of opportunity that brought him to France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Switzerland.


In 1956, Ledesma returned to his homeland, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he met and married his loving wife, Zelma Egea Quinones, who are still together.  At his arrival, Ledesma received a fellowship award, from the Secretary of education Mariano Villaronga, which allowed him endeavor his music career in the city of New York. He sang in various concerts around the city.  At the Auditorium of Hunter’s College, he shared the stage, with a worldwide renowned Cuban pianist, Jorge Bollet.



A year after, Ledesma returned to his home land with his wife, and prepared to have their first child.    As he continued his career, he worked for a bank, as a lending officer.  And during this period, he sang with music from a diverse repertoire, for television shows as well as various theaters and hotels in the city of San Juan.   Ledesma, worked together with one of the most famous Argentinean singers, Libertad Lamarque, during a concert tour that took them around the island.


Jesús Quiñones Ledesma, explored his efforts to further develop his artistic abilities in search for a wider market, which then granted him with new challenging career opportunities in radio programs. He also continued furthering his singing career in the United States, Caracas, Venezuela, and Havana, Cuba where he performed, as a guest of honor, in Theaters, prestigious hotels, cultural centers, Universities, Clubs and television inclusive.



In 1958, Jesús Quiñones Ledesma launched his first radio program, "Filigranas Musicales" (Musical Filigree"), Broadcasting Saturdays live from WRIO, radio station.  This momentum marked the start of his company “Ledesma Enterprise”, establishing a long term relationship with the general public producing various radio shows including; “ Cabalgata, Fin de Semana”, “ Joyero Poético Musical” con Joaquin Padín” and  Lo de  Hoy, a daly program, during the traffic jam time in WKAQ, Radio El Mundo.  The radio showcased artists with personal interviews and performances.


Ledesma went about expanding his business beyond radio program productions. He organized and produced an annual popular music performing event “Festival de Popularidad” that was broadcasted on television. It featured vocal artists and presented music awards of the finest well-known artists. Ledesma transformed his company into a profitable business empire that continued to provide astonishing productions for more than a decade.  



President and Executive Producer

Aptel, Inc. has been a non-profit corporation that was incorporated in 1973, under the Laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, to focus on producing opera music performance that brought together new exciting career opportunities to Puerto Rican artists, in order to enhance their development process, and help establish recognition.

Agrupación Puertorriqueña de Teatro Lirico”, was a non-profit cultural institution founded by Jesús Quiñones Ledesma and Dr. David Pastor Benitez in 1973 to enhance the singing career of Young artists in search of a first opportunity; to lift their dreams and become a truthful reality.  Their goals were to seek, design, develop and present performing concerts and significant opera productions to the Puerto Rican Communities


PRODUCCIONES DE OPERA   Durante seis años, (1973-1978)

Aptel, Inc. presented a number of major opera productions during its first six years. In December 1973, APTEL Inc. featured their first opening of “EL Trovador”.  It was the initial historical effort of a glorious achievement, in the opera world, with an entire group of Puerto Rican participants.  The first contribution received by APTEL Inc. was granted by the Government of Puerto Rico through the “Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña”, (Puerto Rican Institute of culture).

CONCERT TOURS (1979-2011)

However, due to the high cost of opera productions, APTEL would not have been able to sustain and continue its mission.  A new business proposal was established with the concept of presenting a musical concert tour, featuring well-known Puerto Rican and International artists, done twice a year for some time, and then later just once.  Aptel, Inc. also made a great effort to promote young Puerto Rican artists to help them develop their talent. The music tour traveled all around the island, performing in many different institutions, universities, technical colleges, cultural centers and more.



In 1979, Ledesma organized the only recital concert for the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee, during the Eighth Pan American Games, with artists from various Latin American countries, including Colombia and Ecuador.


Prior to returning to the island, Jesus Quiñones Ledesma, also known as Ricardo Ledesma)  sang in Europe, La Rondine, Lodoletta, Lucia di Lammermoor, Marina and La Traviata. He had been applauded in the roles of Manrico in Il Trovatore, Canio in Pagliacci, Radames in Aida, Cavalleria Rusticana in Turridu, Luigi in Il Tabarro, the Moor of Venicem, in Othello.

His voice had been heard in White Plains, New York, Hunter’s College, NY, Rochester, NY, Providence, Rhode Island, Reno, Nevada, Hartford Connecticut, Danbury, CT, Bridgeport, CT, Town Hall, NY, Carnegie Hall, NY, Cami Hall, NY, Weill-Carnegie Recital Hall, NY, Mamaroneck, Westchester, Lehman College Theatre, en el Bronx, NY, Dade County Auditorium, Miami, Washington University, Teatro Nuovo, Italia, Universidad de Madrid, Teatro Cervantes,  Málaga,  Spain, Teatro Cervantes, Sevilla, Spain, Suiza, Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA,  Oakland, CA, Yahat’s festival in Oregon,  Poliedro, Caracas, Venezuela. Teatro Municipal, Caracas, Venezuela, among many of the concerts sponsored by APTEL, Inc. in Puerto Rico. Jesús Quiñones Ledesma excelled in the business of advertising and public relations, as an entrepreneur and producer in theater, radio and television.

He has faithfully dedicated much of his life in bringing the cultural elements throughout the people in Puerto Rico. Ledesma, retired from performing in 2005, but continued producing concert tours with local and international artists in Puerto Rico until 2011.  Following the steps of his mentor Apollo Granforte; he became a mentor and “maestro” to aspiring Opera singers; his students spanning the globe and coming from as far as Russia and Germany.  It is through his mentorship and writings Jesús Quiñones Ledesma passes on to figure singers the old craft of vocal techniques known asBel Canto’.