Born in Lima, the Peruvian tenor Luigi Alva made his operatic debut in I Pagliacci (Arlecchino) in that city in 1951. In 1953 he left his native country for Italy, where he perfected his art with Emilio Ghirardini and then with Ettore Campogalliani. His appearance at the Voci Nuove competition won him a place among the Cadetti della Scala.
In 1955 he inaugurated the Piccola Scala and in 1956 began his long association with La Scala in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with, among others, Maria Callas. Luigi Alva became a great specialist of this opera, singing it in six different recordings and in two films. He has appeared on the leading stages: at the Vienna Opera, Covent Garden, the Bolshoi, the Zarzuela and the Metropolitan, as well as in other opera houses throughout the world and at the festivals of Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, among others.
Luigi Alva is founder and director of the Prolirica Association in Peru and has received that country's highest honorary distinction for cultural achievement. He was also awarded the Viotti d’oro in Italy and teaches now at the Academy for opera singers at the Scala of Milan.