Carlos Zapién was born in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora. He began his studies at Conservatorio de Las Rosas in Morelia, Michoacán. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Oregon. Further studies took Zapién to the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, where he earned the Soloist title under the tutelage of the tenor Francisco Araiza and the soprano Dunja Vejzovic.
He has concertized in his native Mexico, Austria, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the U.S.A. As a member of the Oregon Opera Ensemble he has participated in diverse operatic productions, including La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Rossini), The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart). In 2007 he made his European operatic debut as Count Belfiore in Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera with the Thuringian Philharmonic at the Ekhof Festival. Later he sang Schubert's Mass in B flat Major at the Gasteig in Munich with the Bach Collegium of Munich. In Pisa, he took on the role of Alfred in Die Fledermaus with the Jenaer Philharmonic. In 2009, Zapién performed a Rossini Gala with the Reutlingen Philharmonic and appeared at the Schloss Solitude in Jommelli's opera Didone Abbandonata with the Stuttgart Philharmonic.
He has collaborated with conductors such as Hansjörg Albrecht, Glen Cortese, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Frieder Bernius, Hermann Breuer, Jörg-Hannes Hahn, Jörg Halubek, Manfred Honeck and David Parry, to name but a few.
Mr. Zapién was named Artist in Residence at the Opera Studio of the Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2009, where he performed various roles from Il Trovatore to The Marriage of Figaro, and stayed in that house until 2012, where he created the role of the son of Medea in Fremd by Hans Thomalla, collaborating with Maestro Johannes Kalitzke (Opernwelt 2012) and sung the challenging role of Niko in Gegen die Wand (Faust-Preis 2011).
Recent performances in Europe include the Oratorio Jonas by Carissimi, Brescianello's La Tisbe, Bach's Magnificat and the tenor role in Orff's Carmina Burana. In 2013 Carlos Zapién was appointed Director of Music of the Cathedral of Saint Augustine, in Tucson, Arizona.
In 2014, Zapién founded the Cathedral Concert Series in Tucson, Arizona, The series (November-March) has presented world-class musicians such as Jorge Luis Prats, William Wolfram, Eric Zuber, to name a few. The program has been well received by the Tucson community.
Carlos Zapien is an active composer of liturgical music. He has composed several Mass settings, such as Misa de la Misericordia (2015), Mass of the Most Holy Trinity (2011) and Misa al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (2013). His compositions are being sung in countries as far as Argentina and Australia. Carlos Zapién has produced two recordings with his compositions for the church.