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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

The Imitator

Julian Fontalvo

Genre: Cabaret, Live Music

Venue: Assembly Rooms, Bijou


Low Down

A highly talented singer, Julián Fontalvo uses the voices of many of the artists he admires to narrate the story of the trajectory of his life from a young kid in South America to the world stage. Julián is talented, charming, engaging, funny, and truly a delight to watch, a complete entertainment package that is unique and compelling.


Close your eyes. Imagine you have been transported to Las Vegas to one of the big hotel showrooms.  The theatre is dark. Excitement builds. The introductory music begins, and out comes the star – Stevie Wonder or Rick Astley or the BeeGees or Tina Turner.  Now open your eyes and see that you are in Edinburgh at the Assembly Rooms listening to those same voices – not from the original artists but all created by the terrifically talented Julián Fontalvo.

From very young, Julián found himself imitating the sounds of other singers.  Music was always a driver in his life. He would sing along with recordings, mimicking the inflections and stylings of who he heard.  As many mothers do, she discouraged Julián from pursing a music career.  But he was driven to perfect his art, performing for friends and family.

He listened to his mom and obtained a degree in marine biology.  However, music and New York City called to him. He worked part time jobs in New York while studying acting.  There he met the love of his life and followed her to Spain. He landed a gig with a showband, complete with tacky outfits and lots of choreography. His real break came when a record producer was looking for someone who could imitate original artists and their cover tunes.  Julián found his niche, and developed the show under the moniker “The Imitator”.

His Fringe show is an hour of full-out energy, not only in the singing but also in dancing, costuming, audience involvement, and comedy, complimented by effective lighting and staging.  He has cleverly taken some of his favourite songs by artists he can replicate and woven them into the story of his life.  “Every Breath You Take” sung a la Sting opens the program.  Other highlight moments are “500 Miles” from the Proclaimers (complete with Scottish accent), the whole song of “We Are The World” with all of its artists, James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful”, and pieces featuring the voices of Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Bob Marley, and Tina Turner.  In total, he presents 70 different voices. His retelling of a conversation with his mother through the music of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is true genius.

Julián’s larger-than-life personality shines throughout the program. He is charming, engaging, funny, and truly a delight to watch. Add the salsa dancing that comes naturally to him as a South American native, and you have a complete entertainment package that is unique and compelling.

This show has you smiling from start to finish, singing along, and marveling at the incredible talent from this world-class performer.  By the end, we’re both exhausted from watching him make musical magic and energized by the experience.

Julián has performed this show over five seasons in Madrid and at Las Vegas’ prestigious Bellagio Hotel. Touring internationally, he has appeared in more than 60 cities in 23 different countries, in front of celebrities like Michael Douglas, Shakira and Anne Hathaway. He was cast in Spanish productions of We Will Rock You, Monty Python’s Spamalot and Avenue Q, as well as starring in Gin & Tony, a musical comedy that he co-wrote and co-directed with Jesús García, for two seasons in Madrid. This is his first Edinburgh Fringe appearance.