High Notes

Hispanic Heritage Month 2017 – Part 2: 7 Divas Who Are Dominating The Opera World

This week we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

The Latin American community has, particularly in recent years, been a major boon to the opera world, providing it with great singers and composers, and a number of great operas. As the first part of this weekly series, we look at some of the most popular Hispanic divas. We are NOT looking at the singers of past but singers that have been making headlines throughout the world in recent years.

Ailyn Pérez 

Throughout the past few years, the Chicago-born soprano has surged into stardom singing in some of the greatest theaters including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House and Bayerische Staatsoper among others. She is a Richard Tucker winner, Beverly Sills winner and was a competitor in the Operalia competition. After years of singing many lyric roles, Perez is adding some more dramatic work including “Thaïs” and Elvira in “Ernani.”

Ana María Martínez 

Martínez is considered one of the foremost sopranos of our time. She is a Grammy winner, an Operalia winner and has been featured on numerous recordings, including the soundtrack of the Golden Globe winning series “Mozart in the Jungle” and numerous recordings with Andrea Bocelli. This season Martínez continues conquering the world stage as “Carmen,” “Rusalka,” and “Faust.”

María José Siri

The Uruguayan is the dominating the European stage ever since she opened the Teatro alla Scala season in the original version. She has since become one of the most sought after “Madama Butterfly” interpreters around and has dominated both the Verdi and Puccini repertoire. This season she performs in Berlin, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain.

Isabel Leonard

The Argentine-American singer is a mainstay in the United States theaters singing some of the most demanding mezzo-soprano roles in the world. Recently she made a triumphant debut at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, solidifying herself as an international singer. She is a Grammy winner, Richard Tucker Winner and has world premiered “Cold Mountain.” This season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Washington National Opera.

Nadine Sierra

Over the past year, Nadine Sierra has become one of the most popular coloratura sopranos in the world. Not only has she become the toast of the Metropolitan Opera but she has made a name at the Teatro la Fenice. Among the roles that she has conquered are “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Susanna.” A recent winner of the Richard Tucker Award, Sierra celebrates Bernstein’s 100th anniversary in Italy and returns to La Fenice and the Metropolitan Opera. She also performs in Berlin and Paris.

Lisette Oropesa

The Cuban American soprano has made a name for herself singing a wide repertoire that includes works by Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Wagner, Verdi, Bizet, Massenet, and Puccini. Over the years she has been featured in numerous recordings from the Metropolitan Opera and was part of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of the Ring Cycle. This season she makes her Royal Opera debut and returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, and Teatro Real.

Maria Katzarava 

Born in Mexico, the soprano is rising to fame throughout Europe, dominating Verdi and Puccini. A winner of the  2008  “First Prize” and the “Zarzuela Prize” at the “Plácido Domingo Operalia World Competition” as well as at the Francisco Viñas International Competition, Katzarava has an incredible season in Parma, San Francisco, France, and Stuttgart.

Virginia Tola

After winning the Operalia Award, Tola has quickly become recognized for her dramatic voice. She has since dominated theaters such as the Colón in Buenos Aires, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Teatro Real in Madrid, Washington National Opera, Opéra in Monte Carlo, Arena in Verona, La Monnaie in Brussels, Los Angeles Opera, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Regio in Turin and Santa Fe. This season she takes on the roles of Tosca and Minnie in “La Fanciulla del West.”


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