Artist of the Week: Ailyn Pérez
Mexican-American Soprano Brings ‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ to the Metropolitan OperaBy Francisco Salazar
On Nov. 16, Ailyn Pérez will make history at the Metropolitan Opera when she headlines the first-ever Latin American Opera in the company’s history (and only the third Spanish-language opera). The soprano will sing the title role of “Florencia en el Amazonas,” making her role debut and marking her first Spanish-language opera ever.
The Mexican-American soprano will also headline her first new production at the Met, a company that she has performed with since 2015. With the new production, she will also headline her second HD production, following her acclaimed turn as Alice Ford in “Falstaff.”
In a recent interview with OperaWire, Perez spoke about the importance of Spanish-language opera in the world and said, “It feels like returning to your roots and those roots never change. This is the dilemma that Florencia is talking about when she leaves her roots and comes back. She forgot herself. So I think that when we’re singing in my native tongue, whatever first language was anybody’s first language, it feels like a fragrance.”
For those not in New York for the occasion, the opera will be screened in HD, and Pérez is set to return to the Houston Grand Opera for her acclaimed “Madama Butterfly.” She is also set to reprise her turn as “Tosca” in Hamburg as well as “La Rondine” at the Washington Concert Opera. She also returns to the Met for “Carmen” in the Spring.
For those who want to learn about the soprano’s artistry, check out recordings of “Great Scott” from the Dallas Opera or “Falstaff” from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She also has a recording of “Pagliacci” from the Dutch National Opera.
Here is an excerpt from “Florencia en el Amazonas,” “Don Carlo,” and “La Bohème.”