Artist of the Week: Carmen Solis

Spanish Soprano Makes Role Debut in Rare Verdi Opera

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Sabrina Ceballos)

Verdi’s “Alzira” is likely the composer’s least-known opera. Its rarely staged or performed and it received mixed reviews when it first premiered in 1845. This week the Bilbao Opera is reviving the work in a co-production with the Gran Teatro Nacional del Perú and Opéra Royal Wallonie-Liège with well-known Verdi singers including soprano Carmen Solis.

The Spanish soprano will sing the title role of the opera for the first time, marking her return to the Bilbao Opera after performing at the theater with great success in “Le Nozze di Figaro” and other works.

Over the years Solis has performed a diverse repertoire including Verismo, Puccini, and Mozart. She has also performed music by Verdi in such operas as “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Requiem” and “Il trovatore.”

Solis is perhaps best known in Spain for her work in zarzuela which she has performed at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid as well as in other cities in the country.

Critics have raved about Solis noting she has an “expressive,” “beautiful tone,” and a “broad color palette.”

After the soprano sings this rare gem, Solis remains in Bilbao for performances of “Madama Butterfly.”


For audiences not aware of the soprano’s voice, Solis has an album of Verdi’s songs and another of Spanish lullabies.

Here is a clip of Solis singing from “Madama Butterfly.”

Here she is performing from “Tosca.”


Artist of the Week