This week, the San Diego Opera will showcase “Florencia en el Amazonas” for the first time in the company’s history. And with it, the company will highlight one of today’s promising young stars, the Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez.
The soprano, who came into prominence in 2007 when she made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, will make her highly anticipated debut at the San Diego Opera and also her role debut in Daniel Catán’s modern masterpiece. Alvarez takes on the title role of Florencia returning to her Latin roots in a role that has now become iconic and which many of the great Latin sopranos have taken on to great acclaim.
Ever since her professional debut in 2006 at the Oper Leipzig, Alvarez has obtained high profile engagements around the world. She performed with Oper Frankfurt, Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa, Opera National de Bordeaux, Choregies d’Orange, and Florida Grand Opera, among others, including alongside Jonas Kaufmann at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Alvarez had one of her biggest breakouts when she performed the role of Hélène in the rarely produced “Jerusalem” for Opera Royal de Wallonie. The opera was streamed around the world giving her more visibility. She also had success the previous year with the company, debuting Elvira in Ernani.
Other high profile engagements have included a tour of Rossini’s Stabat Mater for the Ravenna Festival with the Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Mut, and her debut at Carnegie Hall.
Alvarez is the winner of numerous competitions and awards including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition.
For those not familiar with Alvarez’s voice, here is a full link to her performance in “Jerusalem” with Marc Laho and Roberto Scandiuzzi from last season.