Ana Maria Martinez
After her 1997 debut at Washington Opera as Soleá in Penella's El Gato Montés, the music critic of The Baltimore Sun wrote:
"The highlight of the superb cast…was the Puerto Rican soprano Ana Maria Martinez, who took the part of Soleá. She is a young woman with enormous stage presence and acting ability and her striking looks make it easy to imagine that two men would be willing to die for her. She also has a voice beautiful enough to make many another lyric soprano envy her."
Highlights of the 1999-2000 season include debuts at the Seattle State Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and at the Deutsche Opera Berlin as Mimi in La Bohème. Autumn finds her at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele in Cosi fan Tutte, while in the spring, she returns to the Houston Grand Opera as Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore and makes her debuts at the Dresdner Semperoper as Alice Ford in Falstaff and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in La Bohème. Orchestral engagements include concerts with Placido Domingo in Germany, Spain and Lebanon, performances of de Falla's Siete canciones populares españolas with the San Diego Symphony, and concerts with Andrea Bocelli in the United States.
Future seasons find Ms. Martinez at the Vienna State Opera in a new production of Romeo et Juliette, as well as Violetta in La Traviata and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She also returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in a new production of Luisa Miller, makes her Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, sings Liu in Turandot at the Washington Opera and La Traviata at the Los Angeles Opera.
In the 1998-1999 season Ms. Martinez debuted at the Teatro Communale di Firenze under the baton of Maestro Sinopoli as Melisande in Pelleas et Melisande. She returned to the Vienna State Opera for performances of La Boheme and Die Zauberflöte, to the Minnesota Opera as Desdemona in Otello, and to the Palm Beach Opera in the title role of Manon . Orchestral engagements included concerts with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony and with the Dresden Festpiele and Placido Domingo.
Ms. Martinez's 1997-1998 season included a number of important debuts: in Europe she was heard in L'elisir d'amore (Adina) at the Vienna State Opera and Die Zauberflöte (Pamina) at Opera Stuggart, while her calling card in the United States has been Mimi in La Boheme for both the Los Angeles Opera and the New York City Opera. In the spring of 1998, Ms. Martinez made her debut with the Michigan Opera Theatre as Adina in L'elisir d'amore.
Following her success in Washington in 1997, Ms. Martinez went on to make her debut at Palm Beach Opera as Adina in L'elisir d'amore and, thereafter, at Opera de Montpellier in the title role of Iphigénie en Aulide. In addition to these performances other 1996-1997 engagements included Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte with Opera Bonn, and Carolina in a new Michael Hampe production of Il Matrimonio segreto at the Dresden Music Festival.
1996 marked the auspicious start of Ms. Martinez's professional career. Having won the Pepita Embil Award in the 1995 Plácido Domingo International Voice Competition, Operalia II, Ms. Martinez joined the famous Spanish tenor for concert appearances in Madrid, Palm Beach and Buenos Aires. She was also invited to sing Mimi to Mr. Domingo's Rodolfo for a televised gala
performance of Act III of La Boheme in her native San Juan. Of that performance the music critic for El Nuevo Dia wrote:
"The revelation of the night was Ana Maria Martinez…Her voice is lovely, with a sweet and precious timbre, while at the same time possessing a remarkable volume that filled the house completely. She is an extraordinarily expressive and musical."
In summer 1996 the young American soprano made her debut with the Pablo Casals Music Festival as the soprano soloist in El Pesebre composed by Maestro Casals.
A national finalist in the 1993 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Martinez is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she obtained a Bachelor's and Master's degree of Music. She was First Prize winner in the 1994 Eleanor McCollum Auditions and Awards at Houston Grand Opera, while a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, she made her debut as Micaela in Carmen at Houston Grand Opera. In addition, she was a member of the international world premier tour of Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bête, where she performed the roles of Felicie and Adelaide. This production was later recorded by Electra/Nonesuch.
Other credits include Mimi in La Boheme with the Minnesota Opera, and Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Giessen. Ms. Martinez also created the role of the Mother, in the world premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Singing Child, at Spoleto USA Festival. With the New York Choral Society she was the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Joelle Wallach's Toward a Time of Renewal, at Carnegie Hall.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ms. Martinez has appeared as the soprano soloist in Mozart's "Requiem" with the Coro Sinfónico de Puerto Rico, and in concerts with Justino Diaz, Pablo Elvira, Antonio Barasorda and La Sinfónico de Puerto Rico.
Ms. Martinez currently makes her home in New York City and Vienna.