From: San Juan, Puerto Rico. LA Opera: Mimì in La Bohème (1997, debut; 2004); Violetta in La Traviata (2001); Amelia in Simon Boccanegra (2012); Nedda in Pagliacci (2015); Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (2016); title role of Carmen (2017); Elisabetta in Don Carlo (2018); Soleá in El Gato Montés (2018); Countess in The Marriage of Figaro (2022); Catrina in El último sueño de Frida y Diego (2023).
Grammy Award winning soprano Ana María Martinez has been acclaimed by The New York Times as an artist who creates “theatrical magic.” She is a winner of the 15th annual Opera News Awards, and her international career sees a diverse lineup of opera’s leading ladies at the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls. The 2022/23 season saw her return to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera to sing the role of Donna Elvira in a new production of Don Giovanni by Ivo van Hove, conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann. Ms. Martinez also returned to LA Opera to sing the Countess in a new production of The Marriage of Figaro conducted by music director James Conlon. Ms. Martinez made appearances at the Toronto Summer Music Festival for a concert with pianist Craig Terry and as a guest teaching artist, as well as a recital with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Society, and as a Mosher Guest Artist with Music Academy of the West.
Performance highlights of the 2021/22 season include the title role in Florencia en el Amazonas with Lyric Opera of Chicago and a role debut as Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Washington National Opera. On stage during 2020/21 season, in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Martínez was thrilled to join San Diego Opera as Mimi in their production of La Bohème, in the world’s first-ever drive-in opera production! Virtual performances during the season included a “Living Room Recital” with LA Opera performed in Ana María’s home and available digitally. She curated two Spanish-themed virtual programs, the first, with pianist Craig Terry for Lyric Opera of Chicago, entitled Pasión Latina, featured a dynamic selection of music from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Argentina and Spain. The second program, created by Ana María for Houston Grand Opera, entitled Suite Española, featured music of Spain, including zarzuela, and starred Ana María alongside HGO Studio artists. Additional performances during the season included her role debut as Tosca with Opera Philadelphia, which she performed again later in the season with Cincinnati Opera, as well as Nedda in Pagliacci with Palm Beach Opera.
The inaugural recipient of the Lynn Wyatt Great Artist Award from Houston Grand Opera and Lynn and Oscar Wyatt, Ms. Martinez’s relationship with HGO goes back to 1994 when she won first prize in the Eleanor McCollum Auditions and Awards Competition, and in 2015 established the Ana María Martínez Encouragement Award as part of that same competition. The scholarship is awarded annually to a young singer with great artistic promise, and is to be used towards the furthering of his or her artistic training. On the Houston Grand Opera stage Ms. Martínez continues to portray some of her most beloved characters, often under the baton of Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers. It was there that she debuted the title role of Carmen, as well as the role of Cio-Cio-San, which she since has performed around the world. She joined them as the title role in Rusalka, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Nedda in Pagliacci, Mimi in La Bohème, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Liù in Turandot, Lucero in the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Salsipuedes, and as both Rosalba and later the title role in Florencia en el Amazonas, both of which were recorded for commercial release.
Ms. Martínez is delighted to perform season after season with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Recent performances include Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Donna Elvira in a new Robert Falls production of Don Giovanni, her role debut as Desdemona in Otello, as well as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Mimi in La Bohème, Nedda in Pagliacci, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Marguerite in Faust. She made her role debut as Elisabetta in Don Carlo with San Francisco Opera, conducted by Nicola Luisotti, and also joined them as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, Micaëla in Carmen, as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and as Pamina in The Magic Flute. She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Micaëla in Carmen and returned to the house as Musetta in La Bohème and Cio-Cio-San. She joined Washington National Opera as Liù in Turandot and Cio-Cio San, and she made her debut with Santa Fe Opera as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, returning there as Rosina in a new production of The Barber of Seville, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimi in La Bohème, as Cio-Ci-San, and as the title role in Carmen. Additional leading roles in the United States have taken her for multiples seasons to the stages of Opera de Puerto Rico, Dallas Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among many others.
Career highlights from stages across Europe include her critically acclaimed role and house debut as Rusalka with the Glyndebourne Festival, which was recorded live and released on the Glyndebourne label. She returned to Glyndebourne in the leading role of Paolina in the United Kingdom’s first professionally staged performances of Donizetti’s Poliuto, also recorded live and released on DVD. She made her debut at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as Rusalka, and her debut with the Opera National de Paris as Amelia in a new production of Simon Boccanegra, returning as the title role in a new production of Luisa Miller, as Mimi in La Bohème, and for her role debut as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann. She made her debut with the Vienna State Opera as Adina in L'elisir d’amore, and returned there as Pamina in The Magic Flute, Micaëla in Carmen, Mimi in La Bohème, Liù in Turandot, and as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly. She joined the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Cio-Cio-San, Luisa Miller, the Countess, Mimi, Rusalka and as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she debuted her Alice Ford in Falstaff, and portrayed Violetta in La Traviata, Cio-Cio-San and Donna Elvira. She sang Liu and Nedda both with De Nederlandse Opera. In the Middle East, she portrayed Mimi with the Abu Dhabi Festival in the United Arab Emirates, for the city’s first ever fully staged opera production.
A celebrated concert artist, Ms. Martinez has appeared with some of the world’s most important orchestras and conductors. She made her debut at Teatro alla Scala with the Filharmonica della Scala, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, performed with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Alan Gilbert, in selections from West Side Story, and has had solo concerts with the Puerto Rico Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Mercury Baroque in Houston, the Seoul Philharmonic, and with the English National Opera Orchestra in London. She has performed with the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, under the direction of Vladimir Fedoseyev, the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasiliera in Rio de Janeiro, the BBC Symphony at Barbican Hall, and the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic. She joined the Boston Symphony, conducted by Bernard Haitink, Lyric Opera of Chicago for several concerts at Millenium Park conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and the Washington National Opera Orchestra for a concert with Bryn Terfel conducted by Plácido Domingo. She made her debut with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg for Verdi’s Requiem, joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel, and performed alongside baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a gala concert with the Turkish Opera and Ballet Theatre. She sang with tenor Joseph Calleja in an open-air televised gala concert with the Esterhazy Festival in Austria, the Ravinia Festival in concert performances as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte conducted by James Conlon, joined the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy, Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and has appeared on several occasions with the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.
Ms. Martínez’s recording collection is highlighted by her solo disc, entitled Ana María Martínez - Soprano Songs and Arias, of which she also served as executive producer. Recorded with the Prague Philharmonia and conducted by Steven Mercurio on Naxos, the album was selected by Gramophone as an “Editor’s Choice.” She stars on the soundtrack of Amazon’s season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle (Sony Classical), on the DVD Cosi fan tutte (Decca) filmed at the Salzburg Festival, and appears on Steven Mercurio’s Many Voices (Sony Classical). She performs on the albums of Philip Glass’'s La Belle et la Bête and Symphony No. 5 (Nonesuch), Albeniz's Henry Clifford (Decca), Joaquin Rodrigo’s: Obra Vocal I, II, IV & V (EMI), and Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas (Albany). Recorded on Naxos for the Milken Archives and with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, she can be heard on Castelnuovo Tedesco’s Naomi & Ruth Opus 27 (Naxos) as well as Yizkor's Requiem (Naxos) and with the Barcelona Symphony, Marvin Levy’s Canto de los Marranos (Naxos), Julius Chajes’ Old Jerusalem (Naxos) and Hugo Weisgall's Psalm of the Distant Dove (Naxos). Her rendition of Ave Maria is heard on the Aaron Zigman soundtrack in the Denzel Washington film John Q, and her “Je veux vivre” from Romeo et Juliette can be heard in the movie Factory Girl.
In addition to a full performing calendar, Ms. Martinez is also the first ever Artistic Advisor at Houston Grand Opera and as a performing Professor of Voice at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She has also voiced the role of opera singer Alessandra in season three of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, and proudly represented her birthplace Puerto Rico as an honoree and performer in the 62nd Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Additionally, Ms. Martinez is a contributing editor to Classical Singer Magazine and her reflections were profiled in Latino Wisdom: Celebrity Stories of Hope, Inspiration, and Success to Recharge our Mind, Body, and Soul by Cathy Areu, published by Barricade Books.
Ms. Martínez was the inaugural recipient of the Pepita Embil Prize of Zarzuela at the 1995 Operalia, and in the years since has been honored to regularly share the stage in concert with Plácido Domingo. Highlights of their touring include performances at the White House, HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro for the World Cup Celebration, her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, as well as performances at the Abu Dhabi Festival in the United Arab Emirates, Arena di Verona, Chorégies d’Orange, Teatro Real in Madrid, with the LA Opera Orchestra in honor of Domingo’s 50th anniversary, in a special concert event with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis, and for the inaugural performance at the Dubai Opera House, to name just a select few. Their recordings include a zarzuela DVD recorded live at the Salzburg Festival entitled Amor, Vida de Mi Vida (EuroArts), the Latin Grammy Award-winning recording of Albeniz's Merlin (Decca), as well as the Grammy nominated recording of Bacalov's Misa Tango (Deutsche Grammophon), and the DVD Spanish Night (EuroArts) with the Berlin Philharmonic. Ms. Martínez has also performed on international concert tours with star tenor Andrea Bocelli. Highlights of their collaboration include her appearance on the Emmy-nominated PBS TV special and DVD American Dream: Andrea Bocelli’s Statue of Liberty Concert (WNET/Thirteen) with the New Jersey Symphony, as well as her participation in his star-studded performance in New York’s Central Park which was recorded live, entitled Concerto: One Night in Central Park (Verve). She performs the role of Nedda opposite Andrea Bocelli in the recording of Pagliacci (Decca), and portrays the title role in Manon Lescaut (Decca) recorded opposite Andrea Bocelli with Plácido Domingo conducting the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father, Ana María spent her formative years in Puerto Rico and New York City. She graduated from The Juilliard School with both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Martínez won the Pepita Embil Award at the 1995 Operalia II, first prize in the 1994 Eleanor McCollum Auditions and Awards from Houston Grand Opera, and in the 1993 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions she was a first place district and first place regional winner and national finalist. She is the recipient of the National Association of Latina Leaders’ Groundbreaking Latina in Music Award.
Learn more at AnaMariaMartinez.com.