Aside from making your LA Opera debut as Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas, what are your other must-do’s while here in LA?
I can’t wait to hit my favorite vegan restaurants in town, especially Cafe Gratitude! I am also looking forward to finding inspiration in the beauty of the beach and the surrounding hills. Lots of running and being grateful for the chance to spend the fall there.
Rosalba is a role debut for you. Do you prefer to create new characters or slip into more familiar roles?
Both old and new roles are exciting. No matter how many times I’ve sung say, Susanna, she is still new to me every time. There is always a different cast, a new production, new interpretations on how a scene can be done. It’s a really endless discovery!
You are a first generation Cuban-American. Is this your first Spanish-language opera?
Yes! My first Spanish role. I actually love singing in Spanish, and if you count all the hours I've spent singing salsa/rumba/Cuban son, it seems like I sing in Spanish a ton!
You were a 2007 Operalia winner. How did that competition change your career?
Well it was one of the biggest competitions I’ve ever done—lots of great singers from all over the world, a prestigious venue in Paris, and incredible opportunities to sing in front of many people. As a young artist at the Met, this was a wonderful introduction to what our professional life could be like. It was a thrill to win a couple of the prizes, and also to meet one of my great heroes, Plácido Domingo (and his family!) He still knows me by name, and we have sung together a handful of times. As a person of Latin background, it means a lot to have the support of someone like Maestro Domingo.
Do you have your running maps for L.A.?
Are you kidding? Well it will be new to me, so I'm looking forward to discovering the running there. I specifically got a place to stay that was close to a large park (the Arroyo Seco path) in Pasadena. It’s probably the place I’ll hit daily before rehearsal!
To learn more about Lisette Oropesa, please click here.