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Opera News


"In the 1859 retelling of the Faust legend, via Gothe, Charles Gounod and his librettist, Jules Barbier, and Michael Carre, placed Marguerite at the heart of the story; as that beleaguered heroine, HGO favorite Ana Maria Martinez, an outstanding soprano and powerful stage presence, brought home the opera's moral lesson and emotional force. Martinez's voice alone - with its chocolate-rich vibrancy in the low and middle range and its thrilling brilliance at the top - is worth the price of admission, but she also has the expressive range, as a singing actress, to portray Marguerite's complex transformation from youthful innocent in the throes of first love to outcast sinner consumed by tragedy and madness, who then achieves the miracle of redemption."

The New York Observer

Oft-Overlooked Diva Ana Maria Martinez Shines in ‘Madama Butterfly’

"The Met turned to Ms. Martínez, whose scant resume with the company until now has included only a handful of performances of Carmen and La Bohème in 2005 and 2015, respectively.  Friday night’s triumph may well leave the Met’s management wondering how it let such a gem slip through its fingers. She sang the music with sensitivity and poise, never forcing her slender instrument. In a role that tempts many sopranos to attempt exaggerated effects—such as a singsong voice in the first act to indicate Butterfly’s child-bride status—she always remained true to her natural timbre."

"Within this naturally dark, complex sound, Ms. Martínez accomplished numerous feats of breathtaking virtuosity, as, for instance, in Butterfly’s entrance when she soared up to a delicate pianissimo high D-flat. Most sopranos belt that note or simply omit it; Ms. Martínez made it into a whispered expression of sheer enchantment."

"What impressed most perhaps was the seamless nature of her singing. There was no sense of “here comes the big aria” or “now, having sung the big aria, I’m going to relax for a while,” which you get in so many performances. The celebrated second-act solo, “Un bel di vedremo,” began so subtly that it took one by surprise, and even after the last note, a firm and bright high B-flat, she continued enacting the character’s ecstatic sense of determination, gradually “coming back to earth” as she slowly left the room and shut the screen behind her."

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The New York Times

Madama Butterfly Showcases Ana María Martínez

"Half an hour of intermission separates the first and second acts of Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly" at the Metropolitan Opera. But in the libretto that gap covers three years of suffering for the title character, a betrayed young geisha waiting in vain for the return of her American husband.

The soprano Ana María Martínez appearing in her first leading role at the Met on Friday, made you disbelieve your watch. Yes, you’d returned to your seat after just 30 minutes, but in that time years seemed to have gone by onstage. Ms. Martínez’s Butterfly had transformed, in both manner and sound, from a demure, besotted girl to a weary, hardened woman. She seemed, quite simply, to have aged.

It was a bit of theatrical magic in a beautiful performance: modest and delicate, yet rising to glimpses of the epic in her final aria of self-sacrifice...While Ms. Martínez’s voice has a low, dark center of gravity that makes the more conversational passages of the score really speak, once she had settled into her upper register, her high notes came out like Butterfly herself: reserved yet movingly clear."

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Houston Press

HGO's Production of Rusalka Is Opera at Its Finest

"Sung to perfection, top to bottom, Dvorák's glorious work gives Martínez, the international soprano who's an audience favorite at HGO, the role of a lifetime."

"Martinez is as hauntingly radiant as is Dvorák's music for her. A consummate actor, she beguiles in her mute second act scenes, trembling with fright and anticipation, slowly gaining her balance on shaky new legs. Ah, but she has a voice — what a voice! — and it caresses these Slavic melodies that can break one's heart. Martinez is at the top of her game, and that's the best in the world anywhere. "

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Bachtrack


“The cast contained singing highlights of the evening, primarily with the aforementioned Martínez whose Nedda was exceptionally strong. Martínez’s steely soprano is an instrument that is foreboding yet achingly beautiful.”

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Houston Chronicle

HGO excels with unsentimental 'Rusalka'

"Gifted soprano Ana María Martínez, a favorite of Houston audiences, attains a new level of artistry with her splendidly sung, movingly acted performance in the title role - a marvelous part with unique aspects and particular challenges, all of which Martínez brings off beautifully."

"Martínez makes a wonderful Rusalka, her yearning and heartache passionately expressed in her singing and every other aspect of the performance. Her rich full soprano, with its dark timbre, conveys all the wistful vulnerability of this uniquely sympathetic heroine. The substantial stretch at the opera's center, when the heroine cannot sing because she has sacrificed her voice to become human, might be considered a liability for an opera. Yet Martínez's pantomime in her silent scenes is of such a high order of artistry - the gestures, moves and expressions so poignant - that we never lose the connection with the character and her feelings. And when, having lost her Prince to the predatory Foreign Princess, Rusalka regains her voice late in Act 2, the effect is all the more dramatic."

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Chicago Classical Review

Domingo and Martinez soar in festive Lyric Opera concert

"Martinez was Domingo’s equal in every way. The two have worked together periodically, including in a recording of zarzuela duets, and they had an easy rapport onstage. Throughout the evening Martinez’s voice was fluid, lithe and strong with an eloquent dark streak in its lower register. "

Chicago Tribune

Review: Placido Domingo, Ana Maria Martinez perform at Lyric Opera

"The Puerto Rican soprano came into her own with a lustrous account of the "Song to the Moon," from Dvorak's "Rusalka," an opera that gave her a memorable triumph at Lyric in 2014; as well as in the zarzuela selections, including attractive arias by Ernesto Lecuona and, as an encore, Ruperto Chapi."

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Los Angeles Daily News


"Ana Maria Martinez was superb as Canio’s amorous wife, Nedda, demonstrating a flexible, soaring soprano voice combined with smoldering sensuality."

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The Observer


"Paolina was Callas’s role. The Greek diva and the Latin Martínez share some qualities including a dark, dusky chest voice and pinging coloratura, as well as a passing physical resemblance."

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WhatsOnStage


"Poliuto needs at least three world-class singers, and Glyndebourne has them in the shape of soprano Ana María Martínez, whose expressive, haunted account of a role that Maria Callas once sang explores every shredded nerve-end of Paolina’s dilemma."

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Opera Today


“Martínez executed Paolina’s arias with such beauty that her voice seemed to shimmer. Good casting, since divine light seems to permeate this opera, despite the gruesome nature of the narrative.”

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