Houstonia

“Martínez has the type of down-to-earth and disarming personality that nearly belies her international opera diva status, and she’s totally unabashed about her love for Houston, where she’s lived since 2002.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, Martínez arrived here in the mid ’90s as a Young Artist in the Houston Grand Opera studio, a platform that helped launch her now-monumental career. She later returned to play the role of Rosalba in HGO’s 2002 production of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. She knew then that Houston would become home base.”

“When you see her on stage, you feel that she is a true star: disciplined, impeccably prepared, professional in every sense of the word and thoroughly dedicated to each of her interpretations. But when I sat with her for this interview in a French café in Houston, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fun, human, warm, and vibrant woman with a contagious positive energy.”

The star of Lyric’s production of Dvorak’s Rusalka puts so much physicality and empathy into her portrayal, it’s as if Ana’s been left in the dressing room.

 

Soprano Ana María Martínez, who will sing the title role in Lyric’s 2013-14 production of Dvořák’s Rusalka, answers Lyric Opera dramaturg Roger Pines’s questions about the character.

Earlier this week, Grammy-winner Martínez spoke about her life, her career and her upcoming program of baroque works by George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell.

Video: Jeffrey Brown talks to opera soprano Ana Maria Martinez about her work with the Houston Grand Opera.

Ana María Martínez remembers the struggle she went through to find — and commit to — her calling. Now she is becoming one of the world’s acclaimed operatic sopranos and, especially in the Spanish-language press, a star.

“Ten years ago this month, Martinez made her debut at Washington National Opera as Liu in Turandot. This week she returns to sing another Puccini heroine, Madama Butterfly, the love-struck geisha in 1904 Nagasaki who is seduced, then abandoned, by the U.S. naval lieutenant she marries. Martinez admits that playing Cio-Cio San is a challenge.”

“The vivacious Martínez has no problem expressing herself, whether in full operatic mode or simply posing for photos during our conversation… The very antithesis of a stereotypical diva, she’s known as one of the nicest singers in the business, generous to a fault toward colleagues. At the same time, she’s committed to searching out the musical and dramatic truth in every role she performs, and she’s realistic about what is required to be a long-distance runner in her field.”

“In a time when vocal charm is in short supply, and the once inviolable rule of singing on one’s vocal interest is breached in performance after performance, Houston resident Ana María Martínez’s soprano harks back to the golden age.”