Celebrated soprano, Cecilia Violetta López, has been named one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News. The singing actress is praised for her “alluring voice and incredible range” (Washington Times). She has received accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed many times throughout North America. Her debut of the role was with Martina Arroyo Foundation’s prestigious summer festival, Prelude to Performance. From this performance, critic James Jorden exclaimed “she is a Violetta fully-formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.” She has also performed the role with Opera Tampa, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, and in her company debut with Virginia Opera. Ms. López also recently made her European debut as Norina in Don Pasquale with Zomeropera in Belgium, for which Klassiek Centraal exclaimed: “She turns out to be the revelation of the show and wins over the audience with her funny rendition, irresistible charm, and [she is] natural in the different vocals.”
Cecilia’s 2018-19 season engagements include her debut as Maria in West Side Story with Opera Idaho, a company debut with Opera Colorado singing her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, a company debut with the Madison Symphony Orchestra as the Soprano Soloist in a Madison Symphony Christmas Concert, Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Virginia Opera, a role and company debut with Opera Omaha appearing as Marguerite in their production of Faust, followed by another company debut with Minnesota Opera singing Violetta in La traviata.
Ms. López’s 2017-18 season included many role debuts: Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Idaho, Mimì in La bohème with Opera Orlando, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Tampa, Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro also with Opera Tampa, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow with Opera Saratoga, Lucy in Fellow Travelers with Prototype Opera Festival, and Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas with Florida Grand Opera. In addition to those debuts, she appeared as Micaëla in Carmen with Madison Opera and was a featured soloist in concerts with the Boise Philharmonic, Austin Opera, and the Bard SummerScape Music Festival.
Ms. López’s 2016-17 season included a return to Bard SummerScape Music Festival for concert performances, including Puccini: The Man and the Reputation, Opera After Verdi, and The Turandot Project, which juxtaposes the third act of Puccini’s posthumously finished opera as adapted by Luciano Berrio and that of Ferruccio Busoni, who adapted the Turandot story seven years before Puccini. She also debuted the role of Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera to much critical acclaim. She appeared as Micaëla in Carmen in her house debut with Michigan Opera Theatre, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus as a part of Eugene Opera’s New Year’s Eve Opera Trio, and took part in Madison Opera’s Gala concert “Opera in the Park.” Additionally, Ms. López was the soprano soloist in Händel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, as well as a soloist in Opera Orlando’s One Voice Benefit Concert in Orlando, Florida where proceeds benefited those affected by the tragedy that occurred at the Pulse Night Club. She performed for the Zion’s Bank Annual Gala, and was a guest speaker at the 2017 California State Annual Migrant Parent and Student Conference where she shared her story and musical talents with people of similar backgrounds as her own.
Ms. López was added to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their 2015 production of The Merry Widow. With an impressive repertoire of leading female roles, some highlights from recent seasons include the roles of Beatrice Russo in Il postino with Opera Saratoga, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Opera Tampa, the title role of Suor Angelica with Opera San Luis Obispo, Magda in La rondine with Skylark Opera Theatre, Gilda in Rigoletto with Opera Idaho, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera Tampa and Opera Las Vegas.
Ms. López also completed a two-year-tenure as a Soprano Resident Artist at Opera San José where she performed Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Leonora in Il trovatore, the title role in Suor Angelica, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Nannetta in Falstaff, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly.
Ms. López’s solo concert performances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society. Cecilia made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 with Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria.
Cecilia is an alum of the Caramoor Music Festival where she covered the role of Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes. She is also an alum of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival where she sang the title role in their production of L’incoronazione di Poppea.
Ms. López was awarded First Prize and the Audience Favorite Award in the 2014 Irene Dalis Vocal Competition. She was a semifinalist in the 2011 Loren Zachary Vocal Competition in Los Angeles and won the 2012 The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Utah District, advancing to the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado. She is a grant recipient of the Olga Forrai Foundation. Ms. López earned a Bachelor of Music degree (vocal performance) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2011.
Ms. López is the recipient of an Idaho State Concurrent Resolution honoring her life as an Idahoan and her work in the world of opera.
“We should be so very proud of Cecilia Violetta López. She exemplifies all that is what America is about: apply yourself, work hard, dream big, and you can achieve those dreams. She tells every Idaho girl and boy that they, too, can succeed … no matter where they came from, no matter how small they may start out, no matter how long their journey may appear to be. Idaho should be so very proud of this young lady and should hold her up as an example of what all Idaho children might achieve.”
--Opera Idaho Board Member, Yvonne McCoy for Senator Buckner-Webb.
Ms. López, a Mexican-American native of Rupert, Idaho, got her musical start at a young age singing mariachi music that she learned from her mother.
Photography by Vanessa Preziose Photography