Ana María Martínez



Grammy Award® winner Ana María Martínez is considered to be one of the foremost sopranos of her time, with an international career that spans the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls.  A winner of the 15th Annual Opera News Awards, her repertoire encompasses opera’s most intriguing and diverse leading ladies, and she engages her audiences season after season with signature roles, spellbinding debuts, and a myriad of captivating recordings.  In addition to a full calendar of performances, Ms. Martínez continues to explore all aspects of her career, both on and off stage, highlighted by such diverse opportunities as voicing the role of opera singer Alessandra in season three of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, to proudly representing her birthplace of Puerto Rico as an honoree and performer in the 62nd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, and all the while maintaining her commitment as a leader in the industry and as an advocate and educator to the next generation of musicians. 

In 2019 Ms. Martínez joined Houston Grand Opera as their first-ever Artistic Advisor where she works with the artistic team on casting and production decisions, adjudicates the annual Concert of Arias competition, mentors and coaches HGO Studio artists, and engages with the larger Houston community on behalf of the Opera.  Equally exciting, following a two year appointment as Artist-in-Residence at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, in July 2021 she became a professor in their Department of Voice.

Performance highlights of the 2021-2022 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 2020-2021 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 Los Angeles Opera performed in Ana María’s home and available digitally.  She curated two Spanish themed virtual programs, the first with Lyric Opera of Chicago,  Ryan Opera Center alumni and pianist Craig Terry, 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 stared 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. 

Recent rave reviews for the soprano include the following:

“Her soprano harks back to the golden age.  Her range is even, from a dusky chest-voice through a claret-colored middle and up to radiant top, and is impressive in its quiet moments as it is at full power.” (Opera News, Cover Story)

“The production was grounded by the exquisite performance of the title role by Ana  María Martínez, who sang the opera for Glyndebourne in 2009. The soprano was in ravishing vocal estate, offering reams of floated lyricism in Act I’s famous song to the moon, as well as prodigious dynamic control in “Ó marno to je” and power in reserve for the climaxes of “Necitelná vodní moci….Martínez’s achievement was easily one of the great soprano performances of the present era at Lyric.” (Opera News, Rusalka, Lyric Opera of Chicago)

“Martínez’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.” (Opera News, Faust, Houston Grand Opera)

“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.” (The New York Times, Madama Butterfly, The Metropolitan Opera)

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“Back at Lyric was the charismatic soprano Ana María Martínez, whose beautifully sung and finely detailed Marguerite was the linchpin of [the] performance. Not only did she deliver the Jewel song with sparkling coloratura, this spirited singing actress was fully in the moment, conveying the heroine’s emotional trajectory from virginal innocence to disillusion, despair, madness and apotheosis.”

John von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune

“…the wonderful Rusalka of Ana María Martínez. What a special performance this is. Martínez does not immediately reveal what might be considered the classic Rusalka voice but she sings from such a deep core of longing, intensified by the courage of her conviction in the big releases and softened by the benevolence of melting portamento in the many moments of fragility that you totally buy into the belief that she can sing just about anything. Equally remarkable is the long stretch of act two where she doesn’t sing at all (how daring of Dvořák to silence his leading lady at the very centre of the drama). How movingly she conveys this lost child of nature marooned centre-stage on her wedding day as handmaidens apply the unwelcome ‘feminine’ touches”

Edward Seckerson, The Independent

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“But at least there is Martínez! On this evidence alone she requires ranking among the top lyric sopranos of the day. The voice, with its dusky warmth of timbre and fullness lower down, agility in passagework, freedom in opening up on top and ease in pinpointing and floating soft high phrases, is a classic Latin instrument, the more so for apparently suffering none of the stereotypical afflictions of edginess or shrillness, and for the immaculate musicality underpinning its every utterance.”

Max Loppert, Opera Magazine

“And it’s here that Martínez really shines: despairing, defiant, but defeated. The fragility of her light soprano, appealingly coloured with some darker tints, is at its best when it comes to the purely lyric demands of the closing scene, and Violetta’s whispered breaths showed off that softness to a tee.”

Neil Fisher, The Times of London

“The role of Manon was beautifully brought to life by Ana María Martínez. This young soprano brought a mature and profound understanding to the role with an interpretation packed with emotion. She has a very solid technique, which assures her of excellent control of her entire vocal range -even to a high D exploit a wide dynamic range. Her softest notes were sung with intensity and yet, never forced or strained. Martínez exercised a magnetic hold on her audience the entire evening both with her gorgeous voice and wonderful acting. “

Robert Sharon, Palm Beach Daily News

“The dazzler is the Rosina of Ana María Martínez…She’s every inch the feisty, hot-blooded Spanish girl, tossing off the coloratura with fluidity as well as accuracy. In a role originally conceived for a mezzo she also supplies a smoldering lower register.”

Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

“Soprano Ana Maria Martinez delivered an extraordinary Rosina. There is, first, her voice — warm, powerful, richly sustained, but also as agile as any bel canto aria might require. Then there was the way she gracefully stepped, twirled and pranced throughout the night as the pert, lovestruck and scheming young girl.”

Gregory Barnett, Opera News

“Houston Grand Opera maestro Patrick Summers augments the shimmering radiance in Puccini’s lush, exotic scene, while soprano Ana Maria Martinez, making her role debut as Cio-Cio-San, sounds fresh and ethereal as her silken voice sails over the orchestra, as if some fragrant breeze has ruffled the cherry blossoms…… Martinez strikes a lovely figure in a kimono, and she’s a convincing actress as the girl who must grow up much too fast….her voice is immensely pleasing and terrifically sensual.”

D.L. Groover, Houston Press

“Ana Maria Martinez’s vibrant, shining soprano was a true fortress of resolve in the perilous leaps and plunges of Fiordiligi’s difficult showpiece, “Come scoglio.” The American singer brought off both of her arias to stunning effect and received properly thunderous ovations.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“As Cio-Cio San, HGO Studio alumna Ana María Martínez sang with a poignant vitality that brought forth both the teenage Butterfly’s youthful innocence and, later, her darkest despair. Martínez’s best moments coincided with Butterfly’s most desperate ones: the fragile quality to her singing in “un bel dì” underscored a deeply affecting, pitiful clinging to hope beyond all reason, and her hallowed out, hard, nearly lifeless timbre when Sharpless finally convinces Butterfly that Pinkerton has discarded her brought home the demise of hope in that moment. Both created scenes of gripping drama.”

Gregory Barnett, Opera News

“Ms. Martínez is very poised, well trained, and mature…a dignified charm. Is it possible for charm to be dignified? I believe so, and Ana María Martínez embodies this quality. As for the soprano, she never lost her poise, never lost her charm, and never ceased to be winning. When the evening was over, a famous singer in the hall said in a private conversation — which is important — ‘She sang perfectly. Perfectly.’ And it was true. (Ms. Martínez is a fine Mozart singer, by the way.)…she didn’t put a foot wrong.”

Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun

“The bright-voiced soprano Ana María Martínez gave a vocally agile and emotionally fraught portrayal of Donna Elvira, unhinged in her determination to find Giovanni, who had abandoned her, and shame him into loving her.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“Ana María Martínez was perfectly suited to the role of Donna Elvira, which allowed her not only to show off her beautiful, dynamic voice but to engage her considerable comedic and dramatic abilities. She made Elvira’s dejection palpable, and her ability to capture her character’s righteous indignation added to the fiery brilliance of her singing, as in the Act I aria, ‘Ah, fuggi il traditor.'”

Walter B. Bailey, Opera News

“Especially when the Elvira is a strong a personality as the wonderful Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez, making a triumphant debut as one of the most vocally lustrous and temperamental performers of his role here since Kiri Te Kanawa’s early days. Martínez is a beautiful woman with a fascinating voice, full of velvety mezzoish half-tints in he middle and bottom ranges, with a gleaming top. She must come back soon, and often.”

The Sunday Times

“The evening’s vocal laurel went to the Nedda of Ana Maria Martinez, whose seductively darkish timbre, sensitivity in dynamic shading, and keen textual resonance coalesced for a most impressive house debut [at Lyric Opera of Chicago].”

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

“Along the way [Plácido Domingo] introduced a recent protégée, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, who has had success in Houston, Hamburg and at Covent Garden, and made her Metropolitan Opera debut two seasons ago. Born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father and educated at Juilliard, Martinez clearly enjoys embracing an array of identities and styles a la Domingo. Believable and exciting in both the Jewel Song from Gounoud’s ‘Faust’ and in zarzuela solos and duets with her mentor, she brought down the house with Eliza’s ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from Lerner and Loewe’s ‘My Fair Lady.'”

Andrew Patner, The Chicago Sun Times

“The rising young Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez joined Bocelli for the arias and love duet from Puccini’s ‘La Bohème.’ She is blessed with a ripe, spinning lyricospinto vice that should sweep her to operatic stardom; even better, she radiates real warmth and simplicity. The two singers held hands and matched high C’s in the love duet and the house came down.”

Susan Larson, The Boston Globe