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Cecilia Lopez grew up in the fields of Idaho listening to rancheras and watching soap operas. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Cecilia’s passion for music began at an early age as she became a mariachi teenage celebrity in Rupert, Idaho. She would sing rancheras at quincheañera parties. She went to the University of Nevada in Las Vegas for a career as a medical assistant. She tried out for an opera role and got the part. She instantly fell in love with opera and began training as a soprano.

In 2014, she starred in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, for the Martina Arroyo Foundation‘s Prelude to Performance program. The Martina Arroyo Foundation, founded by legendary soprano Martina Arroyo, works to train up-and-coming opera singers for their first full operatic roles.

Latino USA talks to Cecilia Lopez about the amazing story that led her to an opera career, what her Mexican-American background  means to her as an opera performer, and we hear excerpts of her performance as the tragic heroine Violetta in the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance rendition of La Traviata.

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The cast of The Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance rendition of La Traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York.

 

 

 

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Dress rehearsals for Cecilia Lopez as the heartbroken Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, for The Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance, 2014.

 

 

 

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Paul Han as Alfredo and Cecilia Lopez as a dying Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviatta, for The Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York, 2014.

 

 

 

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LopezHeadshot Born and raised in Rupert, Idaho to Mexican parents,Lopez discovered her passion for music as a young child. Classical training began at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was primarily under the tutelage of Dr. Tod Fitzpatrick. Ms. López made her company debut with Opera San José in their 2012-13 season as Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Leonora in Il trovatore, and the title role in Suor Angelica.

 

 

 

 

Cover photo by Jen Joyce Davis, courtesy of The Martina Arroyo Foundation.