Ana María Martínez, Soprano
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 2019 Ms. Martínez joined Houston Grand Opera as its first-ever Artistic Advisor, and 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 the Department of Voice. She is honored to have been a 2021 recipient of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hispanic Heritage Award in the Arts. 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, performing in tribute to operatic legend Justino Díaz at the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (CBS), and proudly representing her birthplace of Puerto Rico as an honoree and performer in the 62nd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. She is steadfastly committed to being a leader in the industry, an advocate and educator to the next generation of musicians, all the while maintaining a robust performance schedule.
On stage, Ms. Martinez is known worldwide for her stunning portrayals of the title roles of Rusalka, Carmen, and Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas, as well as Mimì in La Bohème, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Soleá in El Gato Montés, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Nedda in Pagliacci, Liù in Turandot, Marguerite in Faust, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Desdemona in Otello, and Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. These roles have taken her to The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Ópera de Puerto Rico, Santa Fe Opera, and Dallas Opera, as well as to Opéra National de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, De Nederlandse Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Glyndebourne Festival, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, among countless others.
Her dynamic concert career includes engagements with some of the world’s most celebrated orchestras and conductors. Highlights include London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for the World Premiere of the oratorio Dreamers with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Teatro alla Scala with the Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall conducted by Alan Gilbert, the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra conducted by James Conlon, and the Puerto Rico Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, English National Opera Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. For many years she has toured with star tenors Andrea Bocelli and Plácido Domingo.
An alumnae of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and a resident of Houston, Ms. Martínez was the inaugural recipient of the Lynn Wyatt Great Artist Award. In 1994 she won First Prize in HGO’s Eleanor McCollum Auditions and Awards Competition, and in 2015 established the Ana María Martínez Encouragement Award as part of that same competition. Born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father, Ana María spent her formative years in Puerto Rico and New York City. She graduated from The Juilliard School with both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees.