Opera Innovators: Cecilia Violetta López
By: Suzanne Whitney
Throughout opera’s history, composers, librettists, directors, and artists of all kinds have contributed to this ever-evolving art form. Despite the public perception of opera being a bit stodgy, today’s operatic artists are trying out new and inventive musical styles, developing new stagecraft techniques, and telling new kinds of stories to reflect our diverse and expanding world. Here at Opera Colorado, we want to celebrate the artists pushing the envelope and moving opera’s grand history forward.
For this installment of Opera Innovators, we are delighted to feature soprano Cecilia Violetta López. Opera Colorado audiences will remember her as Violetta in our 2018 production of La Traviata and Nedda in our 2020 production of Pagliacci.
Most recently, Cecilia was one of the stars and creative forces behind our first in-person event of 2021, Canciones de Nuestras Tierras. This festive event at Denver Botanic Gardens celebrated the rich tapestry of Latinx music and our return to in-person performance. The atmosphere was electric as guests explored the gardens, discovering opera performances, works by Latinx composers, mariachi, and baile folklórico around every corner. The event featured Cecilia alongside baritone Luis Ledesma, pianist Nathan Salazar, musicians from the Opera Colorado Orchestra, and Denver’s own Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra and ArtistiCO Dance Company. The evening was a true moment of community—a chance to revel in the beauty of live performance and connect to our Opera Colorado family.
This event is just one instance of Cecilia’s forays into blurring the line between the Mexican folkloric music that she grew up with and the operatic world. Many folks think of opera as a rarified, inaccessible art form, but Cecilia shares how it is her mission and pleasure to welcome others into this space. In this intimate interview, Cecilia shares her family and personal history with music and why she truly believes opera is for everyone.
Directed by: Jennifer Colgan & Suzanne Whitney
Edited by: Lane Mathis
Special thanks to: Cecilia Violetta López, Luis Ledesma, Nathan Salazar, musicians from the Opera Colorado Orchestra, and Denver’s own Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra and ArtistiCO Dance Company.
Did you enjoy this installment of Opera Innovators? Who are the artists you think are creating innovative projects and ideas in the world of opera? Let us know in the comments below.