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Madison Opera - Opera in the Park 2017

"López, the soprano, had a strong yet wistful tone on Micaela’s aria from “Carmen,” “Jes dis que rien ne m’épouvante” (“I say that nothing frightens me”). Her duet with Zabala, a film score favorite from the opera “Lakmé,” was simply gorgeous, and she charmed with a show-offy number called “Me Llaman la Primorosa” from a lesser-known Spanish zarzuela called “El Barbero de Sevilla.”

Lindsay Christians - The Capital Times

http://host.madison.com/ct/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/opera-in-the-park-featured-hits-from-carmen-and-looked/article_cb86b492-1741-530a-bed7-a366ae75e4a4.html

 

 

Don Pasquale - Zomeropera 2017 

"Dan verschijnt Norina ten tonele, gestalte gegeven door de fantastische sopraan Cecilia Violetta López. Deze flamboyante en pittige jonge dame met Mexicaans-Amerikaanse roots werd onlangs in Opera News vernoemd bij de ’25 Rising Stars’ en de Washington Times prijst haar voor haar innemende stem met ongelooflijke reikwijdte. Daar kunnen we ons volmondig bij aansluiten. Daarnaast is ze een fantastische actrice. Ze ontpopt zich tot de revelatie van de voorstelling en palmt het publiek in met haar snaakse vertolking, onweerstaanbare charme en naturel in de verschillende zangpartijen."

["Then Norina appears in tone, shaped by the fantastic soprano Cecilia Violetta López. This flamboyant and spicy young lady with Mexican-American roots was recently named in the "25 Rising Stars" in Opera News, and the Washington Times praised her for her engaging voice with incredible scope. We can join in with that. In addition, she is a fantastic actress. She unfolds to the revelation of the performance and captivates the audience with her funny interpretation, irresistible charm and naturalness in the various singing parties."]

Viviane Redant - Klassiek Centraal

https://klassiek-centraal.be/aankondigingen/opera/don-pasquale-in-alden-biesen/ 

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"...Cecilia López, fue una Desdemona inolvidable no solo por su voz, de lírico-ligera con peso en el registro central, y con facilidad para el agudo y la coloratura, sino por su interpretación, cargada de tensión y fuerza dramática. Tras un primer acto algo timorato, y un segundo en que se empieza a calentar con los insultos y menosprecios de su padre, en el tercero se enfrenta valientemente a Otello y le reta de tú a tú insistiendo en su inocencia. Cuando ve que todo está perdido, le vuelve a provocar para que éste la apuñale. Fue la triunfadora de la noche."

Pedro J. Lapeña Rey - Codalario

https://www.codalario.com/loftopera/criticas/critica-la-compania-loftopera-presenta-en-brooklyn-el-otello-de-rossini_5361_5_15930_0_1_in.html

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"The singer who truly stole the show, becoming the beating, emotional heart of the opera was Cecilia Violetta Lopez. Hers is a beautiful, warm soprano that mastered Desdemona’s demanding and multi-layered bel canto role, carrying every duet, trio and ensemble piece with effortless grace, lyric power and agility. She absolutely owned her show-stopping solo arias, particularly the tumultuous mad scene in Act II and the Canzone del salice in Act IIIwhen her heartache was so palpable that it was impossible to hold back tears.

Her performance was so convincing that she did not simply portray Desdemona, she was Desdemona. Lopez’s heroine is not a wishy-washy limp little victim..., but rather a fierce woman who knows who she loves and will not go down without a fight. In the Act I finale, when all hell breaks loose because it is discovered that she and Otello have already eloped, she is defiant about it (Giurai! – I swore myself to him!), even when her father throws her on the floor cursing her. When the plot thickens (i.e., Iago orchestrates the Rodrigo/Otello rivalry) and she needs to deal with Rodrigo’s amorous advances, she slaps him... and storms away. It was really something.

During her mad scene, fearing for Otello’s life, her love for him explodes from out of the words, music and her singing. She was so distressed that her hands were visibly shaking and she threw herself against the wall. She brought this passage of the score forcefully to life, lending deep meaning to her madness. In the final confrontation with Otello, Desdemona’s desperation reaches yet a new high, as she dares him to kill her, fiery and passionate until the end, with an intensity that did justice to the powerful libretto (Uccidimi se vuoi, perfido! Ingrato! – Non arrestare il colpo / vibralo a questo core / sfoga il tuo reo furore / intrepida morrò).*

Cecilia Violetta Lopez is an exciting singing actress. She delivered one of the most sensational and explosive performances I’ve ever seen live. We were very lucky to have caught her in such an intimate setting while LoftOpera still can afford her. Ms. Lopez seems to have what it takes to hit international operatic stardom very soon."

Allegri con Fuoco

http://allegriconfuoco.blogspot.com/2017/04/fireworks-get-visceral-in-rossinis_4.html?m=1

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"But for all their vocal fireworks, these three divos were more than a little overshadowed by soprano Cecilia López as Desdemona. More than adept at the coloratura passages in the role, including a thrilling interpolated high E-natural at the end of the second act, she made her greatest effect in the quiet and lyrical “Assisa a piè d’un salice.”

Even in this wistful Willow Song, López found light and shadow, varying the mood with a slightly harder, more bitter tone in the third stanza of the piece. But that was consistent with her take on the character from the beginning of the opera. Though Otello is generally regarded as the “outcast” of the drama, López suggested convincingly that, in rebelling against the rules of Venetian society, Desdemona is even more isolated than her husband.

She quietly overcame what is considered the biggest stumbling block for Desdemona in this work. Just before her big aria in the last act, she hears from a distant canal the voice of a gondolier intoning the words of Dante, “Nessun maggior dolore che ricordarsi del tempo felice nella miseria.”

There is no greater pain than to remember a time of happiness when in misery, he sings, to a melody which is pure distilled sorrow, and not incidentally, the best tune in the opera. López quietly appropriated the moment to apply to Desdemona’s tragic situation. As the heartbreaking  words unfurled, she simply glanced in the direction of the music and her eyes glimmered with tears."

James Jorden - The Observer 

http://observer.com/2017/03/opera-review-otello-loftopera/

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"But this OTELLO, predating Verdi's take by over 70 years, seemed a horse of a different color--with LoftOpera making a strong musical case for Rossini, especially in his treatment of Desdemona, Otello's beloved, sung sensationally by soprano Cecilia Lopez.

... In the LoftOpera production, Desdemona makes a strong case for being the center of the story, as the fleshed-out character that Shakespeare and, following him, Boito, neglected to give us. Luckily for LoftOpera, they put the role in the hands of the voluptuously voiced Lopez, who took the opportunity to dominate the stage."

Richard Sasanow - Broadway World

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwopera/article/BWW-Review-When-It-Comes-to-Desdemona-LoftOpera-Shows-the-Rossini-OTELLO-Outdoes-Verdi-20170320#


 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"Finally, soprano Cecilia Violetta López, as the doomed Desdemona, brings lustrous emotional honesty and constantly shifting nuance to this fully dimensional lady of passion and perils. Every vocal figure – from the simplest recitative to the most ornate fioritura – arrives like the inevitable emanation of some organic impulse. Rarely does one witness an opera performance so intimately imagined, so minutely observed, delivered with such thorough transcendence of technical concerns, so fearless, so fully alive.

Yet, amazingly: “This is my first Rossini role,” López confides.

It cannot be her last."

Charles Geyer - My Scena

http://myscena.org/charles-geyer/rossinis-otello-loftopera-tells-hell-wifes-tale/

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"Although the show is titled Otello, the victorious, yet tragically doomed, military man took a back-seat at this stirring iteration of Rossini’s opera. Desdemona, a notoriously weak theatre character, finally came into her own through Cecilia López’s spectacular performance. 

..."In this soprano role, López’s interpretation of Desdemona allows her to showcase her talent, both vocally and as an actress. During the first act, she struggles with trying to stop her impending wedding to Roderigo. When her father finally finds out she’s married Otello, he wants absolutely nothing to do with her. As she desperately grasps on to him, he harshly throws her to the floor, ridding himself of a defiant daughter. From that point on, Desdemona is always on the verge of tears or hysteria. By the third act, López’s Desdemona ends up as unhinged as Holcomb’s Otello. She refuses to die without a fight. It must be exhausting to emote that much, but López does it brilliantly."

Alicia Kort - Paste Magazine 

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/03/review-otello.html


 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"Rossini’s version of “Otello” is a lot less subtle and psychological than Verdi’s: It’s basically a marriage plot gone wrong, thanks to a purloined letter. We never actually see the lovers happy together, an omission remedied here by having the two share an embrace in Desdemona’s bedroom as the overture begins.

However, Rossini’s Desdemona is a lot feistier than Verdi’s sweet doormat, and the excellent soprano Cecilia Lopez was full of fire and defiance. She sang a splendid quasi-mad scene at the end of Act II, and did not go gently to her death—she basically dared Otello to kill her."

Heidi Waleson - The Wall Street Journal 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/curlew-river-dido-and-aeneas-and-otello-reviews-classics-get-a-refresh-1490040486

 

 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"Musically, this was a rich production with soprano Cecilia Lopez, the dramatic core of the opera as Desdemona. While Otello is the title character, Desdemona is the object of desire for three men, all of them tenors. The fact that this production opened with Otello and Desdemona vowing fidelity to one another, furthered this dramatic emphasis on the character.

Lopez’s Desdemona was a tortured woman who despite her faithfulness to Otello is constantly worried about the impact her decision will have on others. Throw in the fact that she is constantly being followed and cornered in this staging and you have a woman who’s only real choice is to constantly be fighting for her own freedom. Lopez’s voice displayed a lighter quality in her opening scene with Emilia, “Vorrei che il tuo pensiero,” which emphasized her sense of powerlessness in the face of her difficult situation. But as the odds stacked against her, her vocal strength grew, her timbre showcasing a rougher quality that reached its dramatic apex at the close of the second act. During this section her coloratura runs grew more aggressive, her acting more frayed, displaying a woman truly living on the edge of an emotional precipice. De Los Santos cleverly had a doctor come on stage to check her pulse, emphasizing the character’s emotional breakdown. At the climax of the entire scene, she threw her entire voice into a cathartic E-natural, that expressed the pain and trauma of the character at the moment.

It was no surprise that her ensuing scene, the willow scene, “Assisa a’piè d’un salice,” saw her character spent, laying flat on the bed as she sang extended passages. Her voice had a fragile quality to it, though at some moments, you could sense it gaining in strength as if trying to reassert the character’s sense of strength.

The defeat was complete during the final scene as Lopez, in a bold dramatic move, discarded the beauty of her sound altogether as she implored death from her husband. She viciously threw the words “Uccidimi… ti affretta, saziati alfin crudel! ” almost spoken, ramping up the tension in the scene.

It was a revelatory performance from an artist that looks slated for a big-time career."

David Salazar - Operawire 

http://operawire.com/loftopera-2017-review-otello-a-powerful-leading-lady-unique-ambience-make-great-case-for-rossinis-shakespeare-adaptation/


 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"As Desdemona, Cecilia Lopez brought a full-throated sound and a professional polish to her work. The soprano is a formidable actress, and she imbued her character’s outward presence with an organic subtext. Her Desdemona moved beyond the gestures of the reductive victim, developing and expressing a complex subjectivity, complete with unexpected contradictions."

Patrick Clement James - Parterre Box 

http://parterre.com/2017/03/20/tragedy-in-song/#more-49407


 

Otello - Rossini - LoftOpera 2017

"So I admit I derived an inordinate amount of personal satisfaction on Thursday evening watching the fiery soprano Cecilia López portray a very different Desdemona. Eyes flashing, she roughly shoved Otello and all but spat her protestations of innocence in his face. When she recognized that his jealousy had turned murderous, she smacked her chest, Carmen-like, daring him to stab her.

Ms. Lopez wasn’t taking liberties with Verdi. Her passionate performance was the beating heart of LoftOpera’s new production of a different “Otello.” 

...But of the two composers it is Rossini who fleshes out his Desdemona more fully, creating a proud, red-blooded woman well equipped to defy social conventions and racial prejudice with her choice of the foreign-born Otello as partner. Ms. Lopez inhabited the part memorably, bringing both depth and agility to coloratura passages and malleable, multihued tone to lyrical moments like the heart-rending “Willow Song.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim - The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/arts/music/review-rossini-otello-loftopera.html?_r=0

 

 

Opera Trio - Eugene Opera 2016/17

"Soprano Cecilia Violetta López charmed the audience with her agile and character-driven performance of Rosalinde’s “Klänge der Heimat.”

Alison Kaufman - The Register-Guard

http://registerguard.com/rg/entertainment/arts/34851214-60/36-point-headline-goes-herey-and-herey-also.html.cspCarmen - 




Carmen - Michigan Opera Theatre  2016 

"A very bright and delightful performance is turned in by Cecilia Lopez as Micaela, whose vocals and persona as the heart-broken and virginal admirer of Don Jose fills up the stage when she is on it despite her more diminutive character. She makes the most of every turn on the stage."

David Kiley - Encore Michigan 

http://www.encoremichigan.com/2016/10/sultry-sexy-carmen-at-mot-begins-david-dichieras-final-season/

 

 

 BARD Summerscape Music Festival 2016

"Similarly, the song cycle “Quattro Rispetti” highlighted Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s talent for creating melancholy miniatures without a wasted note, sung sensitively by the soprano Cecilia Violetta López, with Brian Zeger on piano.

Ms. López, with her flirtatious charm and intriguingly dusky voice, was also the highlight of the fourth program, “The Search for a Successor: Opera After Verdi.” Her sparkling performances of numbers from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “La Bohème” (yes, there was another “La Bohème”) and Umberto Giordano’s “Madame Sans-Gêne” indicated she might well have a future in this kind of personality-driven repertoire.

Yet even here, Puccini’s arias had the greatest effect, as Ms. López’s voice flitted across the ecstatic high notes of the quartet from “La Rondine” and drooped, almost colorless, into the bitonal wooziness of “Amici fiori” from “Suor Angelica.” "

James Jorden - The New York Times 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/arts/music/for-many-opera-and-puccini-are-one-trumps-campaign-knows-the-appeal-puccini-and-his-world-bard-music-festival.html?_r=0

 

 

Il Postino - Opera Saratoga 2016

"...soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez as Mario’s love interest and wife Beatrice wowed everyone with her luscious, big, agile voice."

Geraldine Freedman - The Daily Gazette

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2016/jul/09/postino/?print

 

 

Il Postino - Opera Saratoga 2016

"Cecilia Violetta Lopez is sensually romantic as Beatrice."

Bob Goepfert, The Saratogian

http://www.saratogian.com/arts-and-entertainment/20160708/review-opera-saratogas-il-postino-is-so-good-everyone-should-see-it

 

 

Il Postino - Opera Saratoga 2016

"Soprano Cecilia Violetta López has a radiant voice and her acting is both seductive and soulful." 

Joseph Dalton, www.timesunion.com

http://blog.timesunion.com/localarts/review-il-postino-opera-saratoga-7816/41343/

 

 

Don Giovanni - Opera Tampa 2016

"Cecilia Violetta Lopez (who played Violetta in La Traviata) again anchored a major role with vocal richness as the peasant girl Zerlina, whom Giovanni hopes to add to his list of conquests."

Andrew Meachum, Tampa Bay Times

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/stage/don-giovanni-is-a-wicked-winner-to-close-out-opera-tampas-season/2272593


 

La Traviata - Opera Tampa 2016 

"Cecilia Violetta Lopez, is simply superb as Violetta. Her voice has a wide range of color, with brighter and darker tones, all lovely and inviting of hours of listening. Lopez also embodies the role fully, something that can not always be said of opera singers."

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times 

http://www.home.tampabay.com/things-to-do/stage/stellar-leading-performances-elevate-la-traviata-from-good-to-special/2269088

 

 

Così fan tutte - Opera Tampa 2016

"As Fiordiligi, Lopez captivates with a rich and transfixing voice, one you could pretty much listen to all day."

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/stage/sex-lies-and-mozart-get-florida-opera-festival-off-to-a-fun-start/2266169

 

 

Martina Arroyo Foundation - 11th Annual Gala 2015

 "Soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez, who caused a sensation as Violetta in Prelude to Performance in 2014, sang the “Csardas” from Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Ms. Lopez‘s flourishes, scales and exciting coloratura took us on a roller coaster ride that ended with a sustained high note and brought down the house. It was a rousing finale from a young and gifted singer."

http://brooklyndiscovery.com/2015/12/martina-arroyo-foundation-celebrates-its-11th-annual-gala/ 


 

El Retablo de Maese Pedro and Spanish Art Song Recital - BARD Summerscape Festival 2015

"His “Cuatro Melodías Tradicionales Indias del Ecuador” was beautifully sung by the soprano Cecilia Violetta López, whose bright, expressive voice made a strong impression in several works, including de Falla’s “El Retablo de Maese Pedro.”"

Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/arts/music/review-bard-festival-salutes-carlos-chavez.html?ref=arts&_r=0

 

 

La Rondine - Skylark Opera 2015

"Cecilia Violetta Lopez as Magda sang exquisitely--seemingly effortlessly--and acted the role with ease and emotion. Her voice was one of the best I've ever heard on a Minnesota stage, and she'll be on my to-watch list from now on."

http://mntheaterlove.blogspot.com/2015/06/romantic-summer-opera-la-rondine-at.html?m=1 

 

 

La Rondine - Skylark Opera 2015

"Its greatest asset is Lopez's charming, open and endearing Magda, who overflows with spirit and has a beautiful voice that soars above all those around her."

Rob Hubbard, TwinCities.com

http://www.twincities.com/stage/ci_28312572/la-rondine-review-fantastic-foursome-takes-skylark-opera 

 

 

La Rondine - Skylark Opera 2015

"Cecilia Violetta Lopez is a star as Magda. Not only does she have a stunning voice, but she makes you feel Magda's every emotion, from dissatisfaction to hope to resignation."

http://www.cherryandspoon.com/2015/06/putting-it-together-and-la-rondine-by.html?m=1

 

 

La Traviata - Virginia Opera 2015 

"Lopez is as compelling a Violetta as I’ve seen. As the consumptive courtesan who, for the purest of reasons, is compelled to relinquish her true love, only ultimately to die in his arms, Lopez managed to infuse every gesture, even in her most consumptive paroxysms, with suggestive sexuality. Her voice, big and rich over its entire range, is remarkably agile for its size and as focused when she sings quietly as it is when she just lets it go. Her “Sempre Libera” was as convincingly radiant and joyful as her “Addio del Passato” was sad and wistful."

 Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/a-winning-team-for-virginia-operas-la-traviata-at-george-mason/2015/03/22/c8aa9c0e-d0a3-11e4-8b1e-274d670aa9c9_story.html

 

 

La Traviata - Virginia Opera 2015

"In her Virginia Opera debut, Cecilia Violetta Lopez owns the role of Violetta as few young sopranos can, an especially remarkable feat considering this is only her second go as the doomed courtesan.  

In an already polished performance, Lopez's every glance and gesture depict defiance, sexuality and an underlying vulnerability. With sublime vocal control, she executes astonishing dynamics and range. Not just an instrument of great clarity and beauty, Lopez's singing is nuanced with character far beyond the score, with spoken words, careful portamento and emphasized consonants. The signature first-act aria "Sempre libera" displays scintillating coloratura; her arias in the final act are laden with pain and pathos." 

B. J. Atkinson, Virginian-Pilot, March 16th, 2015

http://hamptonroads.com/2015/03/review-la-traviata-mustsee-event

 

 

La Traviata - Virginia Opera 2015 

"But vaulting this production into the big time is the performance of young soprano Cecilia Violetta López as Violetta. Unknown to this critic previously, this remains the case no more. After a tentative start in Act I, Ms. López soon bloomed, like a gorgeous but fragile camellia, into perhaps the most affecting Violetta we have ever had the pleasure of encountering.

Ms. López’ success in this role relies in equal parts on her uncanny ability as a stage actress and her warm and infinitely expressive soprano instrument, whose seemingly limitless subtlety alternates great power and conviction with soul-gripping weakness. 

Both shades of being are key to any effective portrayal of Violetta who pursues life with a carpé diem attitude, full in the knowledge that she likely will not have long to live. Ms. López embraces them in her metaphysical interpretation of this role, leading to the most affecting finale we have yet experienced in this opera. No two ways about it: Hers is simply an astounding performance, all the more so since its breadth, depth and quality were entirely unexpected, at least by this writer."

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News 

http://www.commdiginews.com/entertainment/best-ever-virginia-operas-deeply-affecting-la-traviata-38319/#jyqCzhLVyjFK4bLk.01

 

 

La Traviata - Virginia Opera 2015  

"I adored Cecilia Violetta Lopez' performance as Violetta. Her strong, intense voice and her soaring high notes perfectly expressed the range of Violetta’s emotions, from her anguish in the separation from her lover to the joy of being reunited. The vocal pyrotechnics she displayed in her arias at the end of Act I, Ah fors’e lui and Sempre libera, were breathtaking, as she leaped from low to high notes and trills and all sorts in between. Yet at no time was the sincerity and integrity of the character sacrificed to vocal prowess: Lopez’s powerful acting and her sheer charisma and stage presence made it so that the audience felt truly connected to Violetta and her journey." 

Tiffany Draut, DC Metro Theatre Arts 

http://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2015/03/22/la-traviata-at-virginia-opera/

 

 

Rigoletto - Opera Idaho 2014

"But it was Lopez’s Gilda that was the gem of the evening. A native of Rupert, she dazzled the audience with her rich soprano and gave a remarkable performance that showed a keen acting ability as she made her professional debut in her home state. Lopez was a sublime match for Rucker and Choi in their duets both vocally and in her performance quality. In the third act, she portrays pure heartbreak as she listens as the Duke seduces the saucy Maddelana. She has a huge career ahead of her."

Dana Oland, Idaho Statesman


 

La Traviata - Martina Arroyo Foundation; Prelude to Performance 2014

"The star of the former (La Traviata) was the aptly named Cecilia Violetta Lopez, whose confident, shining Violetta was exceptional, especially if, as her bio suggested, this was her first time out of the gate in the role. Lopez has a sumptuous, flexible soprano that carries emotion easily without ever being overwhelmed by it. She used the first act pyrotechnics to great expressive effect, crowning “Sempre libera” with an E-flat that was as beautiful as it was triumphant. The tripartite nature of Violetta’s vocal demands posed no problems for Lopez, whose soprano adjusted easily to the richer, impassioned singing required in Act II and the transcendental poignancy necessary to carry Act III."

 

Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News


 

La Traviata - Martina Arroyo Foundation; Prelude to Performance 2014

Daniel Lipton’s fleet conducting and Laura Alley’s detailed, traditional production framed a performance of the leading role of Violetta that is among the loveliest I have witnessed on any stage. Cecilia Violetta Lopez’s cool, shimmering soprano easily vaulted the coloratura hurdles of the first act, rocketing to a bright, pingy version of the traditionally interpolated high E-flat at the end of “Sempre libera.” Even more impressive was her quiet legato singing in the second and third acts, unaffected and heartfelt.

And she acted even more naturally than she sang, suggesting the courtesan’s hectic life of pleasure in the first act with delicate dancelike movements before “melting” into a softer, but still elegant, body language for the more demure second act. Even in the last act, when Violetta is slowly dying, Ms. Lopez maintained a measure of grace, as if she were enacting a romantic memory of death rather than the harsh reality.

The conventional wisdom is that high-concept opera like The Passenger is the future of musical theater, but Ms. Lopez’s promising debut suggests that the old-fashioned virtues of a fine diva performance may be just as likely to keep the art alive in the 21st century.

James Jorden, New York Observer

 

 

La Traviata - Martina Arroyo Foundation; Prelude to Performance 2014

"Singing, or I should say embodying the title role of Verdi’s opera was a captivating young soprano named Cecilia Violetta Lopez; and “Violetta” is her middle name figuratively as well as literally. When you see a lot of opera, you are constantly hearing sopranos about whom you say, “she could make a fine Violetta” along with some sort of conditional clause attached like “if she could clean up her coloratura” or “if she would try using a little more chest voice” or “if someone could show her how to ‘sparkle’ onstage.” Ms. Lopez needs no such polishing: she is a Violetta fully-formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.

The voice is a cool, shimmering lyric soprano with an extension to a bright, pingy high E-flat as well as plenty of agility for “Sempre libera.” But it’s the legato singing that makes her special: the voice just flows like spring water. The top blooms attractively on B-flat and C and she can shade the high A-naturals of “Addio del passato” expertly.

She acts with energy and a great musicality; that is, her movement all seems motivated by the precise momentary emotion evoked by the music. Even more to the point, she knows how to be “brilliant” in the first act party scene, flitting and fluttering with a stylized grace that would make Jeanette MacDonald green with envy. She “melts” gorgeously in the second act, her body language now demure, and she manages to be ill and weak and yet at the same time hopeful in the final act.

The production is ultra-traditional, which is I think a good thing in this kind of program; at least it will let the singers know what it is they are rebelling against when they get out into the real world. That Ms. Lopez looks absolutely at home with crinolines and sausage curls and little birdlike hand gestures doesn’t discourage me though: I could just as easily see her in a scarlet cocktail dress high atop a modernistic sofa carried around the room by an army of identical admirers.

Yes, Ms. Lopez stole the show utterly and completely, but it was a show worth stealing..."

James Jorden, Parterre.com

http://parterre.com/2014/07/12/portrait-of-a-lady-2/

 

 

La Traviata - Martina Arroyo Foundation; Prelude to Performance 2014

"A Star is Born: Regular readers of mine on Facebook and on my WQXR page know that I almost never write reviews and the words that follow are not a review. They are the opinion of someone who works in opera and teaches opera both to artists and to the public. I taught a master class recently at the Martina Arroyo Foundation as part of its annual Prelude to Performance initiative. My class in this case was about Media, Social Media and the Opera Singer and not about role interpretation and performance. I interacted with 30 singers, one at a time, and found them all impressive as people. Most of them were in tonight's first performance of "La Traviata," well-conducted by Daniel Lipton and expertly directed by Laura Alley. If you have never been to an opera, this is the perfect place to start when it returns on Saturday July 12 at the Kaye Playhouse of New York's Hunter College. Box Office (212) 772-4448. And even if you know this opera well, you will find many revelations in this performance by these talented young singers. And now about the astral birth: In the title role is the aptly named Cecilia Violetta Lopez (Santa Cecilia being the patron saint of music and Violetta is, of course La Traviata). I have seen and heard performances of "La Traviata" for more than 40 years, including most of the very best interpreters of this iconic role. While I don't plan to engage in comparisons among all of these sopranos, you should assume I have heard the very finest and will only say that Cecilia Violetta Lopez gave the best performance of the role since I saw Anja Harteros do it at the Met in 2008. This was, by any standard, an immense artistic achievement by this young soprano, who instantly made it HER Violetta and made you forget every other one you have seen and heard. So even if you have heard this opera more than 100 times (as I surely have), this is one of those cases in which you want to get a ticket and see this performance so that you can brag, the way many opera people like to do, that you saw her in one of those two remarkable Traviatas which may come to be known as the Hunter-Arroyo Traviata."

Fred Plotkin, www.facebook.com/fredplotkin

 

 

Don Giovanni - Opera San Jose 2014

"Lopez's singing is virtuosic, particularly the high, soft lines that bridge the orchestral pauses like threads of gossamer."

Michael J. Vaughn, Operaville.blogspot.com

 

 

Madama Butterfly - Opera San Jose 2014

 “On Sunday afternoon, a main reason for the production’s success was the Butterfly of soprano Cecilia Violetta López. One of four resident company leads in the production, López possesses an inherently beautiful, absolutely secure voice that opens on high to reveal the wealth of dramatic, heart-tugging colors ideal for her role. Equally vital was her believability as a naïve yet consistently assertive 15-year-old who gives herself, body and soul, to a callous white man who sets sail the next day, only to return three years later with his white American bride in tow. The sincerity and economy of López’s expression and movement, the remarkable unity of her portrayal, and her ability to taper vibrant high notes to silvery threads are marks of an artist who, as she develops the ability to put a unique stamp on her interpretation, could go far in years ahead.

...What mattered most were the glory and grandness of Puccini, and the heart-rending Butterfly of Cecilia Violetta López. While ever-appreciative Bay Area audiences tend to give standing ovations to most leading artists, Opera San José’s displayed uncommon discernment by waiting until López emerged toward the end of the curtain calls to rapidly rise and cheer her wonderful performance.” 

Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

 

 

Madama Butterfly - Opera San Jose 2014

“I have always known I am very lucky to be able to see all these opera productions for the last several years.  This show, however, I felt truly privileged.  The music and singing is beautiful perfection as always, but in Act II Madame Butterfly sings “Un Bel Di” (One Beautiful Day), and it was a magical experience.  I have never felt that before at the opera, but Cecilia Violetta López made me feel I was present for something important.  By the end of Act III López is singing with tears in her eyes, and they were still present during the standing ovation at the end.  Cecilia Violetta López, having previously charmed me as Leila in The Pearl Fishers, has earned her place in this company, and should be considered a huge benefit to Opera SJ." 

Cynthia Coral, San Jose Metblogs

 

 

Hansel and Gretel - Opera San Jose 2013

“The heart and soul of this production are mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez as Hansel and soprano Cecilia Violetta López as Gretel. They are a lovable team, delightful from the moment they appear, exuding the happy innocence and mischievous energy of children. This brother and sister make the fun for each other; they dance, spin, sing. They tease one another. They take care of one another through the terrors of night.  Their acting is so convincing, and such fun, that -- well, let's stop at that, because I don't want to overlook their singing.”

Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News

 

 

Falstaff - Opera San Jose 2013

“This was the best performance I've yet seen from soprano Cecilia Violetta López, who is in her second season with the company. As Alice's daughter Nannetta, she was in fine voice -- consistently plush and shimmering with color; really terrific.”

Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury

 

 

Falstaff - Opera San Jose 2013

“Cecilia Violetta Lopez's lovely soprano makes its greatest mark with her third-act spirit song, "Sul fil d'un soffio etesio..."

Michael J. Vaughn, operaville.blogspot.com

 

 

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi - Opera San Jose 2013

“The star in Opera San Jose’s twin bill of Giacomo Puccini’s Sour Angelica and Gianni Schicchi was soprano Cecilia Violetta López.  From her first phrases as Angelica, the heartbroken aristocratic young lady hidden ina convent after a love affair, her voice sounded warmer, deeper, more mournful than the supporting cast of bickering sisters. She contoured phrases with grace and passion that clearly set her apart as the main character. 

“López was also magnificent as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Her O mio babbino caro was a showstopper, setting the bar high for the entire opera.”

examiner.com

 

 

Il Trovatore - Opera San Jose 2013

 “On very rare evenings, an opera aficionado will run across a performer who is not so much a singer as an alchemist of song. Such a one is soprano Cecilia Violetta López.

López’s performance in OSJ’s season-opening Pearl Fishers was so good I almost wrote it off as hallucination. But faced with Trovatore’s Leonora, one of the richest roles in all of opera, she gave early indications that she knew exactly what she was doing. López handled the long lines of the first-act Andante, “Tacea la notte placida” with ease, producing a divine sense of legato.

In the final act, as Leonora stood vigil outside the prison where her lover Manrico awaited execution, López performed the Adagio “D’amor sull´ali roseé,” in a fashion that almost defied description. She began with a deliciously quiet high tone that swelled to forte, and proceeded to manipulate the lines of the aria like a magician wafting smoke around the stage, weaving a web of emotion and song that spurred a usually staid San Jose audience to an extended ovation. It was a stunning moment.

Under the limitations of words on a page, this almost sounds like showing off, but it’s not. López moves about the stage with a calm grace, and her singing, for being so brilliantly nuanced, is much the same way. Later, smaller touches demonstrated her ability to stay rooted to the emotions of her character. Swearing a hateful vow to her nemesis, the Count, she drove the line slightly sharp, in the manner of a dramatic soprano, to invest it with an angry edge. Dying in the arms of Manrico, she sang her farewells with a faraway piano that almost seemed like a ventriloquist’s trick, as if her lines were coming from the hereafter.”

Michael J. Vaughn, operaville.blogspot.com

 

 

Il Trovatore - Opera San Jose 2013

 “Cecilia Violetta López thrills as Leonora with a soprano voice of purest gold that shows power and nuance throughout her range and control that can spin out a diminuendo into gossamer.”

myrvoldstheatrenotes.com

 


Die Fledermaus - Opera San Jose 2012

"Heading the cast in the Sunday performance was the dazzling soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez, in her first year as an Opera San Jose resident artist. Singing Rosalinda with a big, buttery sound, her vocalizing dominated the stage. She effortlessly migrates from an upper class housewife in act one to a tantalizing Hungarian countess in the second act."

Milpitas Post

 

 

The Pearl Fishers - Opera San Jose 2012

"As Leila, soprano CECILIA VIOLETTA LOPEZ enhanced the superb singing of  the night with her unique tone of voice and her Bel Canto technique. Her voice has power, yet it is mellow in sound. It has volume yet it could also produce a very soft tone. Above all its sound is completely pure and changes smoothly from the lyrics of her arias to her melismatic passages allowing us to hear her coloratura tones which sounded lovely.”

Iride Aparicio - Cultural World

 


The Pearl Fishers - Opera San Jose 2012

“On Saturday at the California Theatre, where Opera San Jose opened its 29th season with a new “Pearl Fishers” production, the ripest, most fragrant  melodies  took wing whenever Cecilia Violetta López, a new soprano with the company, held the stage as Leila. ... Her voice was opalescent and plush as she sang... Growing more comfortable, Lopez seemed to have a steadying effect on the whole production...”

Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury

 


The Pearl Fishers - Opera San Jose 2012

"The focus of OSJ’s 2012-13 opening was soprano Cecilia Violetta López in the role of Léïla, and it was fascinating to track the way that a new voice works its way through one’s neural networks. Her opening lines, as Léïla is welcomed as the guardian virgin of Ceylon’s pearl dives, brings an immediate recognition of vocal quality: a lyric instrument, laced with energy. Her first set piece, an incantation to the goddess Siva, reveals expressivity and dynamic range, as well as the basic pleasure of listening to her sure, unforced tone.  Having checked off the basics of vocal quality, the critic then waits to hear if the singer’s brain is connected to her throat. The question was fully answered by a cadenza in the second-act cavatina, “Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombré.” Taking a moment to drift in a bath of sudden silence (always a magical substance at the operahouse), López launches a passage of virtuosic phrasing, both in her tonal colorings and in her lovingly crafted crescendos.  The bonus came in López’s acting.  In the third act, pleading for the life of her lover, Nadir, she delivered an emotional authenticity...”

Michael J. Vaughn, operaville.blogspot.com 

 

 

The Pearl Fishers - Opera San Jose 2012

 "Female lead soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez as Leila instantly captures your attention with her alluring vocals and incredible range."  

Washington Times