Maria Brea

Venezuelan soprano María Brea has been called a “fantastic soprano,” by Opera Wire showcasing “virtuosity as a singer” and imbuing “luxurious polish.” Her performance of Cav+Pag with New Camerata Opera in Fall 2021 was celebrated by Opera News, who said, “Maria Brea was an absolute delight as Nedda, …demonstrating a natural theatrical instinct. She also has a lovely voice.” In the 2021-22 season, Brea’s lovely voice will be heard in the role of Norina in Don Pasquale with The Barn Opera in Vermont, in the recital “Susanna: Evolution of the Ingenue” with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, as the headliner of Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid’s “A Song for Venezuela” concert, and as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall.

Brea was chosen as a finalist in the 2022 Paris Competition and sang for the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She previously won 6th prize in the Tenor Viñas Contest, where she also received a special award for the best interpreter of Zarzuela and a contract to perform with the orchestra at Teatro Liceu de Barcelona. Brea has been the recipient of awards in the Opera Cultura, Gerda Lissner, Giulio Gari, Mary Truman Art Song, and New York Lyric Opera Competitions, and received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Connecticut District Auditions.

In December 2020, Brea made her debut with Teatro Grattacielo as Olga in Giordano’s Fedora, where she “conquer(ed) the entire stage with her every appearance” with her “seemingly unfettered vocal abilities” (Opera Wire). She was to have performed the role of Frasquita (Carmen) at the Rose Theater in Lincoln Center with MasterVoices and sung as a soloist in their Bridges Project though both were cancelled due to COVID-19. She recently performed the role of Elena in the Zarzuela El Barbero de Sevilla, for which the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors awarded her “Best Musical Actress.” In 2019, Brea created the title role of Anton Coppola’s Lady Swanwhite in a production with Opera Tampa.

Her operatic roles have also included Raquel in the world premiere of José Luis González Moya’s El Rey Nació with PuntaClassic, Musetta in La Bohème with the New York Concert Opera, and Micaëla in Carmen and Adina in L’elisir d’amore with West Bay Opera. With Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, she performed the roles of Nannetta in Falstaff, Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and Marie in La Fille du Regiment. Brea has recently been seen in concert with the Queens Symphony Orchestra and in the St. Hugh Steinway recital series in Miami, FL.

Brea earned her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship; and her master’s degree at the Juilliard School as a Kovner Fellow. Along her professional path, Brea participated as a studio artist with Wolf Trap Opera in 2016-17, where she performed the role of the Bird in Philip Glass’s Juniper Tree. She was an apprentice artist with Palm Beach Opera in 2017-18, was the Eva and Marc Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2019 and has been the beneficiary of a Novick Career Advancement Grant.

Brea credits her father, a music teacher and Cuatro player, for instilling in her a love of Venezuelan folk music from an early age. Maria is a co-founder of the instagram platform Latina Women in Opera and is a Spanish Diction expert at DictionBuddy.com.

October 2021

 

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