Puerto Rican opera singer Larisa Martínez has been praised and sought after for her “smoky soprano” (Opera News), gracing many of the world’s top opera and concert stages including recent debuts as a soloist at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl.
This season, Larisa Martínez tours extensively with violinist Joshua Bell, in a program entitled “Voice and the Violin” that explores repertoire ranging from classical art song and opera, to musical theater, to a series of selections by Puerto Rican and Spanish composers. She and Bell will present their specially arranged program on the stage of 92NY in NYC in October 2022, with additional plans for this program in the works for 2023. Over the last two years, the “Voice and the Violin” has been presented at the Brevard Music Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Chautauqua Amphitheater, with the Hawaii Symphony, and at the Ravinia Festival.
Larisa’s recent roles include Musetta in La Bohème (CulturArte), Violetta in La Traviata, conducted by Eugene Kohn (Wichita Grand Opera), Sophie alongside tenor Piotr Beczala in Werther (Culturarte), and Maria in West Side Story conducted by Lawrence Foster with tenor Michael Fabiano (Festival Napa Valley). In 2019, Ms. Martínez made her Kennedy Center debut in recital and Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage debut, singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Athens Philharmonic under the baton of Yiannis Hadjiloizou. In 2020, she appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony, performing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Floresta do Amazonas. Other concert appearances include Mahler’s Symphony No.4 and Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and Voci di Domani, presented by Renata Scotto and recorded by Euroclassics in Rome.
In 2016, she created the role of Isaura in the world premiere of Mercadante’s Francesca da Rimini in Italy, conducted by Maestro Fabio Luisi and directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. That same year, Ms. Martínez was invited as part of President Barack Obama’s artistic delegation to Cuba, in an effort to expand cultural collaboration and friendships between the two countries, culminating in the Emmy®-nominated PBS special, Live from Lincoln Center: Seasons of Cuba where she was showcased. For the last three years, Ms. Martínez has toured with tenor Andrea Bocelli, debuting at Madison Square Garden, Hollywood Bowl and throughout North America, South America, and Europe.
In 2016, she won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Audition in Puerto Rico, as well as the Angel Ramos Foundation Award and the Audience Prize. Soon after, she was invited by the Metropolitan Opera Guild 2018 Annual Gala as a guest artist to honor Anna Netrebko. In 2018, EastWest Sounds Studios chose and sampled her voice for its new virtual instrument software, “Voices of Opera,” used by composers and engineers worldwide.
In addition to studying Vocal Performance at the Music Conservatory in San Juan, Larisa simultaneously received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences with high honors from the University of Puerto Rico. She went on to receive a Master's degree from Mannes the New School of Music in New York City. Larisa is a board member on the Silk Road Ensemble and a proud artistic resident of Turnaround Arts, led by the Presidential Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, an organization that strives to transform schools in need through the arts. In addition to her deep commitment to music education, Martinez is also passionate about representing her Boricua cultural heritage through projects and performances.