As a melting pot for cultures, Los Angeles in great, hosts many events with the goal of bringing groups of all religion, race and culture together. World famous conductor/singers Plácido and Marta Domingo are involved by inviting Latinos of Los Angeles to events at the LA Opera. On May 6, Hispanics for LA Opera gathered in the Founders room at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a buffet lunch in the presence of some of the world’s next generation of Opera singers.
Since 1991, Hispanics for LA Opera has been an organization of opera lovers founded to promote Opera within the Hispanic community. Those of the group attend opera performances and fundraise to support the community and education programs, providing opportunities for thousands of children and adults to get involved in the community.
At the luncheon, where guests of the opera-involved Hispanic community were greeted with glasses of rosé, enjoyed a full bar and buffet and listened attentively to performances by Tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli, Soprano Liv Redpath, Baritone Juan Carlos Heredia and Pianist Nino Sanikidze.
Santelli, with a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and his Masters of Music from the University of Michigan is now in his second season as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist. This program is exclusive to Domingo’s scouted young Opera singers. The 25-year-old is a 2018 winner of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been involved in many impressive productions.
“Opera came later in life,” Santelli said. “I was singing since elementary school, but at the end of my time in high school, I decided that was the type of music I wanted to pursue.”
Only starting his Opera career in his late teens, Santelli has quickly progressed in a matter of years. His debut with Dayton Opera in 2017 as Count Almaviva in “the Barber of Seville” was the first of many. The strong beginning opened a world of significant roles such as Artuto in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and more.
“I got into Opera a little earlier because my mom had put me in a program at the Minnesota Opera for kids,” Redpath said. “Starting from 13 I was doing Opera and by 15 I had decided it’s what I like to do.”
Redpath, a Harvard University graduate, now in her second season as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist, has appeared as Frasquita in “Carmen,” Amour in “Orpheus and Eurydice” and Countess Ceprano in “Rigoletto.”
According to the Hispanics for LA Opera, “aside from making her company debut in the season-opening production of Macbeth, she also performed the leading role of Olympia in ‘The Tales of Hoffmann.'” Returning in the winter to preform as Gretel in “Hansel in Gretel,” has had an impressive two years.
“Although Opera isn’t mainstream for young people, I’ve loved singing Opera since the very start of my singing career,” Redpath said.
Heredia, in his first year as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist, has made his company debut as Moralès in “Carmen” and upcoming role of Marullo in “Rigoletto.” As a 2016 winner of Operalia, he is a Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer Prize for Zarzuela, and has performed internationally.
The three singers performed for their fellow Hispanic community with songs from musicals of which they are familiar; “The Barber of Seville,” “Rigoletto,” “The Daughter of Regiment,” “Maravilla,” “Don Giovanni” and “West Side Story.”
Sankidze, Head Coach for the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program assisted the young singers with her pianistic skills throughout their performances, bringing Hispanics of all backgrounds together to appreciate the art of Opera.
Hispanics for LA Opera
135 North Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
For more information, visit LA Opera.com