Meet soprano Lisette Oropesa, international opera star

If she looks like a Cuban girl, there’s a reason for that. She was born to Cuban immigrant parents in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge. After studying the flute, she switched to singing and studied at the Louisiana State University School of Music. In 2005, she won the Metropolitan Opera Grand Council Auditions, joining the Met’s development program for young singers. Her big break came in 2007, when she stepped in as a substitute for a leading role in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Met and had a great success.

Since then, she’s had a very busy career singing all over the world at major venues, going from one triumph to another to great acclaim everywhere. She’s currently starring in the killer role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Milan’s fabled La Scala opera house, which is a VERY big deal for a soprano.

She is a lyric coloratura soprano, which requires a beautiful voice and great technical ability, and she’s got both. She has a broad repertoire: Baroque opera, Mozart, bel canto, Verdi, French opera, zarzuela as wells as concerts and recitals. Not surprisingly, she’s in great demand, as it seems everything she touches turns to gold. As if that weren’t enough, she’s an avid runner who’s done several marathons and has been featured in Runner’s World magazine.

I chose the clip below, a rendition of the “Sempre libera” from Verdi’s Traviata, because it’s a live performance where what you hear is what you get (the singing starts at the 1 minute mark):

For something less flashy but very beautiful, listen to her “Caro nome” from Verdi’s Rigoletto:

She has sung only once for Florida Grand Opera, in Mozart’s Magic Flute in 2013. No doubt she’s had better options since then, but FGO should have offered her whatever she wanted to get her back in Miami. Cubans have been known to make much ado about not that much, but Oropesa is definitely the real deal. We should all be very proud of her.

7 thoughts on “Meet soprano Lisette Oropesa, international opera star”

  1. For the “Caro nome,” I suggest starting the clip, closing your eyes and just listening to what the woman can do with her voice. It’s magical. And yes, she’s singing live in front of an audience.

      • She sings in all the top places, as well as cool places like a castle in a lake in Finland, where she will sing her first performances of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette this July.

  2. She’s on Facebook where she posts updates. She’s wonderful! I love her. She gives Cubans a lot of prestige.

    • Like I said, she’s the real deal. You don’t get to sing Lucia at La Scala unless you’ve got the goods.

  3. Her talent comes from her maternal side. Her mother, a music teacher, was also a singer, and her maternal grandfather sang zarzuela in Cuba. When she took up the flute, her mom predicted she’d wind up singing.

  4. The first Cuban woman to sing at La Scala was the mezzo-soprano Marta Pérez (1924-2009), who sang the role of Preziosilla in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino there in 1955, though that is a secondary role. She was, however, in major league company: soprano Renata Tebaldi and tenor Giuseppe di Stefano.

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