Maria Brea, Soprano

Venezuelan soprano María Brea has been called a “fantastic soprano,” by Opera Wire, showcasing “virtuosity as a singer” and imbuing her performances with “luxurious polish.” Opera News celebrated her appearance in Cav+Pag  with New Camerata Opera, saying “Maria Brea was an absolute delight as Nedda, …demonstrating a natural theatrical instinct. She also has a lovely voice.”

In the 2023-24 season, the “vocally thrilling” (ConcertoNet) soprano will make her debuts with the Phoenix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Mesías [Messiah in Spanish] and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra singing Odaline de la Martinez’s Four Afro-Cuban Poems. She also makes her debut with Arizona Opera in the role of Ana Maria in Zorro, and with Vero Beach Opera in the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.  In the fall, she returns to American Ballet Theatre as the soprano soloist in performances of Charpentier’s Depuis le Jour at the David H. Koch theater in New York.

Brea’s most recent performances have included the roles of Micaëla in CarmXn with Hogfish Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Resonance Works, Norina inDon Pasqualewith The Barn Opera in Vermont, and as Olga in Giordano’sFedora with Teatro Grattacielo, where she “conquer(ed) the entire stage with her every appearance” with her “seemingly unfettered vocal abilities” (Opera Wire). She 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”; and in 2019, created the title role of Anton Coppola’sLady Swanwhitein a production with Opera Tampa.

Her other operatic roles have 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.  

As a concert soloist, Brea has recently been seen with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Oratorio Society of New York, Tucson Symphony, Boston Philharmonic Youth Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra performing works including Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No, 9, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and Haydn’s Creation. She also recently sang as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall. She regularly performs in recital, with recent engagements for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, at the Schubert Club, and as the headliner of Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid’s “A Song for Venezuela” concert. In 2023, she made her debut as a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre in their US premiere of Like Water for Chocolate in Costa Mesa at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and in New York at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

Brea was chosen to represent Venezuela in the 2022 Operalia Competition in Latvia, was 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.

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, where she performed the role of the Bird in Philip Glass’sJuniper Tree. She was an apprentice artist with Palm Beach Opera, was the Eva and Marc Stern Fellow at Songfest 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. 

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