Photo from anamariamartinez.com
Ana Maria Martinez was the voice of Alessandra in Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle.
Hard on the heels of the Drive-up Mainly Mozart Festival is the Drive-in San Diego Opera production of Puccini’s La Boheme. the opera will be offering four performances of the heartbreaking masterpiece starting on Saturday, October 24, 2020. The drive-in venue is the Pechanga Sports Arena.
There have been a few adjustments to the cast since the announcement was made. Soprano Angel Blue, last heard in San Diego as Liu in Puccini’s Turandot, was scheduled to sing Mimi in La Boheme. The San Diego Opera website now lists soprano Ana Marie Martinez in the role of Mimi.
I heard Angel Blue sing the role of Mimi at the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2016. I was looking forward to hearing her again and seeing in which ways she has grown in the role.
However, Ana Marie Martinez is an exciting soprano for the San Diego Opera to present. You might not be aware of it but many of us have heard her before as well.
She was the voice of Alessandra, La Fiamma, in Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle. That’s a nice credit but Martinez is a legendary vocalist who has appeared in lead roles at The Met, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Salzburg Festival, and the Vienna State Opera.
Another pleasant surprise is conductor Rafael Payare. Payare is the newly minted music director of the San Diego Symphony and I’ve had nothing but praise for the Venezuelan-born maestro.
As is standard in outdoor venues, the singers and orchestra will be mic’d. The singers will be displayed on large screens but it is unclear just how staged this opera is going to be. Nothing on the opera company's website says that it is a concert version so it should be safe to assume that the singers and chorus will be in costume.
The price for standard parking is $200 per car and preferred parking is $300 per car. Those appear to be fair prices based on four people per car. It might be difficult for some opera lovers to find three companions.
Is this the future of opera? I certainly hope not. Is it the best possible option given our current context? I would have to say that it is.
For all performance dates and tickets visit sdopera.com