Dona nobis pacem: Silent Night (K. Puts/M. Campbell)
Maria Valdes, soprano
Clinton Smith, piano
Filmed and edited by Conduit Studios
American soprano Maria Valdes was recently described as a “first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda” (New York Times). The upcoming 2023-2024 season involves several symphonic and recital debuts. On the symphonic stage, Ms. Valdes joins the Greensboro Symphony to sing Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, is featured as the soprano soloist in Messiah with the Atlanta Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and returns to the Phoenix Symphony for Strauss’s Four Last Songs. In recital, she is featured with Il Cenacolo Italian Club, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, and will join Spanish River Concerts for a concert with Daniel Montenegro. Additionally, Ms. Valdes makes her return to Houston Grand Opera in a role TBA. During the 2022-2023 season, Ms. Valdes joined the Metropolitan Opera roster covering Papagena in The Magic Flute, returned to Atlanta Opera as Amy in The Snowy Day, returned to Hawaii Opera Theater as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and made her San Jose Symphony debut singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Carmina Burana. She also joined Madison Chamber Music Festival for a recital.
During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Valdes made her Georgia Symphony Orchestra debut as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, returned to Berkshire Opera Festival for a recital of Mozart selections and made her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Micaëla in Peter Brook’s La tragédie de Carmen. She also returned to The Phoenix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, debuted the role of Maria in The Sound of Music with Charlottesville Opera and The Ellen Theater, joined Berkshire Lyric for Mozart’s Requiem and Laudate Dominum in the prestigious Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, made her Gulf Coast Symphony debut as the soprano soloist in a concert titled “A Grand Night of Opera” and returned to the Bellingham Festival of Music to sing a concert of Strauss lieder and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.
During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Valdes was slated to return to Houston Grand Opera to sing the role of Amy in the world premiere of The Snowy Day (COVID19 - postponed to 2021-22 season) and to make her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Euridice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld (COVID19). In 2021, Ms. Valdes sang the role of Younger Alyce in Glory Denied at Atlanta Opera, joined NYFOS@ Home for their It’s Summer in South America recital, covered the role of Lucy in The Threepenny Opera for Atlanta Opera and joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for their series of short films called In The Key of Bach. That summer, she reprised the role of Younger Alyce in Berkshire Opera Festival’s production of Glory Denied and performed as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Summer Singers of Atlanta.
During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Valdes returned to Atlanta Opera as Christine Kahlo in Frida and made her Mobile Symphony debut in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. Highlights of the 2018-2019 season included a role and company debut with Atlanta Opera as Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and a company debut with Washington Concert Opera for their Opera Outside series. Ms. Valdes also made her company and role debut as Violetta in La traviata at Gulfshore Opera, her Rochester Philharmonic debut reprising the role of Despina in Così fan tutte and her debut with West Edge Opera as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice.
In the concert realm, Ms. Valdes recently made a debut with the Virginia Symphony and returned to the Pheonix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Messiah, joined the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Chants d’Auvergne by Joseph Canteloube, as well as, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Bach Cantata No. 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott”.
In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Valdes made her debut with New York City Opera, in cooperation with Houston Grand Opera as Diana in the mariachi opera, Cruzar la cara de la luna, and made a role and company debut with Opera San José as Despina in Così fan tutte. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Valdes made her company debuts with the Berkshire Opera Festival as Gilda in Rigoletto and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. On the concert stage, Ms. Valdes performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Symphony, in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Bellingham Festival of Music.
During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Valdes returned to San Francisco Opera to cover the role of Gilda and went on in-role during a performance after a colleague fell ill. A distinguished alumna of the SongFest program in Los Angeles, she was heard in a solo recital of Nordic, Spanish and Latin American music. Other season highlights included performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Chattanooga Symphony, and with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the West Coast premiere of Scott Ordway’s “Tonight We Tell the Secrets of the World”. Ms. Valdes also joined the Concert Royal at St. Thomas Church in New York City for their Messiah, where The New York Times exclaimed that she performed “beautifully, growing stronger as the evening progressed.”
In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Valdes joined the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Ms. Valdes also completed her time as an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. During her time as an Adler, Ms. Valdes performed the roles of Musetta in La bohème, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Covers included Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Magnolia in Showboat and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, which she also performed in 2013 as member of the Merola Opera Program.
Also an accomplished recitalist, Ms. Valdes has appeared in concert with Martin Katz, and made her New York recital debut with NYFOS performing with Steven Blier and Michael Barrett in Compositora, a recital of female Latin American composers. She also attended the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival which included several concert appearances and Ms. Valdes can be heard singing Mendelssohn’s “Hear my prayer” on the album Evening Hymn released by Gothic Records and acclaimed in the American Record Guide. An award-winner in the regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Ms. Valdes is also the winner of the top prize at the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of a Shoshana Foundation Grant.