American soprano Maria Valdes was recently described as a “first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda” (New York Times). Highlights of the 2018-2019 season include a debut with Atlanta Opera as Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a company debut with Washington Concert Opera for their Opera Outside series and a return to Phoenix Symphony for performances of Handel’s Messiah. Ms. Valdes will also make 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 will debut with West Edge Opera as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice. During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Valdes will return to Atlanta Opera as Christine Kahlo in Frida and Younger Alyce in Glory Denied. During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Valdes will return to Houston Grand Opera to sing the role of Amy in the world premiere of The Snowy Day and during the winter of 2021, Ms. Valdes will make her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Euridice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.
In the concert realm, Ms. Valdes will make debuts with Virginia Symphony as the soprano soloist in Messiah, the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Chants d’Auvergine by Joseph Canteloube and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Bach Cantata No. 29. “Wir danken dir, Gott.” In the spring of 2020, Ms. Valdes will make her Mobile Symphony debut in Ein deutsches Requiem.
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 has performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Symphony, in Brahms’s 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 debut 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.