Ana María Martínez: “Czech Was the Hardest”

By Noel Morris |

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Anna Maria Martínez (Photo: Svetlana Pasedko)

Ana María Martínez is a seasoned performer on the stage of Chicago’s Civic Opera House. In the last year, she’s sung Mimì, Desdemona, and opens as Rusalka on Saturday. What is less dazzling, less conspicuous, has been her role as a role model to Chicago’s youth. The Puerto Rican-American soprano (who is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish) frequently volunteers as a mentor to young people, especially girls and kids in Hispanic communities.

This past week, Lyric Opera formalized their commitment to extending their resources to Chicago’s neighborhoods, naming Ana María Martínez and Eric Owens community ambassadors.

During a visit to Chicago’s Lakeview High School, Ana María Martínez took questions from music students, many of whom are bilingual. The kids marveled at the number of languages that an opera singer has to master. In this video clip, Martínez answers the question, “Which language was the hardest?”

Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák, sung in Czech, opens on Saturday. WFMT’s live broadcast begins at 7:15 pm.