MAGIC VALLEY – Opera Idaho’s first production since the start of the pandemic returns this weekend with the Merry Widow. And the Magic Valley might recognize one of the performers on stage.
Cecilia Violetta Lopez of The Merry Widow grew up in Rupert, Idaho, and made her Opera Idaho debut in 2014. Her parents were farm laborers and occasionally took her and her older brother to work in the fields.
“That’s exactly what we did because it was, well, a way to support our little family, but for our parents, it was just a way to instill a good work ethic in us.” , Lopez said.
It was in these Rupert fields that Cecilia says her mother initiated her love for singing.
“So the problem with training in these areas is that my mom taught me how to sing. She taught me all the songs that she grew up singing and that my grandmother taught her. Music is what she used to help the hours go by faster because fieldwork isn’t fun, ”Lopez said.
During her teenage years, Cecilia sang with mariachi bands in rodeos and quinceñeras, but it wasn’t until college that she was introduced to opera.
“I come from a very Mexican and very Mariachi singing background, it was a challenge. I didn’t understand what vocal technique was and how to elevate the soft palate and all the physics behind it, ”Lopez said.
Since debuting at Opera Idaho in 2014, Opera News has named Cecilia one of Opera’s 25 rising stars.
The Merry Widow will be Cecilia’s first performance without any COVID-19 restrictions.
“We love it. Just like being able to tell these stories. A lot of singers are my friends, and it’s just nice to see them and hear them again because they’re great performers, ”Lopez said.
The Merry Widow premieres tonight with another performance to follow tomorrow night.
Visit Opera Idaho website for more information.