I want to be the first Latina Rosenkavalier

I want to be the first Latina Rosenkavalier


norman lebrecht

July 06, 2019

Zsolt Bognar’s latest guest on Living the Classical Life is Ailyn Perez, daughter of Mexican immigrants who has become one of America’s most sought-after sopranos.



  • Olassus says:

    She suggests Leonard for that (mezzo) role.

  • John Rook says:

    Just going by the headline, the Chilean mezzo Evelyn Ramirez gave her first Octavian last month at the Chilean National Opera, so Ailyn might get to be the second…

  • Straussian says:

    What an absolutely marvelous interview! She’s warm, genuine, and totally from the heart. And to sing with the voice of an angel! I find myself very moved by what she has to say in this interview. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her many times, a beautiful artist on all counts. The opening of the Mon coeur snippet – the warm, dark middle register is amazing for a lyric soprano. I think she’ll make a wonderful Marschallin if she chooses to sing it. But she wouldn’t be the first Latina Marie-Therese, as the title of the article suggests. Montserrat Caballe was a wonderful Marschallin in Glyndebourne and elsewhere, and I’m sure there are others…

  • diego439 says:

    first of all:
    ms perez should learn to come prepared and studied to rehearsals and concerts.

    • Wladek says:

      What Ms. Perez should do is avoid these banal
      interviews that Mr. Bognar conducts. The ethnic field has been well mined by the likes of Stratas
      who attracted audiences not by being Canadian-
      Greek but by being a wonderful “singer “.The ethnic
      shtick may bring in a certain audience but she will
      be judged by her singing artistry in whatever role
      comes her way

      • I’m very sorry that you do not like them. They are a labor of love and we do reach many people who are grateful for these conversations shaping their musical development and the way they regard their life in the arts.

      • Music Fanatic says:

        Wladek decries the “ethnic shtick” but is the very type of person who would claim Rubinstein as “the best” Chopin player because he was Polish.

        • Wladek says:

          Music Fanatic , why would you spout such
          stupidity??? you attribute through
          ignorance what you think would be my take
          on Rubinstein playing Chopin.

  • BrianB says:

    First “latina” Rosenkavalier? Sorry, Ailyn, Lucrezia Bori and Conchita Supervia beat you to the punch about a century ago; both Spanish and both sang Octavian.

    • Nik says:

      I suppose you’re getting into the intricacies of racial politics now – never a good idea.
      I can’t tell you why it is, but people who come from the “Latin” part of Europe are not classified as a separate race. They are just white Europeans.
      It’s only in America that “Latinos” exist as a race, even if some of them are 100% descended from Spaniards.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Nik writes: “people who come from the “Latin” part of Europe are not classified as a separate race: they are just white Europeans.”

        This is what YOU think. However, for the historical record, when Australia ran a White-Australia policy, it did not count Italians/Spaniards/Greeks and their descendants as white. Within Italy itself, many people think of people from the North are white. Who “counts as white” can and does change over time and between different places.

        Of course, thankfully, Australia no longer adopts that policy. We live in more enlightened times (well, for the time-being).

    • anon says:

      Latinx refers to people from Latin America. Bori and Supervia being from Spain are European and not Latinx.

  • Player says:

    But in which role? Only Octavian *is* the Rosenkavalier.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Every theater in the world should ask her what she would like to sing and create new productions just for her.

  • Bogda says:

    I hope she does. She sang Four Last songs this season in Prague, and that was some incredible Strauss voice and singing

  • E. Gomez says:

    The mexican tenor Francisco Araiza recorded Rosenkavalier in video with Carlos Kleiber.He also sing tenor part in a wonderfull series of live and studio recondings of Das Lied von der Erde with Giulini.

    • rita says:

      I didn’t know Giulini had recorded Das Lied, where can it be found?

    • John Rook says:

      Yes, but I’m not sure he sang Octavian.

      • Nik says:

        Presumably he sang Di Rigori Armato. All two minutes of it. A momentous event in opera history.

        • E. Gomez says:

          Francisco Araiza also recorded Der Freischutz with Colin Davis,Die Zauberflote with Karajan,Mozart Requiem with Marriner and Peter Schreier,Monteverdi operas with Harnoncourt,Puccini Turandot(Pong) with Karajan,Offenbach Les Contes with Tate,Rossini Stabat Mater with Bychkov,Bach Magnificat with Karajan,Berlioz Te Deum with Abbado,Schubert masses with Sawallisch,Verdi Falstaff with Karajan,Mozart Entfuhrung with Bohm,Haydn Die Schopfung with Karajan,Schubert Die Schone Mullerin with Gage…

          • Nik says:

            What is your point exactly? In the 1980s he was one of the world’s leading lyric tenors. I’m sure most people here remember him well.

          • E. Gomez says:

            I apologize for the misunderstanding.I only would like say that latin singers are not new in the german classical music field.Another example is Oralia Dominguez,who recorded works like Erda role in the Karajan Ring and the alto part in the Ressurrection Symphony of Mahler with Bernstein.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I wish Ms Perez great success, she has a big voice that I am looking forward to listen more of. However, given the hype around her cultural background (that she absolutely cannot control), I can’t refrain from this comment: I guess the social justice warriors are not crying ‘cultural appropriation’ this time.