Meet the Artist: Sandra Lopez
Sandra Lopez, who sings the role of Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas, tells us about her dream roles and how she gets into character!
What drew you to Florencia en el Amazonas?
Frankly, I am really taken with the whole piece, but right now I am particularly obsessed with the final aria in the opera. There is a certain level of narrative detachment in her character, but in this last moment she is totally giving in to love and to being vulnerable, allowing herself to feel. I'm still bursting into tears with it so I have to find a way to perform it without getting too emotional! It's an exciting challenge.
How do you transition into your character's head space?
I always start with the libretto because that is what we are presenting to the public. I do background work - reading books and historical documents as they are relevant to the story. It is amazing how stories change when they are written into operas! And then the usual of imagining a day in the lives of our characters, understanding how they were living their lives so that we can understand and embody their personalities on stage through the music and the libretto.
Do you have a dream role?
For a long time, my dream role was Butterfly from Madama Butterfly. My great-great grandmother was an opera singer and used to sing Un bel di (One Fine Day) as a lullaby to my grandmother, and then she did the same to me. I am fascinated with stories that explore relationships and the human condition. All of those eternal characters in some way teach us about ourselves and show us other possibilities that we may not even realize.
How did you get your start in opera?
I fell in love with the art when I saw my first opera starring Plácido Domingo, at 9 years old, and from then on it was always my dream to be involved in music and theatrical stage work. Ten years later, I got my first role in The Marriage of Figaro with the Palm Beach Opera. It was so much fun! That story is such a funny comedy of errors. I had so much fun being a part of a huge group effort like that and being able to engage the audience and make them laugh.
What music is on your playlist right now?
Number one is upbeat, happy music of all kinds! I have Disney music, movie soundtracks, Latin dance music, sweeping orchestral music, and piano concertos.
I want music that uplifts and inspires me! I also love listening to the radio and not having to choose and think too much about it. Often I will hear pieces and songs that I would not download, but they are a lot of fun to listen to for three minutes.