Grammy Award-Winning Soprano Ana Maria Martinez to Perform with Mercury, 2/14-15

For the first time in the orchestra's history, Mercury will feature Grammy Award-winning soprano, Ana María Martínez, in its upcoming Valentine's Day program on February 14 & 15.

Love Songs with Ana María Martínez features a diverse repertoire of romantic compositions written for starry-eyed lovers, Friends and family alike.

Handel, Cantato Delirio Amoroso, HWV99
Purcell, Dido and Aeneas
Handel, Concerto Grosso Op. 6, #4
Handel, Giulio Cesare in Egitto

To purchase tickets, call (713) 533-0080 or visit Tickets are available in the $10, $20, $40 and $60 range.

Ana Maria Martinez enjoys a world-sweeping schedule of performances studded by illustrious "firsts". The Houston Grand Opera and Oscar and Lynn Wyatt awarded to Ms Martinez the inaugural Lynn Wyatt Great Artist Award. She is an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Local audiences look forward to return engagements with The Grand Opera, the scene of her critically acclaimed role debut as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly and where she has featured in some of her favorite roles, including Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Mimi in La Boheme, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, la Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro and Liù inTurandot. Strong connections in our local arts scene and a platform of achievement in the performing arts community.

Prestigious stages around the world welcome her accomplished lyric soprano voice. She has appeared in productions as diverse as selections from the Broadway musical West Side Story performed in Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic, to an appearance in a Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Faust singing the role of Marguerite. Significantly, she has set some milestones in the performance world, portraying Mimi in La Bohemewith the Abu Dhabi Festival in the United Arab Emirates, for the city's first ever fully staged opera production; and with the Houston Grand Opera, the role of Lucero in the world premiere of Daniel Catán's Salsipuedes. The 2012-13 season continues the accomplished tour, with major role debuts with the Opera National de Paris as Antonia in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffman; and as Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger with De Nederlandse Opera. A highlight No Doubt will be her performance in the inaugural season of the Placido Domingo Festival in Malaga, Spain - with Placido Domingo himself conducting.<

In fact Ms Martinez has toured with Placido Domingo many times, visiting major cities all across the map, including major music festivals in Europe, a gala celebration of the tenor's birthday and a White House appearance. No limit to collaborations and expansive touring: she has appeared internationally with another famous tenor, Andrea Bocelli, including two special performances released on DVD.

As a graduate of the Juilliard School with both bachelor's and master's degrees Ms Martinez is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Pepita Embil Award at the 1995 Operalia II and first prize in the 1994 Eleanor McCollum Auditions. In the 1993 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions she was a first place district and first place regional winner and a national finalist. She has been recognized as a leader in many ways, recently honored by Best Buy and HP as a Latina Trailblazer.

In true leadership form and as a recognized role model Ms Martinez has written and has been the subject of inspirational writing. She mentors and assists aspiring vocalists through her column in the magazine Classical Singer. She is featured in a chapter in the book "Latino Wisdom: Celebrity Stories of Hope, Inspiration, and Success to Recharge our Mind, Body, and Soul" authored by Cathy Areu and published by Barricade Books. Celebrity, ?? mentor, outstanding vocalist honored in Houston and accomplished around the globe - and welcomed again tonight to a Houston stage. (Ana's Bio by Tim Howard)