"The bronze hue of Maria Fernanda Brea’s Marie. Brea was all cheerful, sunny energy in Act I, rallying her boys with glittering coloratura and tireless high notes. ."
- Joanne Sydney Lessner , Opera News
Maria Brea, soprano, is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. This upcoming fall, 2019, Ms. Brea will make her debut with the New Camerata Opera singing the role of Elena in the Zarzuela El Barbero de Sevilla. This past summer, Maria was an Eva and Stern Fellow at Songfest and made her debut with the Queens Symphony Orchestra in their Night at the Opera concert series. Last spring, Ms. Brea made her Opera Tampa debut singing the title role in Maestro Anton Coppola's Lady Swanwhite, a world premiere. During the winter 2018, Maria sang the role of Raquel in the world premiere of the opera El Rey Nacio in New York City and made her debut as Musetta in La Bohème with the New York Concert Opera. Maria also sang in a recital as part of the St. Hugh Steinway series in Miami, Florida. Last summer, she sang the role of Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff in Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance. Ms. Brea performed with the West Bay Opera in the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen during the spring 2018. Maria was part of the 2017-2018 season in the Apprentice Artist Program at Palm Beach Opera where she sang as Bridesmaid I in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Ms. Brea participated as a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera 2017 where she performed arias and duets from La Bohème, Lakmé and Carousel with Maestro John Morris Russel and the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic. She also performed the role of the Bird in Philip Glass’s Juniper Tree in August 2017. Ms. Brea performed the role of Glaša in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova in April 2017 at the Juilliard School. In 2015, Ms. Brea sang the role of Marie in La Fille du Regiment with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance and Lisa in Lehar’s Das Land des Lächelns at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2014, she sang the role of Adina with the West Bay Opera and in 2013 she sang the role of Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore with Prelude to Performance. In 2016-2017, Ms. Brea was seen in two live-streamed master classes with Maestro Pablo Heras-Casado and Maestro Emmanuel Villaume. Additionally, she performed excerpts of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Dardanus with the Juilliard 415 under the baton of Maestro William Christie at Alice Tully Hall.
She most recently won second prize in the Opera Cultura Vocal Competition 2019 and an Encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Song/Lieder Competition. Maria was a finalist in the Mary Truman Art Song Competition 2018, and won first prize in the Giulio Gari (2017) and New York Lyric Opera (2016) Competitions. Ms. Brea also won second prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition (2017) and received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Connecticut District 2017 and The Gerda Lissner Art Song Competition. Ms. Brea’s other awards and honors include the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music where she received her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance and a Kovner Fellow at the Juilliard School of Music where she received her Master’s. Maria was a proud recipient of a Novick Career Advancement Grant. Ms. Brea’s father, a music teacher and Cuatro player, taught her Venezuelan folk music from an early age.