B i o g r a p h y
Alejandra Villarreal Martinez specializes in Spanish and Latin American music as well as 20th and 21st century works. She was recently honored by the National Society of Arts and Letters as the 1st place winner in the Bloomington, Indiana Chapter, and was a finalist for the Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship at the Jacobs School of Music. At the Cleveland Institute of Music she was the first recipient of the Elly Ameling Award for Excellence in Recital Performance. Additional accolades include 1st Place Advanced Women at Buckeye NATS and the Carol and Peter Polk Music Award.
Favorite opera credits include Margarita Xirgu (Ainadamar), Cristi Kahlo (Frida) and Branghein (The Love Potion) with the Long Beach Opera, La Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), Salud (La vida breve), and Lady Billows (Albert Herring). She recently reprised the role of Cristi Kahlo, with her debut at Anchorage Opera's production of Frida in February, 2020. Ms. Martinez is also looking forward to her first performance as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly with Opera West! in October, 2020. Her concert credits include performances at the National Council de la Raza, singing as a guest artist with the Purdue University Orchestra, collaboration with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana Wind Symphony, and repeat engagements with the Cleveland One World Festival. She was a soloist in the St. Luke Passion by Krzysztof Penderecki under the direction of the composer himself at the IU Musical Arts Center in 2017.
Dedicated to furthering opera outreach and education, Ms. Martinez is the brainchild and host of her original podcast, the Opera Avengers, which she produced through the Great Lakes Light Opera (GLLO). She also created the original children's pastiche opera, Alice in Operaland, successfully produced by GLLO in 2015. Additionally she has served as the Production Manager for local Bloomington outreach group, Reimagining Opera for Kids. Previous experience with arts administration includes serving as President and Fundraising Officer for the Stanford Savoyards, a student-run light opera company at Stanford University. Ms. Martinez is enjoying being part of the leadership team of New Voices Opera this year, promoting and performing in John William Griffith II's The Jungle. In addition, she works extensively with Indiana University's Latin American Music Center, which produces many chamber concerts a year featuring Latin American composers and invited artists.
Ms. Martinez's commitment to contemporary opera is demonstrated by the libretti she has written, especially those honoring the Latin American experience. She was part of a team that received the prestigious Opera American Female Composers Discovery Grant. Her idea for a story based on the lives of soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution, La Capitana, led her to win IU's Innovation Competition in 2017. Her latest project, La Gloria will be a collaboration with her co-librettist and friend Nancy De Los Santos and composer David Reyes.
A dedicated scholar, Ms. Martinez is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Jacobs School of Music and holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. She has extensively studied music abroad; under the guidance of Dr. Michael Burden, Dean of New College, Oxford University, she authored a collection of musicological essays on Handel’s operas. Later, she would focus on performance and interpretation of German Lieder at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and again at the University of Miami's program in Salzburg.
Ms. Martinez is a native of Southern California, currently residing in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband, baritone Nicholas James Farmer.
She studies with soprano Jane Dutton.