From rave reviews and busy opera seasons to dozens of solo concerts nationwide, School of Music alumna Maria Valdes (B.Mu.’12) adds another accolade to her list of achievements with the honor of being named to Georgia State University (GSU) 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. The annual award celebrates the most influential and accomplished GSU graduates who embody the university’s values and distinguish themselves in their professions and communities.
When the operatic soprano performed at the Berkshire Opera Festival in Rigoletto, the review from The New York Times cited…
“The soprano Maria Valdes has already proven herself in more modern fare; she was a standout this past January in New York City Opera’s mariachi opera ‘Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.’ Here she was a first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda.”
Valdes, who studied voice with Associate Professor Richard Clement at GSU’s School of Music, performed with prestigious opera companies, including the Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, and the San Francisco Opera, where she sang numerous roles over two years in Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème (for families) and Sweeney Todd, among others. Recently, Valdez performed with The Metropolitan Opera, covering the role of Papagena in Die Zauberflöte.
“Even as an 18-year-old freshman, Maria took her work as a singer seriously, from singing the National Anthem at the inaugural Georgia State Football game to her graduate recital.” said Professor Clement “I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
In Atlanta, Valdes sang the role of Younger Alyce in Glory Denied with the Atlanta Opera and covered the role of Lucy in The Threepenny Opera. She was also featured in a series of short films called “In The Key of Bach” by the Atlanta Symphony.
An award-winner in the regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Valdes is also the winner of the top prize at the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of a Shoshana Foundation Grant, as well as an Adler Fellow from the San Francisco Opera Center.
Click here to watch Valdes perform Mi tradi quell’alma ingrata, Donna Elvira’s aria from Don Giovanni.
A ceremony and reception to recognize the 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 alumni will take place on March 31 at the Foundry at Puritan Mill, 916 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. NW Atlanta. The event is open to the public. Tickets are available here.