Peruvian & Mexican-American soprano Vanessa Becerra is a graduate of LA Opera’s prestigious Young Artist Program praised for her “bold and bright” singing (Opera News), “full, beautifully focused” instrument (Wall Street Journal), and “charismatic and eloquent” presence (San Francisco Chronicle).
The upcoming season includes her role debuts as Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Minnesota Opera) and Norina in Don Pasquale (Opera Omaha). She returns to the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Arizona Opera), and joins the Phoenix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
In the 2022-23 season Vanessa debuted the roles of Marie in La fille du régiment (Minnesota Opera), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Omaha), Carolina in El matrimonio secreto (Florida Grand Opera), Despina in Così fan tutte (Opera Theater of St. Louis) and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette (Boston Lyric Opera) for which she received praise from the Boston Globe for her “clarity, luster, and charisma”. She revisited La mujer in El Milagro del Recuerdo (Houston Grand Opera) and debuted with the San Antonio Philharmonic under the baton of Kazem Abdullah singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mozart’s Bella mia fiamma. Last summer she joined Madison Opera and Madison Symphony Orchestra for their annual Opera in the Park celebration with maestro John DeMain.
In the 2021-22 season Vanessa returned to Washington National Opera to create the role of Alicia Hernández in Kamala Sankaram’s RISE, part of the world premiere tetralogy Written in Stone, and debuted with Austin Opera as Marzelline in Fidelio, Opera Parallèle as Belle in Philip Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, Intermountain Opera Bozeman as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, the Metropolitan Opera as Naomie in Cinderella, and Arizona Opera as the title character in the world premiere of The Copper Queen by Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos, adapted as a full-length feature film shown in movie theaters. In concert she debuted with Minnesota Opera for Ópera Afuera at Allianz Field conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the Virginia Symphony as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, returns to Fort Worth Opera as a soloist and co-curator for Entre Amigos, a celebration of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, joins Aural Compass Projects in their New Works, New Voices concert, and premieres two song cycles by Mexican composer Jorge Sosa at NYC’s Opera America. During the time of COVID-19 Vanessa had the great fortune of joining Opera San Jose as a Resident Artist performing Susanna in Il segreto di Susanna in their innovative Heiman Digital Media Studio. Additionally, as part of LA Opera’s After Hours series Vanessa participated in a co-produced recital with Opera San Jose and LA Opera on a program featuring all Latina composers, curated by LAO Artist-in-Residence Russell Thomas.
In the 2019-20 season Vanessa made her Kennedy Center debut with Washington National Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, as well as her debut with Houston Grand Opera as La mujer in the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo receiving respective accolades for her “clarion soprano”, “lithe sound”, and “crystal-clear” tone. The previous season Ms. Becerra enjoyed a hugely successful summer debuting Maria in Francesca Zambello’s production of West Side Story at the Glimmerglass Festival. Described as “the show’s anchor” who achieves “unmatched poignancy” her performance led to a string of reprisals at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Atlanta Opera, and furthermore made her international debut in the role with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia. In 2018-19 Ms. Becerra joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for their productions of The Magic Flute and Iolanta and returned to Opera Omaha for her highly acclaimed portrayal of Lise in Philip Glass’s Les enfants terribles.
The 2017-18 season saw numerous debuts for Ms. Becerra with exciting companies such as the LA Phil under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (Papagena/Die Zauberflöte), San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas (Paquette/Candide), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Miss Lightfoot/Fellow Travelers), Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera (Sophie/Werther), Opera Omaha (Glauce/Medea), and Atlanta Opera (Johanna/Sweeney Todd). Following her debut with Opera San Jose as Musetta in La bohème she returned as the title role in Alma Deutscher's celebrated Cinderella with Jane Glover on the podium (currently distributed via Sony Classical on DVD). For her performance Operawire stated, “Soprano Vanessa Becerra sings Cinderella with vivacious, ardent and luminous voice, coasting through the various musical moods the young composer has set for her with ‘elan' and great warmth.”
During her time with LA Opera, appearances included Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Annina in La Traviata, Gossip 2 in the Grammy Award-winning recording of The Ghosts of Versailles (all with maestro James Conlon), and in concert as a featured soloist with bass-baritone Erwin Schrott. Ms. Becerra enjoys a long relationship with the Glimmerglass Festival where in 2017 she returned as a guest artist to portray Laurey in Oklahoma! receiving praise for her “silken soprano” and “lilting radiance”. This followed her two summers in their young artist program where she portrayed Musetta in La bohème (“a scene-stealing minx with a glorious soprano voice”), and Pamina in their Young Artist Performance of The Magic Flute.
Ms. Becerra’s professional debut came in 2014 with Fort Worth Opera in the world premiere of With Blood, With Ink. She “brought passionate theatrical intensity to Young Juana” (Wall Street Journal) and her “sunny, youthfully appealing soprano created an irresistible characterization” (Opera News). Shortly following her debut, Ms. Becerra received her master’s degree from The Boston Conservatory, which invited her as a featured alumna to perform in their 150th Anniversary Gala at Boston’s renowned Symphony Hall.
Other training programs include the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Seagle Music Colony. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University as a Nordan Full-Tuition Scholarship recipient and is a proud graduate of the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. Ms. Becerra is passionate about volunteer service and has built a network of serving those in need in Houston, TX, Silver Spring, MD, Madison, WI, New York City, Los Angeles, and her hometown of Fort Worth, TX.