Performance Year: 2023
A soloist in the Grammy Winner album Duruflé: The Complete Choral Works, Cecilia Duarte has been praised by the New York Times as “a creamy voiced mezzo-soprano.” Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, she is a versatile singer who has performed around the world singing a variety of music styles, especially early and contemporary music. Cecilia has been greatly recognized for creating the role of Renata in the first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera in 2010. Cecilia has taken this opera to stages such as the Houston Grand Opera (2013, 2018); the Châtelet Theater in Paris; Chicago Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, the Fort Worth Opera, Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador, New York City Opera and El Paso Opera. Since then, she has created other roles for world premieres of chamber operas and new works, such as Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt (Houston Grand Opera and the Wallis Annenberg Center in L.A.); Gracie in A Way Home (Houston Grand Opera and Opera Southwest); Harriet/First Responder in After the Storm (Houston Grand Opera); Alicia in Some Light Emerges (Houston Grand Opera); and Alma in “Boundless,” the first episode of Houston Grand Opera’s web opera series Star-cross’d, which received a Telly Award.
Her experience in early music include performances with Ars Lyrica Houston, Mercury Houston, and The Bach Society Houston, as well as the Fesitval Ensemble in Stuttgart, the Festival de Música Barroca de San Miguel de Allende, México, and most recently, the Boston Early Music Festival and the Bach Collegium San Diego, with which she debuted singing Handel’s Messiah in a complete adaptation in Spanish. She is also a vocalist in the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, performing early and contemporary music.