singer / soprano
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Lara Martins is one of with the greatest internationally renowned Portuguese singers of today. An artist who combines the excellence of her vocal instrument with great sensitivity and talent in both the musical and the dramatic fields. This profile translates into the ability to shine with equal mastery in lyric singing, opera or musical theatre, where she has been for almost a decade one of the main stars in the production of The Phanthom of the Opera, in the mythical West End of London.
She developed her training precisely in England's capital, in the famous Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship. Her soprano skills of high refinement soon became evident, finishing her course with the highest classification and soon after being invited to join the group of soloists of the French Centre of Lyric Artists (CNIPAL) where she was a soloist in the 2002/2003 season.
Since then she has enchanted some of the most important European stages, accompanied by some of the finest orchestras and performing with top artists in the most diverse musical fields. Her repertoire is revealing of an artist with an unusual versatility: she travels from Mozart to Sondheim, passing through the work of composers as diverse as Donizetti, Richard Strauss, Manuel de Falla, Kurt Weill, Gershwin, Bernstein or A. Lloyd Weber. She performs diverse typologies of opera of different periods with the same naturalness and brilliance, as well as the chamber song of the 19th and 20th centuries or programs with some of the most emblematic melodies of the cinema and musical theatre, among other eclectic and multidisciplinary projects. Among the latter are projects created and developed in partnership with tenor Paul Ettore Tabone - "Nostalgia", and more recently "We Sing... Both Ways". The latter is an eminently inventive show, directed by Gavin Mitford, in which the two singers act and perform musical theatre and opera's repertoire originally written for each other's voice as if challenging each other with music traditionally sung by the voice of the other, in a constant challenge between each other's egos.
Whether in opera theatre, in the intimate atmosphere of the chamber recital or in the 'musicals', the critics are unanimous in their praise of Lara Martins - from The Times to The Observer, and other important periodicals from the various countries where she performs - "a world-class singer".
Her talent in opera is repeatedly highlighted: "especially good were Lara Martins's vivacious Princess Hirvaia", one could read in The Observer at the time of Offenbach's Whittington production at London's Bloomsbury Theatre in 2005. In the same theatre, in 2011, with Die Drei Pintos by Weber, a new hit: "as Clarissa herself, Lara Martins revealed a touching voice" (Magazine Opera Now). In Italy, "Applausi agli interpreti, Cynthia Jansen, Lara Martins, Marcus DeLoach, eccezionali attori-cantanti...". (Giornale della Musica), at the premiere of Julie of Philippe Boesmans at the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano. In France, La Marseillaise surrendered itself absolutely to its talent at the 2003 Opera Gala: "une voix de plus fraîches, celle de la Portugaise Lara Martins, légère et corsée à la fois, se jouant des vocalises périlleuses et une interprétation plein de charme, témoignant d'une sûreté absolue dans toutes les notes de son programme...".
Consolidating all the skills of a great artist of our days, the prizes she has been awarded are revealing: she won the Donizetti Prize at the International Singing Competition Jaumme Aragall (Spain); the 1st Prize at the Estoril Music Competition/El Corte Inglés' Prize; the Anne Wyburd Prize at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and the 2nd Prize at the International Singing Competition Vozes Ibéricas.
In the last decade Lara Martins has performed in various opera productions, recitals and concerts all over Europe, under the direction of great maestros, in halls and festivals of reference: the theatres of Modena, Ferrara and Piacenza and the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano in Italy; the Opéra National de Bordeaux, the opera theatres of Marseille, Toulon and Avignon in France; the Kremlin and the Glazunov Gallery in Moscow; the International Music Festival Tibor Varga in Switzerland; the Royal Opera House - Convent Garden, in London; the Trindade Theatre, Rivoli, Centro Cultural de Belém, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, in Portugal, with which she regularly collaborates in some of the best opera and lyric singing productions in Portugal. Lara Martins' agenda includes regular performances in Portugal, with the main national orchestras or in recitals at the main Portuguese music festivals.
But it is in London, one of the world's greatest cultural centres, that Lara Martins has shone for many years, in the role of Carlotta Giudicelli of the musical The Phanthom of the Opera, on stage at Her Majesty's Theater. Lara Martins has conquered London with her voice, achieving a lasting success that is reflected in the constant renewal of her attachment to this show seen every week by thousands of people. Her Majesty's Theater does not give up her talent and London critics sign underneath: "...Lara Martin's unquestionable vocal ability continue to be one of the outstanding features of the show..." (West End Frame); "Lara Martins makes an exceptional Carlotta [...] Martin's' control as a singer is exceptional with the result that her status as Supreme Diva is unquestioned [...] Her characterisation is perfect [...] Delicious in every respect" (British Theatre.com).
Her talent has been regularly broadcasted by the media, especially in live concert broadcasts for RAI, Antena 2 and RTP.
The deep sensitivity for interpretation in the most diverse genres makes Lara Martins, more than a singer or performer, a complete artist.