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The singing is uniformly excellent, even if the vocals are amplified. This is unusual in opera but the way Broadway shows are performed. On Wednesday, it sounded weird in the opera house, especially since there were some problems early on with getting the sound adjusted. But the addition of electronics was necessary because the mariachi band lacks the projection of an orchestra and the singers would be at a disadvantage if only the band was amplified. All of the voices in this cast are of operatic quality and diction is excellent. As the patriarch Augustino, Luis Ledesma shows the voice that is launching him to the top of the opera world. Equally fine is Cassandra Zoe Velasco as his distraught wife and Daniel Montenegro as his son, just returned from college abroad. On the other side of the elegant life in the Hacienda, things are very different. Vanessa Alonzo shines as Juana, and Abigail Santos Villalobos gives a sensitive portrayal of her daughter Amoirita. Jumping to the present day, Paul La Rosa does an excellent job as an Illinois congressman, but it is Sebastien E. De La Cruz who completely steals the show as his son Daniel. (He also wowed millions of viewers on TV's America's Got Talent in 2012.

Vanessa Alonzo, whom we remember from Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, was a warm-voiced Juana while Ricardo Rivera delivered his text with alacrity as Amorita’s brother, Acalán. As Hacienda owner Augustino, whose ancestry is purely Spanish, well known operatic baritone Luis Ledesma sang with brooding elegance. Mezzo-soprano Cassandra Zoé Velasco, a recent graduate of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera, captured the style and essence of his French-born trophy wife, Isabel. Paul La Rosa created an interesting character as Enrique, the Mexican-American Congressman, while young Sebastien De La Cruz, a 2012 semifinalist on NBC's America's Got Talent, made an auspicious debut as the Congressman’s son, Daniel. - See more at:

Palm Beach News paper

Palm Beach Opera’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth, based on Shakespeare’s drama of the same name, won thunderous applause Saturday night. Hardly uplifting, with so many murders and blood everywhere, it is the music that carries it along and raises it to exultant levels of high art. Shakespeare’s view of Macbeth has little historical basis in fact. Verdi was 33 when he wrote the opera, coming off a six-month convalescence after a breakdown. It was the most inventive and idealistic opera he’d written. Writing to his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, he asked for extravagance, originality, sublimity and brevity, all of which the writer gave him, especially brevity. How appropriate that Palm Beach Opera chose to stage this opera in the year Scotland will have a referendum to split from the United Kingdom, a joint venture started in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England because his cousin, Elizabeth I, had no recognized English heir to succeed her. As the drama of Macbeth unfolds about a greedy power grab, so today a few Scots politicians want their pockets lined with North Sea oil money before it runs out. The 11th-century Macbeth of this opera was sung by Mexican baritone Luis Ledesma. At first bold in his ambition to kill King Duncan, backed by the witches’ prediction, he murders Duncan and seizes Scotland’s crown. Ledesma portrays a crumbling, conscience-stricken weakling admirably as the opera progresses and double meaning curses do him in. His lovely smooth baritone at times reminded me of the late Norman Treagle, with a similar flexibility up and down the register. Singing Lady Macbeth, New Jersey soprano Jennifer Check rocked the house with her ringing top notes all perfectly sustained and often, as the score demands. Check was magnificent as the “power behind the man” who seeks the throne. Recognizing Macbeth might not be ruthless enough to attain his ambition, the librettist Piave has her sing, “Misdeeds line the road to power,” a concise summation of her cunning and what Verdi wanted from his wordsmith.

Atlanta Opera News paper (Tosca 2013)

The coveted baritone role of Baron Scarpia went to Mexican singer Luis Ledesma, who portrayed it with vocal and dramatic efficiency. In Act II, he was able to offer a darker interpretation of the role, one closer to this embodiment of the operatic villain that we love to hate. Ledesma delivered through the most demanding vocal challenge of deafening blasting cannons, an orchestra engaged with power, and the adult and children's choruses singing at full voice the undisputedly grandiose and immortal 'Te Deum' at the end of Act I. This powerful scene was one of those moments that makes us lose sense of time and space. A poignant accomplishment, not only for the intrinsic beauty and power of Puccini's composition, but, in this case, for the fluid confluence of all live elements to memorably recreate, once more, this outstanding instance in music.

Ingrid haas

Luis Ledesma held a strong, commanding presence as Giorgio Germont. His obscure timbre constrated well with his colleagues’ more lyric voices and gave him an air of maturity. He was both tough and decisive in his duet with Violetta "Pura siccome un angelo" and sang a powerful "Di provenza il mare il suol". We could really sense in his portrayal Germont's repentance on the last act.

ThirdCoast Digest (Rigoletto 2010)

By Tom Strini

Ledesma’s best acting was in his singing. The bitter tone and jabbing accents in his singing at court revealed his contempt. That made the tenderness in his voice in his scenes with Gilda, his beloved daughter, all the more affecting.

Milwaukee Journal review (Rigoletto 2010)

Elaine Schmidt

"Luis Ledesma sang the title role Friday, using a twisted stance, labored gait and a heavy-hearted, careworn air to inhabit the character as he sang the part with warmth, conviction and fatherly affection. He brought a dark, big sound to the role." - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Opera News


This year's Tosca saw many company debuts — all of the principals, save Luis Ledesma, who commanded the stage with a rich but well-controlled baritone as a Scarpia convincingly devious, yet not hammy. When Ledesma looked at his Tosca, Erika Sunnegårdh, he was Scarpia, conquering the diva with his eyes. Their Act II scene together was magnificent. The struggle was well timed and believable.

For The Tennessean

Evans Donnell

Baritone Luis Ledesma is Baron Scarpia, one of opera’s most thoroughly reprehensible villans. He isn't a one-dimensional baddie, though, in Ledesma’s hands and nuanced voice; from his entrance into the church in Act I forward he’s a ruthless man who knows exactly who he is and what he wants, despicable though his character and desires may be.

the Green Valley News 04-07-09

Dr. Donald J. Behnke

Luis Ledesma, the Scarpia at all performances, was perfectly vile and made the terror you always feel from the pain of your tortured lover as well as the triumph you experience, though briefly, managing Scarpia’s deserved demise

Press-register 10 -25-08


Lucia's brother Enrico, marvelously performed by baritone Luis Ledesma, has nefarious plans to exploit his sister — and he does, with predictably tragic results. Ledesma's vocal power, evident in last season's "Andréa Chénier," has not diminished. Ledesma is a formidable presence, and his scenes with the faithful Raimondo (Mark McCrory), Lucia's spiritual adviser, often suggest a force of nature unleashed.


Emma Quail

Jack Rance, the sheriff, is played by Luis Ledesma, who acts and sings the part expertly throughout the performance.

The Gazette 09-20-08


Luis Ludesma had a deeper role to play in the sheriff Jack Rance. This Mexican baritone combined a dark voice with stormy looks, both perfectly suited to the part.

The Capital Times 07-27-08

Lindsay Christians

The highlights of the evening performance, a program containing the opera version of summer fireworks, were many. We were first seduced by baritone Luis Ledesma's charismatic rendering of "Largo al factotum," the famous patter aria from "The Barber of Seville." Ledesma, in addition to his full, lush baritone, is quite the actor. He sparkled as the over-booked, much-adored Figaro before adopting another aspect altogether with tenor Bryan Hymel in the Pinkerton-Sharpless duet from "Madama Butterfly." 07-02-08

Robert Baxter

In the duets for Rodolfo and Marcello, Fabiano was joined by baritone Luis Ledesma. Blending his voice masterfully with the tenor’s,Ledesma sang expertly. His attractive, dark baritone rang out impressively. Dressed in black suits and open-throated dark shirts, the two singers acted confidently as they moved across the stage in front of the orchestra.

San Antonio Current 06-29-08

Nicolette Good

Scarpia, played by Luis Ledesma, is a formidable villain, throwing all the requisite punches — a robust voice, a wormy demeanor, and the audacity to sing apostasies like, “Tosca, you make me forget God.” Ledesma is a smart Scarpia and resists playing up his repugnance. Instead he gives us an eerie, insidious criminal capable of carrying out a travesty only Puccini could dream up. 06-28-08

Jennifer Roolf Laster

Baritone Luis Ledesma, a regular with this company, gave Scarpia just the right leering, arrogant edge. He was villainous without being melodramatic (except for an over-the-top death scene), and his voice was robust and perfectly focused, especially on "Va, Tosca!"

Monday, April 21, 2008,

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

And as Escamallio, Luis Ledesma had a good tone and plenty of dramatic flourish. Alas it was some of the only dramatic action we saw.

Press- Register 03-13-08


As a performance piece, the opera truly belongs to Ledesma, a thinking man's firebrand who realizes too late that he has merely swapped one kind of servitude for another. During a "Teen Night" preview Tuesday, Ledesma struck a chord early on when Gérard, contemptuous of the "prissy dandies in their silk and lace," angrily cast off his servant's livery during a soirée at the Chateau de Coigny and stormed out with the radicals who would make him their leader. Late in the opera, his sturdy baritone reveals a change of heart when he realizes the revolution is a fraud: "I thought myself a giant,(but) I am still a servant. I only changed masters."

MiamiHerald 12-13-07


Bocelli always has a superb supporting cast in tow, and his guests provided the finest singing of the night. Luis Ledesma joined Bocelli in a warmly wistful account of the Act 4 duet from La Boheme and showcased his dark-hued baritone in a forceful, aptly malevolent account of Scarpia's Te Deum.

The New York Times. 12-12- 07

Vivian Schweizer

(Bocelli Tour) Also on the lineup was the able baritone Luis Ledesma, who sang “Te Deum” from Puccini’s “Tosca” with aplomb.

State Journal 11-07-07

John Aehl

La Boheme Madison Opera “Luis Ledesma as Marcello sang and acted with authority.”

The Kansas City Star Sep-16 -07

Paul Horsley

The most satisfying performance came from baritone Luis Ledesma in the role of Amonastro, Aida’s father. His mahogany-toned voice, excellent Italian and riveting stage presence anchored every scene he was in, often with small gestures that gave insight into a father’s torment.”

Classical Music

(Dawn Southwick Mar-08-2007

“Luis Ledesma was a fine Escamillo. His dark good looks added to his convincing performance. We have not seen him since La Boheme in 1998. He seemed to be a bit out of sync with the orchestra during the beginning of his opening aria, but this was quickly set to rights. With a fine baritone voice and a riveting presence, his matador seemed like a rock star, followed by his fawning groupies.”

Press Telegram Mar-07

John Farrell

Carmen Opera Pacific (Mar 07) “His competition in love, the toreador Escamillo, is played with panache by Luis Ledesma, who sinks his teeth into Escamillo's great bragging songs, but also shows a real passion for Carmen, who drops Jose for the toreador” (John Farrell)

Opera news January-25-2007

Steven Brown

Luis Ledesma the conniving Tonio. His voice opened up with a fullness, cut a menacing figure as the stooped but fierce Tonio.

La Jornada (Mexico City)

(Monica Mateos-Vega July-6-2006

La boheme Bellas Artes Mexico City (July 06) “También destacó en su papel del pintor Marcello, el baritono Luis Ledesma, quien creó todo un personaje bohemio, divertido, apasionado, picaro, sin descuidar un ápice la calidad del canto.”

Bocelli Tour

San Francisco Chronicle (Steven Winn) June 2006

“When Bocelli was joined by baritone Luis Ledesma in the glorious “Au fond du temple saint” from Bizet's “The Pearl Fishers”, a welcome brief bout of competitive power singing broke out. That amped up the proceedings. Ledesma, in both his solo and ensemble pieces, supplied a certain heedless, headlong enrgy all evening. His preening “Toreador's Song” from Bizet's “Carmen”, sung with the University Singers of CSU Fullerton choir, had a rousing, reckless swagger. Whocared if his diction went missing for a while? The man was in character, conjuring up a dramatic moment.”

Bocelli Tour

The Providence Journal (Channing Gray) June 2006

“…he shared the stage with a couple of up-and-coming opera stars, Mexican baritone Luis Ledesma, who was sensational in “Votre Toast” from Carmen, and Ana Maria Martinez, a wonderfully expressive lyric soprano out of Juilliard.”

Tri-State defender (Jim Eikner) November -12- 2005

Luis Ledesma, as High Priest of the Philistines, was impressive once more on the Orpheum stage with a commanding presence and remarkable baritone- bass voice, causing Opera Memphis followers to recall with immence pleasure Ledesma's strong performance as Scarpia in last season's Tosca

Carmina Burana

Louisville Kentucky 2/05

Luis Ledesma Sang with particularly Robust and nuancend colors, especially toward the end of Orff's boisterous tavern scene.


Memphis October 2004

"Baritone Luis Ledesma played Scarpia as a crafty but surprisingly even-tempered villain, singing his signature arias with a calm arrogance."

Aida The Berkshire Eagle July 19, 2004

Richard Houdek

Luis Ledesma acquitted himself handsomely as Amonasro, his noble baritone is an attractive instrument.


Pittsfield 7/04

"Luis Ledesma brought a generally smooth, resonant baritone to the role of Amonasro (Aida)...The Act III duet was genuinely touching."


Pittsfield 7/04

"Luis Ledesma's Valentin (Faust) was solidly sung with a robust delivery."


Opera Pacific 6/04

"Baritone Luis Ledesma displayed yards and yards of deep, dark tone and smooth long-breathed phrases in Verdi's "Eri tu" and the "Toreador's Song" from Carmen."

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