From the artist: "Encanto" translates to enchantment, delight, and in some uses, magic. Within this lovely word is the word “canto” which means song or singing. Delight is what I hope to bring each of you as you listen. Enchantment is what I have felt while immersed in this passionate song literature. Magic speaks to the transformative power of music.
At age 6, I began my musical life as a pianist. Little did I know that music would transform my life into that of a singer. In many of the art songs on this recording, the piano is as much a solo instrument as the voice. That I chose to record repertoire with strong interplay between the voice and piano should come as no surprise! I am happy that the music on this recording honors my primary musical roots, as well as my ethnic heritage.
About the Artists:
Martha Lopez-Leschke is a lyric-coloratura soprano, performer, educator and versatile musician. A native of New Jersey, she began her musical training at the age of 6. First trained as a classical pianist, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Stetson University in 1997. After commencing her career in music education, she shifted her focus to classical singing and earned her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of South Florida, Tampa., in 2006. Upon graduating from USF, she studied with renowned author and teacher Shirlee Emmons in New York, NY.
Martha has been heard in recitals, concerts and opera throughout Florida, Illinois and Texas. Martha is an avid art song enthusiast and loves to promote the art form with interesting, varied recitals and collaborating with instrumentalists to create fun and entertaining performances. Martha has performed the role of the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute and Olympia in The Doll Song from the opera Tales of Hoffman by Jacques Offenbach in outreach concerts with the Saint Petersburg Opera. She has also recently been a guest artist with the Sarasota Pops Orchestra and the North Port Symphony. Martha serves on the Music faculty at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and is also the Director of Music at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Community in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Lurray Myers, piano, holds a Master of Music in Accompanying from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. For several years she served as Staff Accompanist for the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and spent various summers playing for the Blossom Festival sponsored by the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra at Kent State University, Kent, OH, the Phyllis Curtin Seminars at Tanglewood, MA, Lyric Opera and Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO, and Community Concerts touring the Midwest. In Sarasota, she served as a Music Director for an apprentice production for the Sarasota Opera, as Associate Director and Director of the Sarasota Girls’ Choir, as accompanist for Gloria Musicae, Florida Voices, the Gulf Coast Men’s Chorus, the Fellowship of Methodists in Music and Other Worship Arts workshops, and Master Classes with Roberta Peters and Anna Moffo sponsored by the Sarasota Opera Guild. Since 1991 she has been Staff Accompanist for the music department at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and since 1987 has served as church organist in the area, currently at Saints Peter and Paul, The Apostles, Catholic Church in Bradenton.