Opera4Kids Partners with San Diego Opera, Classics4Kids, The New Children’s Museum, and The Ronald McDonald House to bring The Enchanted Tail to Kids all around San Diego

Opera4Kids Partners with San Diego Opera, Classics4Kids, The New Children’s Museum, and The Ronald McDonald House to bring The Enchanted Tail to Kids all around San Diego

Opera4Kids is an arts education non-profit that uses the transformative power of live vocal and classical music performances to educate children about theater and music, in a culturally enriching environment.  Please help us bring the performing arts to kids!!  We can’t do it alone, support our 501(c)(3) organization Opera4Kids, by making your tax deductible donations to https://donorbox.org/opera4kids or by contacting us directly info@opera4kids.com

or on Facebook and Instagram @wesingtokids 

Long Beach Opera Frida Reviews and Articles

Los Angeles Times 
Death haunts Frida Kahlo’s long and clumsily winding road to the lyric stage

By Mark Swed, June 18 2017

“The company has found in Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella and . Venezuelan American baritone Bernardo Bermudez an instantly believable Frida and Diego. Both are capable singers and actors, compelling onstage. They look the part, other than Bermudez not being quite as down to earth as Diego and Virella a little more down to earth than we think of Frida as being.”



Hoy Los Angeles
Frida’ se despidió, pero no será fácilmente olvidada

By Sergio Bursting, June 26th 2017

“Nada de esto sería posible sin los aportes de los intérpretes principales, la mezzo-soprano Laura Virella y el barítono Bernardo Bermúdez, quienes se ponen en la piel de Kahlo y de Rivera con una convicción impresionante. Fuera de ser excelentes cantantes, los dos asumen con eficacia los retos de sus diálogos hablados, que pueden sentirse a veces demasiado vivaces, pero que brindan por eso mismo una cercanía mayor a unos personajes que se encontraban sin duda alguna cargados de pasión en la vida real…….

La obra deja también en una posición sumamente digna a Rivera, sin evitar sus contradicciones y sus infidelidades; y el estadounidense de ascendencia venezolana y mexicana Bermúdez logra su cometido de manera impecable, generando simpatía por un hombre que es profundamente admirado por su talento, pero que sigue siendo una figura controvertida.”

English Translation:

Frida Bids Farewell, But Won’t Be Easily Forgotten (from Hoy LA) 

Translation by Language Divas

“None of this would be possible without the contribution of the lead performers, mezzo soprano Laura Virella and baritone Bernardo Bermúdez, who embody Kahlo and Rivera with impressive conviction. Apart from being excellent singers, the two assume with ease the challenge of the spoken dialogue, which can feel at times too vivacious, but therefore brings closer connection to these characters who were doubtlessly full of passion in real life……

The work also portrays Rivera in a very dignified light, without avoiding his contradictions and infidelities; and Bermúdez, an American of Venezuelan and Mexican ancestry, achieves his task impeccably, garnering sympathy for a man who is deeply admired for his talent, but continues to be a controversial figure.”


People’s world 
The life of Frida Kahlo, an opera waiting to happen

By Eric A. Gordon, June 22nd 2017

“Diego Rivera is the lead male role, performed with masculine bravura by Venezuelan-American baritone Bernardo Bermudez….”



Musical Notes: A Real Life Opera

By Jim Ruggirello, June 23rd 2017

“Laura Viretta in the title role possesses a bright, luminescent mezzo that at once conveys Kahlo’s passion and her pain. Baritone Bernardo Bermudez, as her husband Diego Rivera, is a big guy with a big voice. Both give completely realized performances, singing and acting with both beauty, when called for, and intensity. Both also bear striking resemblances to the real-life Kahlo and Rivera, which keeps their tumultuous relationship, amid the opera’s stylizations and fantastic elements, grounded in reality.”



The Orange County register and LA Daily
Mexico’s Wonder Woman: Long Beach Opera tells the tale of Frida Kahlo

By Bob Thomas, June 23rd 2017

“One moment, Frida, played with feisty intensity by Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella, is confronting her larger-than-life husband, the painter Diego Rivera, sung with machismo ferocity by Venezuelan-American baritone Bernardo Bermudez, in a grand opera duet.”



Culture Spot LA
Review: Long Beach Opera Presents Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s ‘Frida’ at the Museum of Latin American Art

By Julie Riggott, June 28th 2017

“The acting and singing was consistently excellent .… Venezuelan-American lyric baritone Bernardo Bermudez and Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella were exceptional in their leading roles.”




By Michael Van Duzer

“Bernardo Bermudez is a more elegant singer than one might expect as the proletarian Rivera, but he and Virella are compelling in their 2 duets…”



Easy reader news
Friday Kahlo: Sensuality and Sorrow

By Bondo Wyszpolsk June 23 2017

“Mezzo-soprano Laura Virella is compelling as Frida, and Bernardo Bermudez, a lyric baritone, is a fine match. They don’t sing many arias together, but when they do it’s hard to resist being pulled in and embraced by their voices.”



Signal Tribune Newspaper

By Adam Buchsbaum June 23rd 2017

“Laura Virella (Frida Kahlo) is a talented vocalist, and she smoothly displays Kahlo’s development from vulnerability and defeat into a self-actualizing power. Bernardo Bermudez (Diego Rivera) matches her energy and captures Rivera’s moody, brooding tendencies. It’s also worth commending the versatility of the supporting cast of four, who fluidly swap in and out of new roles for each scene as they go toe-to-toe with the leads.”



Random Lenght News
Frida @ Long Beach opera

By Greggory Moore June 21st 2017

“Because Rodríguez gives his soloists so few opportunities to stretch their vocal legs, it’s hard to judge their performances. Clearly Virella is a solid mezzo-soprano, Bermudez’s baritone always rings out clear and true, and they are always within their comfort zones; we just never get to hear them explore or expose themselves at length, nor do we get to hear much interesting back-and-forth between them. The closest we get are a couple of all-cast numbers, but because of Rodríguez’s hodgepodge style, what is most compelling sonically is how the physical separation of the voices create auditory horizontal breadth.”



Lauris List
Small cast, big performances and beautiful pictures make LBO’s ‘Frida’ a can’t-miss treat

By Lauri D Goldenhersh June 21st 2017

“Her husband, Diego Rivera, was portrayed by baritone Bernardo Bermudez. His Diego was strongly sung and the young baritone was padded and made up well, to create a credible middle-aged, overweight man.”



LA Weekly
Frida Review

By Falling James

“Venezuelan lyric baritone Bernardo Bermudez is a charismatic counterpart as Kahlo’s lover Diego Rivera.”



Hoy Los Angeles
Este Diego Rivera Canta Opera, pero no abandona sus ideales

By Sergio Burstein, June 14th, 2017

Bernardo Bermúdez nació en Washington DC y se crió en San Diego, California; pero su ascendencia latina es muy clara, ya que su padre es venezolano y su madre mexicana.

Ese es un hecho que lo acercaba ya al papel que le toca cumplir en la esperada ópera “Frida”, que se estrena este sábado en el MOLAA de Long Beach y que lo encuentra metido en la piel de Diego Rivera, el esposo de la protagonista -la legendaria pintora de apellido Kahlo, encarnada aquí por la cantante boricua Laura Virella-, así como un artista de fama mundial por méritos propios.

“Frida y Diego son figuras que cambiaron al arte moderno, del mismo modo en que lo hizo Pablo Picasso”, nos recordó Bermúdez durante una reciente entrevista a las puertas de la sala de ensayo. “Me siento muy afortunado de poder participar en esta obra de Long Beach Opera, una compañía que apoya la presentación de piezas que, pese a ser muy buenas, no son demasiado conocidas”.

El Rivera de este montaje tiene muchas facetas, porque se lo presenta en sus buenos y en sus malos momentos. “Se lo conoce a veces como un mujeriego, pero para mí, es un honor representarlo, no solo porque soy mexicano y porque mi esposa, que también pinta, lo admira mucho, sino porque reconozco lo importante que fue su arte durante la época de la revolución mexicana”, precisó el cantante lírico.

“Se sabe también que Rivera era comunista, pero entre paréntesis, porque trabajó para gente rica que lo contrataba”, prosiguió. “De hecho, se fue de México porque el Partido Comunista consideraba que no lo estaba representando adecuadamente, debido a que aceptaba comisiones de personas que para ellos no eran parte de la solución, sino del problema”.

Estas contradicciones se muestran en la escena del montaje que muestra a Diego y a Frida en Nueva York cuando él mismo hizo un mural para el Centro Rockefeller en el que incluyó al líder ruso Lenin, lo que le costó que el trabajo fuera destruido; algunas fuentes aseguran que el acto fue perpetrado por un desconocido, mientras que otras insinúan que lo hicieron los empleados del mismo magnate.

“Este espectáculo tiene partes de ficción, como sucede en cualquier película; pero pienso que se encuentra muy cerca de lo que realmente pasó y que es muy completa, porque abarca desde los años ’20 hasta los ’50, lo que le permite mostrar a Frida desde la infancia hasta su periodo final, pasando obviamente por su complicada relación con Rivera”, repasó Bermúdez.

Para el vocalista, el reto mayor de esta puesta en escena fue interpretar a alguien que existió y del que se sabe mucho. “No creo haberme transformado en Diego Rivera, pero sí en alguien que trata de acercarse a él para encontrar conexiones”, explicó. “No he tenido las mismas experiencias, claro, pero sí he empleado elementos de mi vida personal para darle forma al personaje”.

A cargo de la escena

El director de “Frida” es Andreas Mitisek, un profesional de origen austriaco que viene trabajando en este puesto con Long Beach Opera desde el 2003, y que asume claramente la importancia de la presente obra para la audiencia local.

“Frida era una artista maravillosa a todo nivel, y además un ejemplo de independencia, un modelo de lo que es vivir contra la corriente y una precursora de los derechos de la mujer”, le dijo a HOY Los Ángeles en medio de un tardío almuerzo de comida árabe.

Mitisek siente que esta obra es más una pieza de teatro musical que una ópera convencional, en consonancia con una tendencia que la compañía que encabeza se ha empeñado en representar. “Pese a que no evita los momentos difíciles de Frida, es un relato cargado de inspiración por todo lo que ella fue capaz de hacer incluso en medio de su dolor, demostrando que el arte es capaz de curar”, nos dijo el director.

Lejos de limitarse al libreto original de Robert Xavier Rodríguez, Mitisek hizo mucha investigación para llevar a escena su propia versión de “Frida”, una obra que no es demasiado conocida, pero que se ha colocado en las tablas un docena de veces desde su publicación en 1991.

“He creado una instalación de videos que reflejan lo que pasó en sus obras y en su vida, y tenemos escenas que se basan directamente en sus pinturas”, detalló. “Tenemos también a actores con máscaras de calaveras que representan las voces dentro de su cabeza, y empleamos también a unos monos que surgen directamente de su imaginación”.  

Mitisek espera que la relevancia de Kahlo se traduzca en una asistencia mayor de la audiencia latina, aunque no se han hecho esfuerzos específicos para atraer al público mexicoamericano. “La música se encuentra influenciada por el folklore mexicano, aunque tiene también elementos de jazz”, comentó. “La orquesta que empleamos tiene una orientación de mariachi”.

“Frida” se presenta el 17, 18, 24 y 25 de junio en el MOLAA de Long Beach, y el 23 de junio en Grand Performances de Downtown L.A. Detalles en www.longbeachopera.org.

Copyright © 2017, Hoy Los Angeles, una publicación de Los Angeles Times Media Group

Livermore Valley Opera Le Nozze di Figaro Review

The Independent
Le Nozze di Figaro Opera Review: New Twist For Livermore Valley Opera Production

By Sarah Bobson, March 16, 2017

Bernardo Bermudez sang his Act III aria “Vedro mentr’io sospiro” with his strong lyric baritone, a voice that has depth, body, and the hint of a once lighter tone. With his handsome looks, Bermudez played the role of Count Almaviva with a striking, commanding presence.


Pacific Opera Project The Barber of Seville Reviews

A few great reviews of our wonderful production of The Barber of Seville with Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles

Living Out Loud
POP’s Production of The Barber of Seville is Bugs Bunny Funny

By Humberto Capiro, November 15, 2016

“Venezuelan baritone Bermudez with his rich, thunderous voice takes on the role of the dashing stylist to the stars Figaro who’s there to help his friend Almaviva get the girl. The audience first meets him as he enters from behind, heading towards the stage between the tables as he sings the famous aria “Largo al factotum,” a very appropriate and effective choice by director and POP co-founder Josh Shaw.”



Culture Spot LA
The Barber of Seville (a POP Opera)

By David Maurer, November 15, 2016

“…it is Bermudez’s Figaro that is the most fun to watch. He is flamboyant without coming off as a queen, humorous without being over-the-top campy”



Opera Today
Barber of Seville (Hollywood Style) in Los Angeles

By Michael Milenski, November 16, 2016

“Figaro, Bernardo Bermudez, was the hairdresser who could always find his clients clean samples of hair or anything else needed to pass a drug test. His Figaro was so amusing that he almost distracted the audience from his robust singing”



Opera Neo Don Giovanni Reviews

A few great reviews of our wonderful production of Don Giovanni with Opera Neo Festival in San Diego

San Diego Story
Impressive Opera NEO Production Brings Mozart Up to Date

By Ken Herman, August 16, 2016

“While there are certainly many ways to play the title character, Bernardo Bermudez’s take on the rake proved more nuanced than most. For example, in the early scenes Bermudez wooed the young peasant girl Zerlina with genuine affection and the dulcet edge of his ample baritone, rather than the thinly disguised predatory deception of many Don Giovannis. He cajoled his exasperated servant Leporello, played with unusual sophistication by Christopher Edwards, more with camaraderie than with sheer command and bluster. On the other hand, Bermudez summoned chilling menace and a gruff vocal edge to his “Fin ch’han dal vino” aria, in which he aticipates more conquests as his party guests dance and imbibe freely. Bermudez gave his character range and credibility, in spite of the Don’s monochromatic reputation.”



San Diego Reader
The Don(ald) Giovanni Don Giovanni abuser of power at Opera Neo

By Garrett Harris, August 14, 2016

“Bernardo Bermudez, in the title role, gave us a deliciously degenerate Don. Bermudez did not shy away from Don’s more lecherous moments but gave us a full helping.”



San Diego Union Tribune
Don Juan goes to Washington Opera Neo’s ‘Don Giovanni’ takes the famed womanizer to the U.S. capital

By Catherine Gaugh, August 10, 2016

“The musicians and the singers have all participated in Opera Neo’s yearly summer festival workshop, which offers training, coaching and a chance to perform real-time roles. Bernardo Bermudez, who has the title role in “Don Giovanni,” first sang for the company in summer 2013.

Bermudez is, Kozma said, “the ideal Don Giovanni.”

“He has that Latin charm, and he is so good-looking and playful,” he added. “And he sings very beautifully.”