Soprano Maria Caycedo is Colombian by birth, raised in the deep south, and now resides in the SF Bay Area. Maria has had a love for the performing arts her entire life. She grew up singing and dancing to classical, Latin, gospel, Irish and pop music. She took a variety of dance classes including Irish step dancing, ballet, hip hop, and Latin dancing. She apprenticed with Highlands Ballet Company in Abingdon, Virginia for a few years before attending the Alabama School of Fine Arts for voice. It was under the instruction of Laura Doss that her love for classical vocal repertoire developed. She attended the Bel Canto Institute’s youth summer vocal program the first year they had it in Florence, Italy.
In college, Maria took a break from intensive vocal studies and got a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. After trying out many different kinds of jobs, and seriously considering a Master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy, she realized music needed to be the center of her life in order for her to be truly fulfilled.
She discovered opera through a former teacher, Bay Area soprano Eliza O’Malley. She soon found herself welcomed by the Verismo Opera family. Roles include Lucy (The Telephone), Musetta (La Boheme), Giovanna, Countess Ceprano (Rigoletto), Frasquita (Carmen), First Lay and Touriere (Suor Angelica). Maria also likes to sing contemporary opera. She sang in Andrew Jamieson’s Heaven Down Here, a modern gospel/opera about Jim Jones and the People’s Temple. Maria will the same role in a presentation for the 2017 NOA Annual Convention. She also sang a lead role in Hector Armienta’s award winning La Llorona, a musical drama based on the traditional Mexican folk tale of La Llorona. Maria was thrilled to make her musical theater debut in Castle Happy in the role of Bette Davis! Maria has studied with Michael Morris, Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk and Sheri Greenawald.
Aside from always improving as a musician, Maria aims to take care of her mind-heart and body through meditation and yoga. She did a two month silent Vipassana meditation retreat at Spirit Rock that taught her self-love (a skill all performers should have) and the value of stillness. She hopes to continue this beautiful practice even in the busiest of times!