Spotlight on Raquel González, Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist

Gonzalez Raquel Headshot croppedSoprano Raquel González discusses her second season with the WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists. Read even more about her here.


Where were you born?  Did you grow up in a musical household?

I was born in Iowa City, Iowa. Neither of my parents is musical, though my siblings and I all picked up music through band, choir, or orchestra.


Is that where you consider “home” today?

Home for me is where my family lives now – Lawrence, Kansas.


What was your first transformative musical experience?  How old were you?

My first transformative musical experience was when I joined band in the 5th grade. I joined because my best friend was joining and convinced me to join as well. I started playing flute then and discovered I loved music and it excited me like nothing else.


When did you first know you wanted to sing opera (become an opera coach/pianist)?

I started studying voice I was about 14, and through Maria Callas and Renee Fleming CDs and an old Traviata movie, I discovered I loved opera.


Which university or conservatory did you attend?

I attended Juilliard for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.


What is your favorite role that you have performed so far?  What is your favorite opera? What is your dream role that you would like to perform in the future?

My favorite role I’ve performed is actually my dream role: Tatiana from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, which might be the reason it is also my favorite opera. I relate to her character so much and she has the most beautiful journey. I hope I have a chance to perform the role again soon.


Do you have a pre-performance routine?

On an ideal performance day, my pre-performance routine involves sleeping in, spending the day relaxing and getting to the theatre early to enjoy my colleagues’ company.


There are many skeptics that believe opera is a dying art form.  Why do you think opera is still relevant today?

It is no different from movies or TV in that it provides an amazing escape, both for performers and audience members. Add to that the sheer number of elements that go into putting on an opera and it’s an incredible spectacle to experience live, in any capacity.


What has been your favorite/most memorable WNO/DCYAP moment?

I don’t know if there is one moment that has been my favorite as a young artist at WNO… We’re incredibly lucky to be part of a group of not only amazing singers but really amazing humans! It’s always a pleasure to spend time with my DCYAP family!


Do you have a website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, or Instagram name you’d like to share with BravO?

One comment

  • I have become a fan of new operas. I attended WNO’s Appomattox last year and Opera Philadelphia’s Cold Mountain this year. What is your view of all the new operas that are appearing?