If you vacation in Hawaii this summer, be sure to catch Brennan Martinez singing the title role of Carmen in The Tragedy of Carmen, Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen as part of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Brennan is a graduate student at the Fletcher Opera Institute University of North Carolina.

Brennan credits much of her success as a singer to the foundations she learned as part of the Conspirare Youth Choir.  There she learned about the discipline a musician brings to her craft.  She recalls the handbook for parents and students with directions about punctuality, practice, attention, study, dress code, and even how to care for your garments. This rigorous discipline is on top of what transpires musically, in the age-matched group rehearsals and the performances. 

Brennan says when you are a singer “you are the product.” People take in your posture, your dress, how you hold yourself, what you project. She also learned from her CYC days, you are not just a performer, you are also a storyteller. Being able to connect to the emotion of the work and transmit it to the listener creates powerful, magical moments.  To better deliver in this area, she immersed herself in theatre, dance, and movement—in addition to music–at Oklahoma City University where she earned her BA in Music and Vocal Performance.

Brennan is excited that the image of the opera singer has changed so much in the past decade. Thanks to Conspirare, she feels well prepared for the increased focus on performance, not just musical talent. From the Austin’s CYC stage to the national stage, watch for this mezzo to take on the rest of the world!