Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
“Sanz wielded his tenor sweetly and tenderly…”
“Sanz wielded his tenor sweetly and tenderly…”
“For the first five years of my life, we might have well been in Havana. We ate exclusively Cuban food. We exclusively spoke Spanish…my Cuban culture has been central to my life,” said Rolando Sanz, Executive Producer of I Am Anne Hutchinson/ I Am Harvey Milk. A first generation Cuban American having grown up with two Spanish speaking parents, Sanz and his brothers always had a lot to say—in both languages.
When Andrew Lippa was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus to write I AM HARVEY MILK for its 35th anniversary in 2013, the hour-long work about the assassinated gay rights activist was called an oratorio--and while it was a success from the start, people involved already thought it was ready to move on to something bigger. That "something," created by Lippa, was the pairing of MILK with the story of another firebrand, 17th-century midwife Anne Hutchinson. Blended together into a single, cohesive work, ANNE/HARVEY links two chapters in American history that highlight the ideals of freedom and justice, their perils and rewards, even though they are separated by hundreds of years. The event's executive producer is Rolando Sanz, Producing Artistic Director of Young Artists of America at Strathmore (NB: also an opera singer, stage performer and teacher), and a Rockville, MD native. We spoke to Sanz about ANNE/HARVEY and how it came together.
"A two-night engagement on April 23-24 at Strathmore's Music Center, Andrew Lippa's I Am Anne Hutchinson / I Am Harvey Milk is a unique "concept opera" that details the lives and legacies of history's reigning freedom fighters: politician and publicly recognized member of the LGTBQ community Harvey Milk and outspoken 17th century Puritan midwife Anne Hutchinson.
And while Lippa was able to bring these two tragic folk heroes to the stage, it's Strathmore's own Rolando Sanz, who is the show's executive producer, who has brought it to the global political hub. Before this production takes the stage at the end of April, we were able to get Mr. Rolando Sanz on the phone for a conversation about just what Strathmore is doing."
"You can find him onstage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House understudying Roderigo in Otello, at Lisner Auditorium playing Don Gaspar in La Favorite for the Washington Concert Opera, or singing the National Anthem to open the playoffs for the Baltimore Orioles. Rolando Sanz is at home on concert stages across the country, but his heart is in Montgomery County."
"Tenor Rolando Sanz acquitted himself expertly, his intuitive mastery of Donizetti’s style evident even in his character’s declamatory lines. Sanz proclaimed Don Gaspar’s dramatically portentous lines with the machismo of a world-class Pollione."
"One does not need to "appreciate" singing to know what good singing is...we all know it when we hear it, and the goosebumps are proof positive of that."
"Rolando Sanz's rendition was beautifully sung, and characterized as a shy and tentative young man revealing the depths of his love.
"Rolando Sanz's Nemorino was built of gorgeous musical deliveries, including an "Una furtiva lagrima" that won the biggest applause of the evening."
"As Violetta’s lover Alfredo, tenor Rolando Sanz nails the personality of the smitten bon vivant. He sings with a natural, compelling tone that is beautiful in his arias and duets."
"It’s the ultimate art form — opera. At least that’s the opinion of Rolando Sanz, the nationally acclaimed, locally born opera singer who will debut with the Virginia Opera as the lead male role in the opening of Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata."
"Rolando Sanz has dedicated his life to the world of opera, but for him, it is not just about singing and performing on stage; it is also about giving back to his community and educating the future generations."
"Rolando Sanz...stood out for his vocally and theatrically potent performance as Laerte (Laertes)."
"Rolando Sanz did a highly important job at Thursday's Orioles playoff opener. That job just didn't involve staying for the whole game."
"Rolando Sanz brings a ringing tenor voice to Boris's shallow persona..."
"The strength of the current production lies in the consummate artistry of...Elizabeth Caballero as Violetta and tenor Rolando Sanz as Alfredo..."
"Rolando Sanz was a warm, tender Alfredo, Violetta's love, singing with color and heartfelt interpretations..."
"As the libertine Duke of Mantua, tenor Rolando Sanz swaggered, seduced, and sang ravishingly."
"Through his ringing tone and effortless use of portamento and rubato in the ballata “Questa o quella,” Sanz made the Duke more likable than he probably should have been..."
"The Valentine Theater was packed last night and the audience appreciative of singing and acting by a mostly young but talented cast headed by the fine young tenor Rolando Sanz."