Written by AVA Administrative Associate Stephen J. Trygar
The Meet the New Resident Artists! Blog Series is a sequence of Q&As designed for you to get to know our new artists. Today, we invite you to learn about our new baritone, Kevin Godínez! Mr. Godínez comes to us with a Bachelor of Music in Singing from the University of Costa Rica and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the National University of Costa Rica. He has performed a variety of different roles, such as Peter in Hänsel und Gretel at the Opera Festival of San Luis Potosí, Silvio in I pagliacci with the University of Costa Rica, and Marchese in La traviata at the National Opera of Costa Rica. For a full list of Mr. Godínez’s previous roles and competitions, visit his biography on the AVA website!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
“I’m Kevin. I’m 26 years old. I grew up in the countryside of Costa Rica in a place called la Fortuna de San Carlos (great for tourists, by the way) surrounded by nature, farm animals, trees, and dairy. I consider myself very enthusiastic and carefree. For work, my family constantly moved to different places in Costa Rica, and finally we settled in San Jose. I have a B.Sc. in Geography and almost finished it before I knew music was my thing. I have finished my B.M. in Singing at the University of Costa Rica. Fun fact: Even though I never took language lessons, I speak four languages (Spanish, English, Italian, and French).”
What has been your favorite role to perform?
“Silvio, doubtlessly, in Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci. It was a special production. I was the only student selected to be cast among the professors of the University of Costa Rica. I still keep in my mind the frankness and desperation of Silvio. I particularly liked the context, the music (which is exquisite), and the representation of the unachievable, but still achievable in Silvio’s mind. I do not like the idea of being killed by a misogynist, but I do love the idea of bringing these productions to 2020, where women are still affected by misogyny.”
What is your dream role?
“This is a hard one. I have a special place in my heart for Rodrigue (Rodrigo) in Verdi’s Don Carlo and the title role of Rigoletto. However, I must say that in Costa Rica we are very influenced by Italian opera. There are certainly more operas in German and French, that I need to get more familiar with to decide if there is a dream role among them also.”
What made you want to get involved in opera?
“My grandpa. He was passionate about singing, even though he was not a singer at all. I remember he asked me to stay with him to listen to his vinyl records while my sister and cousins were all around the farm playing. He had a special admiration for Mario Lanza, Maria Callas, and Sarita Montiel. I must mention my dad also, as he is an empirical musician. He composed songs for me to participate in music festivals during my childhood, and he introduced me to the world of Protestant hymns, which I personally adore and helped me improve my musicality.”
Tell us something interesting about yourself!
“Yes. This is the first time that a Costa Rican singer has become a Resident Artist at AVA. This is something of which I feel tremendously honored and proud. I would love for you to know that we are a country full of art, yet somehow lacking in opportunities like this one. You will not be disappointed of having chosen a “tico” to be part of AVA family.”