Virginia Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba and attended Florida State University, Florida International University and Indiana University. She was discovered by Luciano Pavarotti and made her operatic debut with him singing La Boheme in New Orleans. She later moved to Europe where she sang and lived in Vienna, Germany and Switzerland until 1985. With Plácido Domingo she filmed the television program “Seville” in Spain under the direction of James Levine and Jean Pierre Ponnelle, program which won the Emmy Award for the Best Classical Music Program. Subsequently, Ms Alonso and Mr. Domingo sang together in Vienna and in the United States.
A vocal student of Elena Nikolaidi, and Frank Corsaro (acting), she won numerous awards, contests and scholarships: she was First Prize in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions (Southeast Region) and studied in New York under its sponsorship. She won many other vocal competitions, such as: Mina Kaufmann Ruud Vocal Competition (First Prize), Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition (First Prize), NATS “Singer of the Year” (Indiana) (First Prize), YWCA Studio Club Annual Vocal Competition (First Prize), Civic Opera of the Palm Beaches Competition (First Prize), Greater Miami Philharmonic Competition (First Prize), Florida Atlantic Music Guild Competition (First Prize), Miami Young Artists Auditions (First Prize) and was the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, among them: several Martha Baird Rockefeller Grants, the F.K. Weyerhouser Award, several Lykes Scholarships, Housewright Foundation Awards, Opera Guild of Miami Scholarship, Opera Present Scholarship Award, Helen E. Baker Scholarship, Fine Arts Conservatory Scholarship, Juan J. Remos Distinguished Award, and many others.
She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Scholastic Honor Society, AGMA, AFTRA, and SAG, and is listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She was an adjunct faculty member for three years at Miami Dade Community College where she taught Applied Voice and Music Appreciation. For nine years she worked as administrator and radio hostess for Radio Martí in Washington, D.C., where she also served as Director of the Music Department. For four years she was also Director of the Vocal Department at Dance, etc. School of the Arts in Woodbridge, VA.
Her many roles include Mimi in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen, Marguerite in Faust, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Elvira and Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Antonia in Les Contes d’ Hoffmann, Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Monica in The Medium, Frau Fluth in Die Lustigen Weiber, Nedda in Pagliacci, Pompadour in Madame Pompadour, Angele in Graf von Luxembourg, Hanna in Die Lustige Witwe, Ana Elisa in Paganini, Carlotta in Gasparone, Christine in La Vie Parisienne as well as the leading roles in the Zarzuelas: La del Soto del Parral, Los Claveles, Luisa Fernanda, La Verbena de la Paloma, Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente, El Niño Judio, La Gentil de Ayer (written for the artist), Cecilia Valdes, Maria Grever (written for the artist) and many others. Ms Alonso sang the leading role in the world premiere of Der Alchemist in Switzerland to world-wide acclaim.
Virginia Alonso has sung with the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Miami Philharmonic, the Palm Beach Symphony, the Nova-Tamarac Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic, the Ft. Lauderdale Symphony and with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. among others.
Her theater acting experience includes the roles of Polly in Neil Simon’s Gingerbread Lady, La Decente in Miguel Miura’s Una Mujer muy Decente, Lady in Memorias de un Director, Soprano in Manuel Uriarte’s Payaso Soy, María in Mario Martín Maria Grever (a play created for the artist).
She had a singing role in the film “The Cross and the Switchblade” with Pat Boone and Don Murray. Dick Ross Productions-6430 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028.
She has worked with the following advertising agencies as model, singer and voice-overs: Wayne Jervis & Associates (1500 Broadway, NYC), Advantage Productions (300 W. 55th St., NYC), Grey Advertising (NY, NY), Spanish Advertising (1501 Broadway, NYC), Chico & Berg Enterprises (15 W 67th St., NYC), Talent & Residuals (NY, NY).
Her television experience includes the following programs: ÖRF “Steiricher Abend” (Host: Felix Dvorak) Vienna, Austria; ÖRF “Österreich hat immer Saison” (Host: Felix Dvorak) Vienna, Austria; ÖRF “Guten Abend am Samstag” (Host: Heinz Conrad) Vienna, Austria; ÖRF “Robert Stolz und sein Jahrhundert” (Host: Marcel Prawy) Vienna, Austria; NET Channel 13 “An Hour of Opera” (Host: Boris Goldovsky) New York, NY; Channel 47 “El Show de Pumarejo” NYC and Puerto Rico; PBS Channel 2 “Un Hombre Sincero” Lowe Museum, Miami, FL.
Plácido Domingo invited her to sing with the Washington Opera for its 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons and she was also engaged for numerous performances as soloist with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is fluent in German, Italian, Spanish and speaks some French. Virginia Alonso was a voice instructor at Florida International University and she has maintained has her own Voice Studio since 1995.