Commencement Profile: Sandra Lopez Neill

By UM News

Commencement Profile: Sandra Lopez Neill

By UM News
Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic.

The New York City native who moved to Miami during high school always knew she wanted to sing. And that’s exactly what Sandra Lopez Neill has been doing since she began at the Frost School of Music as a student and a world renowned professional. 

“I was always the kid who did every solo and always got up to sing every chance I could!!” said Lopez Neill. “I remember whenever my parents would have dinner guests, I would tell them to please sit them down, so I could put on a big show and I would sing big Barbra Streisand hits!”

Sandra Lopez Neill headshotThe Palmetto Senior High School graduate, with a soprano voice that makes the saying “music to my ears” true, had a tough decision to make as she was accepted to universities across the country. Yet, when she visited the University of Miami campus, and saw the productions she would be a part of with the Frost School of Music, she was blown away and her decision was made.

“I was so impressed by Gusman Hall, by the full production, by Mr. Sleeper and his wonderful conducting as well as the quality of the orchestra,” said Lopez Neill. “I loved that most of the vocal performance majors had performance opportunities within the opera.”

And it was exactly those performance opportunities that gave Lopez Neill her professional debut at the Palm Beach Opera in the leading role of Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS while still a student at Frost.

“The invaluable opportunities to perform in many different venues, concert hall, the court recital hall, as well as many extracurricular opportunities offered to me by the faculty through their connections to the community, allowed me to explore my artistry at a different level,” said Lopez Neill.

Lopez Neill has toured with Andrea Bocelli to critical acclaim and has performed a wide variety of repertoire, including the Verdi Requiem, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Gounod's Saint Cecilia mass, and Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, as well as many Opera Galas and recitals with various festival and symphonies, including the Nürnberg Symphoniker, Orquesta Nacional de Puerto Rico, Fort Worth Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Greensboro Symphony, Manchester Festival Orchestra and Miami Chamber Society, among others.

“My favorite was always Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. It was sung down generations in my family from my mother’s side starting back with my great grandmother to my mother, and my grandmother to me,” recalled Lopez Neill. “Being able to perform it all over the world has been a dream come true.”

Internationally acclaimed, Lopez Neill has made her mark on the classical music scene in a wide variety of repertoire. She has performed on the world’s great stages including recent performances with Finnish National Opera as Elisabetta in DON CARLO, Opera de Oviedo and Opera på Skäret in Sweden singing the title role in TOSCA, Venice’s Gran Teatro la Fenice, Opera Carolina, Florida Grand Opera and Fort Worth Opera as Mimi in LA BOHEME, Opera de Massy, Virginia Opera, Berkshire Opera, Opera de Fribourg in Switzerland, Festival de St-Cèrè, and Opera Eclatè, singing the title role in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Opera Carolina as Desdemona in OTELLO, Cincinnati Opera, Forth Worth Opera, San Antonio Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, PORT Opera in Maine, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera and Opera North as Micaela in CARMEN, San Antonio Opera singing the title role in SUOR ANGELICA, Nedda in I PAGLIACCI and Micaela in CARMEN, the Salzburg Festival, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Tanglewood Festival and The Metropolitan Opera as the 4th Maid in ELEKTRA, PORT OPERA in Maine and Nashville Opera for Nedda in PAGLIACCI, and finally with Fort Worth Symphony in a Semi Staged performance as Tatiana in EUGENE ONEGIN which she also sang at The Metropolitan Opera for its Young Artists Gala Concert, conducted by James Levine in which she appeared singing the entire final scene as Tatiana.

Lopez Neill will graduate with a Master’s in Vocal Performance. She previously obtained her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance. She lives with her husband and daughter and plans to continue singing on all the world’s stages while expanding her teaching and master classes. She will return for a second year to the San Luis Potosi International Opera Festival this coming summer as a voice teacher and judge in the International Voice Competition.