With his flexible voice and sharp acting, Omar has gained acclaim for his portrayals of Major General Stanley (Pacific Opera Project) and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (Opera Santa Barbara), as well as in contemporary operas such as Dater #22 in Michael Ching's Speed Dating Tonight! (Opera Santa Barbara) and in Musical Theater as Phoebus de Martin in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Cabrillo Stage). Other role highlights include the Mozart baritone roles of Papageno, Guglielmo, and Count Almaviva, the latter of which he performed with Santa Cruz Opera Project, where he is a founding member of the company. For full list of roles and repertoire, click here.
He has regularly sung background vocals for Andrea Bocelli at the Hollywood Bowl, for the Hollywood Bowl’s Movies in Concert (Harry Potter I, II, III and Star Trek 2009), as well as backing vocal recordings conducted by John Williams for John Williams & Steven Spielberg the Ultimate Collection with Sony Classical.
In the mariachi scene, Omar has sung with some of California’s most well-known ensembles, including Mariachi Tapatio, Mariachi Orgullo de Mexico, and Mariachi Juvenil. Omar Alejandro holds a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance from Cal State Fullerton, a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Boston University, and attended the Middlebury College Language Institute for German as a Max Kade Fellow. He was a 2021-2 Chrisman Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara.
More About Me
I was born and raised in the agricultural town of Watsonville, CA as a child of farm workers. Paying tribute to my family’s musical heritage, through the lens of my bicultural first generation Mexican-American experience, forms a core part in my artistic identity.
Unlike a lot of musicians, I didn’t grow up singing along to the radio or decide I wanted to become a singer after joining the school choir. My schools didn’t have the funding for music classes anyway. My musical adventure wasn’t until I was in high school, when I formed a heavy metal band (I was on guitar) with my friends. Finding a singer for the band was always such an ordeal, so when I got to community college I decided to take a singing class just to see if I could do it myself.
That’s where I first realized that I had trouble matching pitch, which is kind of important if you want to be a singer. It took a few years of dedicated practice, but eventually I was able to make up for my lack of natural talent, and before I knew it, I had fallen in love with singing. Since then, I've explored so many different styles of music, from choral music to opera to heavy metal again, and have found my way back to mariachi, the genre of my childhood.
My love for the genre grew even deeper after the loss of my great grandmother in 2020 and grandmother in 2021, both of whom helped raised me while my parents were working in the fields. Every time I hear and sing their favorite songs, I'm reminded of them: their sense of humor, their resilience, and so much more. Though neither of them were musicians, they always supported and believed in my musical dreams, often times more than I did.
Mariachi does something for me that no other genre does, in that it allows me to connect with them once more. To chat with them again, and hear them through the music that they loved so much. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I feel incredibly lucky to sing this incredible repertoire of music that is mariachi.
-Omar Alejandro Rodriguez