REVIEWS

  • “The wonderful Chilean-born Valentina Montoya Martínez could have been born to play María. She captures the eponymous heroine’s extremes of strength and vulnerability, her feistiness and sensuality in a reading of great subtlety and perception. Her delivery of the wonderful Yo soy María in Part One (if this was a rock opera, I feel sure this would have been the single) reveals her fearlessness and fragility in four minutes of perfection. As Part One proceeds, Martínez conveys the inevitability of María’s fate with a measured insouciance that convinces at all levels” MusicWeb International
  • “Valentina Montoya Martínez’ María is a vocal performance of richly nuanced, wholly idiomatic sophistication” Opera
  • “Montoya Martínez, her voice earthy and lived-in, captures the defiance and vitality that drive María on”  Gramophone
  • “Valentina Montoya Martínez unflinching as María”  The Guardian
  • “It helped the authenticity that the ad hoc classical-based ensemble was joined by a few key interlopers – most of all, the wonderfully supple, ringing voice of regular collaborator Valentina Montoya Martínez, a Chilean singer-songwriter (now based in Scotland) who performed a selection of her sensuous songs in the first half. ‘Tango de la espera’ brought out real bite from the five-strong string section to accompany Martínez’s intricate vocal line, and ‘Versos’, her account of the Chilean military abducting her father when she was a young girl, had touching passion” The Edinburgh Reporter
  • Montoya-Martínez is a voice we should be grateful came north” The Sunday Times
  • “This is more than just a really good tango disc: it’s a document of fervently expressed personal history…By the time we get to the penultimate “Yo soy María,” in which the title character of Piazzolla’s opera introduces herself in all her multifacetedness, we’re ready to buy Martínez as a noble, passionate, persevering Latin American everywoman who both addresses the tango (in her simultaneously accusing and admiring number “Tango de la espera”) and embodies it ” Opera News
  • “María was sung by Valentina Montoya Martínez, a Chilean singer who brought great feeling and passion to her role – particularly with her great aria Yo soy María which she encored” All Edinburgh Theatre Com
  • “Valentina Montoya Martínez gives the central character a full flavoured vocal embodiment” BBC Music Magazine
  • Alluring” International Record Review
  • “In the hands of Martínez music is a gloriously international affair. The bubbly Chilean is the lead singer of the Scottish cult world music band Voces del Sur and happily adopted Scot. Martínez is a woman who it is easy to admire. She has experienced tragedy in her life but has dealt with it with enviable fortitude” The Sunday Times
  • “Valentina’s voice is world class – big bold and full of the defiant soul which inspired much of the music from this vibrant region” Three Weeks Review
  • “Valentina is the singer, a very pretty, highly personable Chilean, who sounds as good as she looks. Her pure, clear voice is a joy to listen to. Their music is irresistible” Lothian Life
  • “Russell’s intricate lines wove in and out of the luxuriant melodies that poured out of Montoya-Martínez – her voice potent and emotional” Edinburgh Evening News
  • “However, the musical highlight for me and I suspect for many of the audience was the appearance of a Chilean singer based in Scotland, Valentina, singing a mix of folk songs and more upbeat numbers with her Voces del Sur group” (El Sueño Existe Festival review) The Jazzbreakfast
  • Martínez’s lyrics are superb; these are songs of longing, nostalgia and regret. But they’re always projected via musical settings of incredible vitality and wit. The best have personal resonance – songs about long-forgotten friends, or the lives of Martínez’s own parents. And hers is such an expressive, compelling voice, especially so when she interrupts her cantilena to speak directly to the listener” (La Pasionaria CD review) The Artdesk.com
  • “There’s something quite extraordinary about the range of sentiment and expression she draws from a set of songs that are intrinsically tango-based, though the reason is obvious when you consider that these are based on stories from her own interesting life, from childhood in Chile to exile in England” (Queen’s Hall, María de Buenos Aires article) The Scotsman
  • “While the project has been several years in gestation, as singer Valentina Montoya Martínez declared, it was worth the wait. Montoya, although born in Chile, was destined to sing these dramatic songs of the River Plate region that joins Argentina to Uruguay. Gamine and darkly dramatic with an attractive flinty personality, her beautifully expressive voice coupled with her exile background, defined the night” The Scotsman
  • “The Latin voices of Central and South America. Songs of exile, love, social defiance and freedom, and a stunning voice that prickles the hairs, Voces Del Sur were wonderful; a small, unpretentious acoustic four-piece group playing various, sometimes politically-charged songs, of ‘freedom and having your wings clipped’. Chilean vocalist Valentina Montoya Martínez was incredible, decked in red poncho and strumming along like some sylvan beauty” (Edinburgh Festival) Three Weeks Review
  • “Martínez’s songs, inspired by Chilean folksongs, tell the story of Chile’s changing fortunes. Songs such as Sola were written in response to the death of activist Sola Sierra, whilst the heart-felt Madre selva is a tribute to Martínez’s mother. Notable straight away in the first song, Los paraguas de Buenos Aires, is the richness of Martínez’s voice – she captures the full spectrum of emotions that the music demands” (La Pasionaria CD review) McAlister Matheson Music
  • “Ms Martínez’s journey to Scotland has been a challenging one since leaving her native Chile in the late 1970s as the daughter of a political refugee. Without being overt or melodramatic, the backstory lends that particular kind of authenticity to her performance that engenders engagement and intimacy with her audience. Whether she was interpreting Piazzolla or her own material, most memorably ‘La Partida/Leaving’, and ‘Sola’, she held the audience’s rapt attention and, after two encores, definitely left them wanting more“. (Mr McFall’s Chamber tango night Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh)  Musical Criticism.com




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