Joshua and his sister, Gloria were not always opera fans. The closest to opera they came was watching Andrea Bocelli specials on PBS as kids. It was not until adulthood that they both fell in love with the art form and found a home at LA Opera – Joshua as an up and coming tenor and Gloria as a rising star in the costume shop.
“I got into opera later in life and Gloria was a huge part of it,” says Joshua, who led an eclectic pre-opera life that included studying theology and a stint as a gondolier on the Las Vegas strip and abroad in Macau.
Joshua was always a singer, and adds, “We’re close and she was really the only family member who saw the whole process of becoming a singer.”
As Gloria saw Joshua pursuing a career in opera, she decided to pursue her dream of studying fashion.
“Four or five years ago, I wanted to make a career change and Josh really opened my eyes. He said, ‘You love fashion, so you should go for it,’” recalls Gloria. She went on to study at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, but an internship at the LA Opera costume shop, and the thought of working for the company nurturing Joshua’s singing career led Gloria to shift course.
By the time Gloria was looking for an internship, Joshua was in his final year in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program about to tackle the role of Count Almaviva in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles. At Josh’s suggestion, Gloria reached out to Jenny Green, LA Opera’s Costume Director, for an internship.
“Jenny took me on a tour of the costume shop during my interview and I immediately thought, ‘I want to do this,’” says Gloria.
That was two years ago. Since then both Gloria and Joshua’s careers have blossomed.
After his term in the young artist program, Joshua has sung around the world returning twice to LA Opera in the past year to sing Greenhorn in last season’s Moby Dick and Macduff in our current production of Macbeth (the first time he’s sharing the stage with mentor Plácido Domingo). Gloria has worked her way up in the costume shop from intern to being one of the seamsters responsible for the eye-catching witch costumes in Macbeth.
Both still call LA Opera home and have shared many memorable experiences. For Joshua, being part singing “Jurame” to a crowd of family and friends (including Gloria) during LA Opera’s Night of Zarzuela concert in 2013 is a highlight, while Gloria adores seeing the costumes she’s worked on come to life onstage.
“it is great to be able to see everybody’s hard work – lighting, costumes, singers – make a production come to life,” says Gloria.
Most of all, Joshua and Gloria love being able to share a love of opera and be part of a company that nurtures talent in every department.
“The artistry and talent here is top notch and I am really grateful to work in such an amazing place,” says Gloria. Joshua continues, “I feel a huge debt of gratitude to LA Opera for taking a chance on me and I want to be involved in this company as much as I can be whenever I am home.”
From what started as wishful thinking to what has become two blossoming careers, Joshua and Gloria Guerrero discovered a mutual passion for opera and are sure to move up and follow their opera dreams at LA Opera and wherever else life may take them.
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