All of us at LA Opera are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of tenor Andres (Andy) Ramirez. Andy has been a part of the LAO family since he was 11 years old, when he sang in the 2001 production of Puccini’s Tosca as a member of the LA Children’s Chorus. He participated in one of the first Opera Camps and continued his musical education at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). He was 28 years old.
Ramirez’s passion for opera and generous spirit touched everyone who knew him. Mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman, who has performed with LA Opera as a principal artist in over 40 mainstage productions, recalls her time with Ramirez.
“Andy went to school with my son at LACHSA, I watched him grow up…” Guzman stated. Many years later, she saw Andy in a production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. After the performance, they reconnected and spoke in length about the opera.
“He had a spirit and a heart of someone who recognizes how magical this art form is,” said Guzman.
Last season, Ramirez made his debut as a member of the LA Opera Chorus in The Pearl Fishers. Mezzo-soprano Erin Alford recalled how excited they both were to be singing in their first chorus roles with LA Opera.
“Andy was a fabulous tenor and seriously, one of the kindest individuals I’ve met. He also taught the opera workshop at LACHSA and his students LOVED him,” Alford said.
Ramirez had just completed his first year leading the opera program at LACHSA. He brought his students to a dress rehearsal through LA Opera’s Opera Prep program.
“Andy was a constantly cheerful spirit,” recalls soprano and program administrator Hannah Goodman. “It was a pleasure to see him at the opera house. He had a smile and enthusiasm that was clearly contagious!”
Ramiez will be deeply missed by his LA Opera family and everyone who knew him. Information about his memorial can be found here.LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.