In 2020 USA Today commemorated American women's legal right to vote by recognizing ten people from each state as Women of the Century. One of those women is Cecilia Violetta López of Rupert; she was named one of Idaho's Top 10 Influential Women and one of Opera's 25 rising stars by Opera news.
"It's kind of surreal. I read it, and I don't believe it. I read it, and I think it's a different Cecilia. I don't think I'm anyone special. I grew up in Idaho," said Cecilia Violetta López, an Opera singer.
Before starting Opera, López grew up in Rupert, where she worked the fields with her parents, earning her first check at age 10. She recalls her mom singing in the areas and persuading her to sing at any chance.
"It was just my mom that would say, look, there's a mariachi. Go and sing this song. I would say okay, and I would reluctantly go. I would never want to go, but my mom would say, come on and take me by the hand," said Cecilia Violetta López.
It wasn't until López was in college that she attended her first Opera and was amazed by the performance, which sparked her interest in becoming an opera singer.
"How they projected their voices over the orchestra, how they told the story, how they did all of that, how they made me feel. I tell this story, and it's a vivid memory that makes me get goosebumps here to this day. I left with goosebumps, and I thought that is what I want to do," said Cecilia Violetta López.
Now she performs at opera houses across the country but hasn't forgotten her roots. López recently took on two new roles in Idaho, she is the first artistic advisor for Opera Idaho, and this fall, she took on an adjunct faculty position for Boise State.
"I'm proud to be able to represent both," said Cecilia Violetta López.
López strongly recognizes her success is a product of her parent's sacrifice to migrate to the U.S.