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AZO Cast Members & Creatives

Celeste Lanuza

Ms. Lanuza has received rave reviews for her portrayal of El Duende in Maria de Buenos Aires for her “tour de force traversal of the role, morphing easily” as the first female and American actor to play this role delivering all of Horacio Ferrer’s recitation by memory (Opera Today). “Celeste Lanuza cavorted, danced, and executed diverting comedic spoofs that realized many of Ferrer’s surrealist intentions… Lanuza suffused several solo scenes with electric expectation…” (San Diego Story).

She has performed this role at the San Diego Opera and is excited to join director John de los Santos for another production in this opera reprising El Duende.
Celeste holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Musical Theatre from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she earned an Artist Grant, and an MFA in Dance Choreography from UC Irvine where she was given a full tuition scholarship. During her time in graduate school, she was mentored by Donald McKayle and since then, restaged his acclaimed choreography Angelitos Negros, being featured in Dance Teacher Magazine. While in Philly she worked with Seabrook Opera as the featured dancer in Carmen.

Some favorite engagements include, Anita in West Side Story with the Candlelight Pavilion Theatre where she earned positive reviews and the production was awarded one of the “Best Productions of 2015” in Southern California by Broadway World. Others are, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan with Moonlight Stage Productions, Lead Pachuca in Zoot Suit and The Who’s Tommy with the San Diego Repertory Theatre, featured dancer in Guys and Dolls at the Old Globe Theatre, and PBS Film Special for Emmy Award Winning Show with guitarist Benise as a featured dancer.

Ms. Lanuza has toured throughout Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States as a guest singer in world-renowned resorts in Indonesia and Malaysia and Princess Cruises performing diverse music, dance and showcasing original choreography. She is also a choreographer who has produced works with her ensemble, Celeste Lanuza Dance Theatre. Her choreographic works have been presented at the Los Angeles Taste of Soul Festival, Laguna Dance Festival, and the San Diego International Fringe Festival among others. Her original music has been performed on TV and in theatres in Quito and Riobamba, as well as the House of Blues in San Diego and Sheila E’s E Spot in LA to name a few.

Celeste is a singer-songwriter and producer of her own music, available on iTunes and Spotify from her EP and Album entitled “Arranca!” Her music was nominated for the LA Music Awards. Ms. Lanuza is a classically trained pianist who has won competitions playing Federico Mompou, Manuel De Falla, and Isaac Albeniz and continues to play adding pop and experimental styles for theatre and dance works. Celeste passes on dance, theatre, and music teaching to high school and college students.>

Follow her music on iTunes and Spotify and Instagram @celeste_lanuza

Performances