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A Role Model for Latinas

April 11, 1999

My introduction to the world of opera was when I saw Guzman perform the role of Paula in "Florencia en el Amazonas" almost two years ago. I had headed to the opera because it was in Spanish, the composer was Mexican and I believed I could relate to it, even though the traditional world of opera was foreign to me.

After the performance, I introduced myself to Guzman and found her approachable and gracious. It's great that she's making herself accessible to her community as a role model for young women, and Latinas in particular. Also, her entertaining Sunday noon radio show [KKGO-FM 105.1] helps demystify the world of opera for the uninitiated.

I don't think there was anything accidental about her becoming an opera singer, and I'm glad her inner Carmen was not denied.

Mercedes Narez

Hollywood

*

Thank you for finally representing Los Angeles as it really is--full of Latinos. I was so excited when I saw Suzanna Guzman on the cover of the magazine. How marvelous to read stories about successful Latinas who have talent. How wonderful to finally see myself represented in The Times.

Josefina Lopez

Los Angeles

*

That Suzanna ("not yet a diva") Guzman willingly remains rooted in the community where she was born and raised offers a refreshing opposite to the better-known stories of Latino artists who fight furiously to get away from the barrio.

Her story provides relief for those who do not view areas such as El Sereno only as places with gangs and recurring tragedies caused by violence. They see them as places of beauty, alive with the expression of love through art.

Thanks for a better understanding of East Los Angeles and the word "diva."

Frank M. Situentes

Wilmington

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