Yolanda Vadiz (1959–1987) was a Puerto Rican soprano. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in Puerto Rico and her master's degree in Manhattan School of Music in New York. While in New York, she sang the leading role in the zarzuela "Doña Francisquita" for the Repertorio Español theater company housed at the Gramercy Arts Theater, Off-Broadway. As winner of the Rome Festival in Italy, she performed the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. While in Italy, she was under contract to RAI Television Network, and sang in front of kings and high dignitaries from different countries.
While still at the conservatory, Vadiz was a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera House Eastern Region Auditions, and did concerts with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra with bass Justino Diaz, and singers Ruth Fernandez, Chucho Avellanet and Nydia Caro.
Vadiz was the daughter of Puerto Rican actress and show host Meche Marchand, and of Puerto Rican trio singer Jose Luis Vadiz Colon (known as Guito Vádiz). When Vadiz was little, her mother married comedy actor, show host and television chef Luis Antonio Cosme. Yolanda was raised by her father Guito Vadiz and his parents. At 15 years old, she went to live at Cosme and her mother Meche's house.
Vadiz released her only album, Amor en Mil Idiomas (Love in a Thousand Languages), in 1986, produced by her mother, in Spanish, English and Italian. The song for which the album was named became an instant hit, not only on Puerto Rico's gospel radio stations, but also on mainstream music stations, because of its pop music rhythm.
Personal life and death
Vadiz married Italian lawyer Vittoriano Iucci in 1986, and moved to Rome. Upon her return to Italy, after having promoted her new released record in Puerto Rico, the couple suffered carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a defective heater in their apartment. Her husband died immediately; Vadiz fell into a three-week-long coma and was taken to a hospital in Rome. Her father and mother flew in to be by her side. The news of her critical state and her husband's death crossed Puerto Rico immediately, and all the news media transmitted bulletins of her health condition to the people of Puerto Rico.
Upon hearing the news, Guito and some of his friends in Puerto Rico chipped in to charter a hospital airplane so that Vadiz could be flown back to her homeland. Vadiz was flown from Rome, while still unconscious, with doctors and nurses at her side. Her mother flew separately in a commercial airline to be at the airport when her daughter landed. Despite all the efforts to save Vadiz, she died three days later.
Vadiz's mother and Cosme divorced a year after the tragedy happened. In 1988, Cosme remarried, and he and his new wife had a daughter, whom they named Yolanda, to honor Vadiz's memory.
Fifteen years later, her mother remastered and edited her music and launched it in CD form including a video of her hit song "Amor en Mil Idiomas". It can now be found in major music stores and in the Internet through cdbaby.com.
- José Antonio Cruz, Associate Producer, Repertorio Español