Mario Iván Martínez

Actor, músico y cuenta - cuentos

Mario Iván Martínez

Mexican born actor and singer whose studies took place in Mexico, England and the USA. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, LAMDA under a British Council Scholarship. In Mexico he studied with prestigious mentors such as Héctor Mendoza, Sergio Jiménez and Julio Castillo. He´s the son of the late actress Margarita Isabel 1941-2017, and TV and radio news anchor Mario Iván Martínez Ortega, 1932-1994. He began his professional career as a boy actor for the radio. At the age of nine he was given his first major role upon the stage playing Peter in a lavish production of Prokofiev´s Peter and the Wolf with Mexico´s National Theatre Company, directed by Oscar Ledezma.

Through the sponsorship of Anglo Arts he toured the British Isles with his one-man show on Mexican pre-Hispanic legends appearing twice at the Aztec Exhibition held at London´s Royal Academy of Arts in 2001. With the same show he also acted as Mexico´s ambassador at the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2008.

In the professional theatre he played Iago in a Mexican National Theatre Company´s production of Shakespeare’s Othello. Other credits include Tony in West Side Story, Matt in The Fantastiks, Oberon in A Mid- Summer Night´s Dream, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Scrooge in Dickens´ A Christmas Carol , Jean Racine in Molière, King Henry II in Becket by Jean Anouilh, Dr Paré in Of Monsters and Prodigies, the story of the castrati , Emperor Iturbide in 1822, The year of Empire, and Howie in The Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire.

In 2015 he performed, in English, the role of king Henry V with Mexico's National Symphony Orchestra at the Palace of Fine Arts during the staging of Henry V-A Shakespeare scenario alongside the celebrated film score by Sir William Walton written for Sir Laurence Olivier´s epic film of 1944.

More recently he received acclaim for the demanding one-man show Diary of a Madman based on Gogol´s short story and for his portrayal of Albin/Zaza in the musical inspired by Jean Poiret´s play La Cage aux Folles; in which he performed for many successful seasons that spanned for two and half years, ending his run in April, 2018. For this work he received three important accolades from the Mexican Theatre Critics. Martínez is now preparing for the role of Vincent Van Gogh in a new play of his own creation called Vincent, girasoles contra el mundo to open in Mexico City during the Spring, 2019. Since 1989 he has played major roles in Mexican television day time drama: Sigfrido in Teresa with Salma Hayek, Renato in Amor real , Steve in Mañana es para siempre and has starred in every major historic series produced by the Televisa network. Some characters include, Emperor Maximilian in El vuelo del Águila about the French intervention in Mexico, Ignacio Rayón in La antorcha encendida and in 2009 Francisco Primo de Verdad y Ramos in Gritos de muerte y libertad the latter two series produced to re-create Mexico´s Independence movement.

Mario produced and presented a weekly children's television series of short stories which were originally broadcast between September 2003 to July 2006 in Televisa´s long-spanning family show En Familia con Chabelo, 1967-2015. His ten minute interventions during the program were designed to stimulate an interest in reading, much along the lines of the BBC´s legendary Jackanory , a show with which Mario grew up during his time in England as a boy. The TV appearances in En familia made Mario Iván Martínez a household name as a story-teller throughout the Mexican Republic and can now be seen in Youtube.

Martínez is also a professional singer of early music. He has produced a recital called Music in Shakespeare´s plays with Lute player and fellow British Council scholar professor Antonio Corona. The latter program has also been recorded. As tenor of the Ars Nova ensemble he participated in the recording of two compact discs of Latin American colonial music and two dedicated to a vocal and multi-national European repertoire from the Renaissance period. He toured Europe with the Ars Nova ensemble directed by Magda Zalles performing Mexican colonial music from the XV and XVII centuries.

Film credits include Original Sin (with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie) and The Librarian, starring Noah Wyle. Mario Iván has also performed in more than 10 Mexican films including the internationally acclaimed picture: Like Water for Chocolate. For his performance as Dr John Brown he received the Mexican Academy of Arts and Sciences Ariel Award for best actor (Mexican Oscar) and the New York ACE Award for best Latin actor.

As narrator, producer and story-teller, he has for the last twenty years collaborated in the production of countless family concerts with almost every prestigious orchestra in the country; this includes the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Mexico City´s Philharmonic and OFUNAM, the musical association belonging to Mexico´s National University. In addition he has produced a personal and extensive theatrical repertoire for children with which he constantly tours the Mexican Republic. On the other hand he has released a successful and meticulously produced collection of audio-books for children called Un rato para imaginar. By 2018 the series had reached XXII volumes and includes works by Shakespeare, Cervantes, Wilde, Dickens, Lorca, Samaniego, Grimm, Andersen, La Fontaine, Aesop, Mexican legends and contemporary authors. It also incorporates works by renowned 20th century Mexican story-teller and composer, Francisco Gabilondo Soler, Cri-Cri. Since 2007 Mario has been proud ambassador of Gabilondo´s much loved songs and stories.