Hailed as “a young vocalist to watch… with a rich and penetrating operatic voice,” Canadian soprano Charlene Santoni’s career is on the rise. Having made her professional debut at the age of 22, this young singer’s operatic credits are many. They include appearances with The University of Toronto’s Opera Division, Edmonton Opera, Opera New Brunswick, Saskatoon Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, The VOICExperience Foundation, The Center for Opera Studies in Italy, Tapestry New Opera, Highlands Opera Studio and The Tanglewood Music Center, which is run by the Metropolitan Opera’s James Levine.
Concert and recital appearances include work with Soundstreams Canada, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Off Centre Music Salon, Masterworks of Oakville, The Highlands Festival Singers, The Bach Elgar Choir, The Canadian Sinfonietta, The Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music, Symphony Hamilton, The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and The National Arts Centre Orchestra. Charlene also sang in a production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with The Boston Pops in 2008, under the baton of Keith Lockhart.
Roles include Mimi (La Bohème), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), La Charmeuse (Thais), Bubikopf (Der Kaiser von Atlantis), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Dortchen (The Brothers Grimm), Monica (The Medium), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Madame Goldentrill (The Impresario) and multiple appearances as The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute). Montreal newspaper La Presse applauded Charlene’s last performance of the wicked Queen regarding her as “terrifying… with notes so precise that one might say they were produced by a computer.”
Oratorio works include appearances in Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Poulenc’s Gloria and recurring appearances in Orff’s monumental Carmina Burana. Charlene is also no stranger to modern music having performed Riley’s “In C”, Reich’s “Proverb”, Menotti’s “La Loca”, Gervais’ “The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G.”, Ross’ “Northern Lights, Eastern Fire” and Sokolovic’s “Six Voices for Sirens”, the last of which was recorded for the CBC in 2007.
Charlene was also recently heard in her first solo cross-over cabaret recital with pianist Christopher Mokrzewski at the Lower Ossington Theatre’s Green Door Cabaret series. Presently, Charlene can be heard singing whistle tones in Canadian Composer John Oswald’s “Qui”, which is part of a permanent installation at the Royal Ontario Museum. This work was remastered into a music video that premiered at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche Festival in 2010 earning a Scotiabank People’s Choice Award. Charlene is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto where she works with acclaimed Canadian voice pedagogue Mary Morrison. She will present her first of three Doctoral Recitals in June.