Biography

Alicia Woynarski is a singer with a beautiful warm mezzo-soprano voice and compelling stage presence. “Pretty as a flower, this budding star sings with the power and confidence of a veteran” (Oceanside Star). Her innate musicality has captivated audiences nationally and abroad. “[Director Tatiana] Vasilieva is glowing in her praise of this young mezzo-soprano and one can see why” (Parksville Qualicum Beach News).

Originally from Regina, Alicia completed a Bachelor of Music at University of Western Ontario and graduated from University of British Columbia with a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. Operatic roles include Drite Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Saskatoon Opera), Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (A Little Opera on the Prairie), Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte (AEDO, Accademia Europea Dell’Opera), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Saskatoon Opera), the title role in Carmen (Vancouver Island Opera), Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte (European Academy of Music, Czech Republic), Tessa in The Gondoliers (Westben Theatre), Florence in Albert Herring (UWO), and Principessa in Suor Angelica (Opera NUOVA).

Other concert performances include guest artist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Mercury Opera, Edmonton.

Under the direction of Bruce Pullan with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Alicia has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Handel’s Messiah. She has also been a guest soloist with the Regina Symphony for Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Charpentier’s Te Deum and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man. Other concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John’s Passion and Cantata, BWV 182, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Mozart’s Requiem, René Clausen’s A New Creation, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Most recently, with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Alicia was invited to be the soloist for Handel’s Messiah. Alicia was a featured artist in Mercury Opera, Edmonton’s opera documentary televised on OMNI 1, titled 104 Underground, helping to make opera more accessible.

In addition to opera, Alicia enjoys the challenge and unique experience of working with contemporary composers.

She has worked with award winning composer Jeff Smallman, currently the composer-in-residence for the Woodstock Fanshawe Singers. Smallman wrote a song cycle of Nocturnes for Alicia, set to the poetry of American poet Sara Teasdale. “Indescribable beauty arises when a performer and composer work together in collaborative artistry and interpretation,” Alicia explains. She premiered Smallman’s Nocturnes in London, Ontario, and later presented them to Vancouver audiences at UBC and at the Silk Purse Concert Series of Canadian music. At UBC, Alicia was asked to premiere a cycle of Three Ghost Songs for mezzo voice and harp by composer Matthew MacTavish. Her final year of her Master’s degree included a project with Canadian pianist Nikolai Maloff. She was invited to take part in his presentation of his doctoral thesis on “An Introduction to the Life and Works of Peruvian composer Enrique Iturriaga” at the University of British Columbia. Alicia graciously accepted the challenge and premiered Iturriaga’s Song Cycle of four Spanish songs set to poems of Javier Heraud. Soon after moving to Alberta, Alicia teamed up with an award winning Boston composer, Frank E. Warren and two Calgary artists, Cheryl Emery and Lauren Woods and embarked on a three city recital tour to premiere new works by Frank E. Warren.

Alicia is a recent recipient of a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant (2012 and 2010), a winner of the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Competition and a winner of the Metropolitan Opera Western Canada District Auditions.

Some other awards include the Mildred Johnson music scholarship for academic excellence at UBC, a Regina Musical Club Scholarship and the Regina Lions Scholarship. As a recipient of a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant, Alicia traveled to Houston, Texas, March 2011, to study with world renowned Mezzo-Soprano, Susanne Mentzer. This grant is awarded to artists who have attained critical recognition for their work as an emerging professional. In 2012, the Saskatchewan Arts Board provided funding for the program of AEDO which allowed Alicia to sing the role of Dorabella in Italy.

Alicia has toured to schools across Saskatchewan with a new production, Mozart’s Odyssey—a compilation of Mozart opera excerpts adapted by Ann Hodges—through Saskatoon Opera’s school tour program. September 2012 consisted of a school tour through the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils of Dean Burry’s Isis and the Seven Scorpions with Saskatchewan’s newest opera company, A Little Opera on the Prairie. The following season, she toured once more with Saskatoon Opera in their school tour of The Magic Flute.

In addition to touring Saskatchewan with A Little Opera on the Prairie, Alicia sang the role of Hansel in LOOP’s first full scale production run of Hansel and Gretel.

Ms. Woynarski has performed in several concert versions of operas: In Portland, she sang the role of Hänsel in a concert version of Hänsel und Gretel as well as Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte. Most recently, she has performed as Dorabella in Calgary Concert Opera Company’s Così Fan Tutte.

This season she looks forward to her continued involvement as an Alberta Registered Music Teacher, helping local talent in their goals of becoming great musicians and performers. She also looks forward to her company debut with Manitoba Opera in Le Nozze di Figaro.