Italian-Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Simona Genga is an “exceptional and rare voice” known for “her vocal plushness, amplitude and range which are mature beyond her years” (Ludwig Van/ Opera Canada).
Upcoming and recent engagements for Simona this season include the premiere of Ian Cusson’s Fantasma with the Canadian Opera Company, the titular role of Carmen with Opera Saskatoon, and Handel’s Messiah with the Peterborough Singers.
“Showing a vocal and theatrical maturity that belies her age,” Simona first felt the deep impact of opera through studying and performing the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Heggie’s impactful opera Dead Man Walking with the Opera Nuova Festival in 2015 (The Edmonton Journal). Since then, Simona has graduated from the Canadian Opera Company’s prestigious Ensemble Studio after winning both First Prize and Audience Choice Awards at their Centre Stage Competition in 2017 while successfully making her mark as a “thrilling young voice” who “offers an onstage poise that belies her age” and “the winning smile of a born stage-monster” (The Globe and Mail).
During the 19/20 season, Ms. Genga’s highlights with the Canadian Opera Company included role debuts of Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia under the baton of Speranza Scapucci, and Gertrude in the Opera for Young Audiences performances of Hansel and Gretel.
In recent seasons, Simona has been featured as the Second Maid in COC’s production of Elektra, premiered the role of Cindy in the COC’s Wow Factor: A Cinderella Story and returned as a Gerdine Young Artist, to sing both Annina in Patricia Racette’s directing debut of La Traviata and cover the role of Mother Chen in the premiere of Huang Ro’s powerful work An American Soldier with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Equally, at home in the Recital Hall, Simona has made recital debuts with the Elora Festival, The Shaftsbury Salon Series, the 2017 Norcop Song Recital Prize. She has had fellowships with the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, The Chautauqua Institute, Highlands Opera Studio, and the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden bei Wein, where she was deeply inspired by the late Dr. Deen Larsen and the vast and magical world of Lied. In the summer of 2021, she joined Toronto Summer Music for Midsummer Melodies, an evening of art song curated by Adrianne Pieczonka with pianist Steven Philcox.
Simona was a finalist in the 2021 Women’s Musical Club of Toronto’s Career Development Award and is a grateful recipient of a 2019 Sullivan Foundation Career Development Grant. She has also been recognized as one of the CBC’s “30 hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”, and with career grants from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, multiple Ruby Mercer Awards, the Christina and Louis Quilico Competition, where she won third prize in 2019 and by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis with the 2018 Barbara and Stanley Richman Award for demonstrating “exceptional potential for a significant career”.
Simona is a proud alumna of Saint Elizabeth’s CHS Regional Arts Program, Western University where she holds a University Gold Medal in Music with her B.Mus in Voice Performance and the University of Toronto where she completed a Masters in Opera.