Valerie Gonzalez

Canadian soprano, Valerie Gonzalez has performed in opera theaters around the world portraying soubrette-coloratura and comprimario roles which earned her a reputation as an acrobatic, verismo actress with “quicksilver presence” and a “soaring, brilliant coloratura.”  Valerie fondly remembers her performances with Pacific Opera Victoria singing the roles of Oscar in Ballo in Maschera, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Norina in Don Pasquale, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.  She began her professional studies as an Apprentice/Ensemble/Resident Artist with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and went on to sing throughout Canada, USA, and Europe. Other performance highlights include singing Zerbinetta with directors Jonathan Miller at Broomhill Festival in England, and with Mark Lamos at Glimmerglass Opera Festival in New York; touring eastern Canada as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble; walking the tightrope as Esmeralda (Bartered Bride) at Grand Théâtre de Genève; whirling dervishly as Olympia (Tales of Hoffman) at L’Opera de Montreal; romping around international stages as Adele (Fledermaus), Naiad (Ariadne), Blondchen (Abduction), Papagena (Die Zauberflote), Flora (Turn of the Screw) and Barbarina (Le Nozze); plus creating roles in the world premieres of new opera works with the Canadian Opera Company.

Valerie continues to perform chamber works, and songs by living composers.  She also spearheads numerous concert initiatives in her community, including the annual Fair Lawn Festival of Talent, fundraising for special needs.  She is the Director of Viva La Diva Music Studio and Music Jam Ensembles in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and is Musical Director for County Prep High School Musical Theater in Jersey City.  Valerie is an Adjunct Professor of Music/Voice at New Jersey City University (NJCU), as well as an Adjunct Professor of English at William Paterson University (WPUNJ).  She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and is completing her MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at WPUNJ.  An emerging author, she hopes to publish shortly a historical novel, The Buggy Driver, based on her father’s memoirs during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines in World War II, as well as a volume of poetry, Balikbayan (Returning to the Homeland), and another novel called The Accidental Opera Singer.  Valerie was born in Manila, Philippines, grew up in Vancouver, B.C., and raised her two sons (Isaac and Daniel) in New Jersey with husband, pianist Craig Ketter.  She dreams about writing novels along the bluffs of a cerulean sea, and running an orphanage in the Philippines someday.

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