Aria Delights


Thu Jun 27 2024 at 07:30 pm to 09:00 pm


901 Lawrence Avenue West,Toronto,M6B 4E7,CA | Toronto, ON

Join us for a delightful evening of classical music arias performed by the soprano singers of ArsMusica.
A delightful evening of classical music arias performed by the soprano singers of ArsMusica, Canada's BIPOC Ethnocultural Music and Opera Company. Enjoy a repertoire of renowned arias from Italian operas by Puccini, Verdi, and Rossini, as well as classic songs from “Porgy and Bess” and “Show Boat”. Performers include ArsMusic Founder Cherry Ann Mendez, Gail Malcolm, Anna Chirichella, and Sonia Stillo, accompanied by pianist Adolfo De Santis.
Presented in partnership with ArsMusica.

Cherry Ann Mendez – Soprano
A Trinidad Music Festival prizewinner, Ms. Mendez hosted her own radio show “Cherry Sings” on Radio Trinidad as a teenager. After singing for Marion Anderson in Trinidad, Ms. Anderson’s accompanist Frans Rupp, recommended Ms. Mendez to participate in the Marion Anderson Vocal Competition in Philadelphia. An influential figure in the New York music scene, Mr. Rupp also recommended Cherry Ann to Lotte Lotte Leonard at the Manns College of Music in NYC, and Ms. Mendez was given a scholarship. She continued her studies at the University of Toronto, and her teacher was baritone Louis Quilico. She also studied with Daniel Ferro at Julliard, and Shirley Verretti at Michigan University. Ms. Mendez has appeared in concert at the White Mountains Festival in New Hampshire, Queen’s Hall in Trinidad, the Purcell Room in London, England, and the Gubbio Festival in Italy. Her first Toronto show was “Africa in the Caribbean”. She also won Queens of the Bands in the Caribana festival and later served as a judge in the Calypso competition.
As founder of ArsMusica Community Concerts, Ms. Mendez has presented a series of concerts since 1994 at Heliconian Hall, the Arts and Letters Club, UofT Hart House, York University, Columbus Centre of Toronto, Church of St. George the Martyr, St. Michael’s and All Angels First Unitarian Congregation, Orangeville Opera House, The Stone Church, and Mt. Dennis United Church. ArsMusica currently works at Forest Grove United Church with conductor Colin Mendez Morris, and keyboardist/recording engineer Marty Smyth.
Currently, Ms. Mendez serves as a soloist with Coro San Marco with recent performances at the Laval Quebec Choral Festival, The Mary Lake Shrine and the Singing Together Festival ( a celebration of cultural diversity through music)
Last season, in collaboration with Coro San Marco and Singing Together Festival, Cherry Ann successfully led a 40-member choir tour to Italy with Maestros Colin Mendez Morris and Daniele Colla, culminating with appearances at the Cantus Angeli Choral Festival and tour along the Amalfi coast.
Gail Malcolm – Soprano
Since her remarkable discovery in 1996, Gail Malcolm has developed her natural pure sound into a full lyric soprano voice.
In 2006, Gail was chosen from a field of over 300 eager vocalists to be a part of a reality television series, “The Bathroom Divas” held in Toronto, ON. It took the form of an opera boot camp where for six grueling weeks, six finalists were coached and housed in a private mansion. The activities complete with live coaching were televised nationwide and the program aired on Bravo TV. The exposure that Gail received on this show and as a finalist propelled her into the limelight. Gail also appeared with five other opera singers at the Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse to perform, “Divas Over the Top” concert.
Here in Toronto, Gail has been studying voice and repertoire with mezzo soprano and teacher Cherry Ann Mendez. She has also attended master classes in Michigan with Professor Shirley Verrett and studied with Montreal baritone Robert Savoie.
Ms. Malcolm was the recipient of several gold medals and was awarded second place in the Jamaica Music Teacher’s Association Music Competition. Gail hails from Montego Bay in Jamaica, the home of another great opera singer, Joyce Britton.
She continues to appear in the ArsMusica opera music series as the lead soprano at the Heliconian Hall and St. George the Martyr Arts and Music Centre, Her performances to date include arias and excerpts from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, solos including Orfeo Euridice by Glick, Lui in Turnado t and Sofi, in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier . She followed these roles with the leading role of Madame Butterfly by Puccini at the Orangeville Town Hall and Opera House and Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème in Toronto’s Heliconian Hall. Gail has been appearing in the special Historical Series as a guest soloist St. Catherines, Niagara on the Lake, Burlington and Oakville.
Anna Chirichella - Soprano
I feel as if I was born with a song in my heart. I spent my youth singing in school choirs, church choirs and later in adult choirs. I discovered the world of Bel Canto Opera when I joined Coro Verdi. Under the guidance and encouragement of Maestro Giuseppe Macina, I started taking music lessons and later joined the TOR, Toronto Opera Repertoire.
Sonia Stillo - Soprano
“An angelic voice” is what has been quoted when Sonia sings. She studied voice and pedagogy at the Glen Gould Professional School of Music in Toronto.
Over the span of her music career, Sonia has had the honour of studying with many accomplished teachers. She has performed with several opera companies in and around Toronto, singing roles in La Triavata , La Bohème and Die Fledermaus . She has also performed as a soloist with Coro Verdi, and Coro San Marco. She has sung in the City of Vaughan’s “Concerts in the Park Series” and is no stranger to the television world having performed for programs on Global TV, TLN TV, and CITY TV. Sonia has taken part in several music festivals, where she was awarded ‘Most Promising Young Singer’ and has performed as a soloist in international choral festivals in Italy.
This year, she had the honour of collaborating with Italian-Canadian composer Maria Molinari, premiering the piece “Non Ti Appartiene” and also working with conductor Daniele Colla and Fr. Louis Di Rocco performing for the first time the composition “Requiem” in honour of Kerry Straton.
Catherine Anita Pennie Started singing in her school Choir Fyzabad Intermediate Secondary in Trinidad and Tobago and competed in the National Arts Festival. After migrating to Canada, she studied voice with Cherry Ann Mendez, where she was introduced to classical music while singing in her church choir, Reval Time Tabernacle in Toronto. She also sang with the Scarborough Christmas Mass Choir before joining Coro San Marco. where she is currently one of the soloists.
Adolfo Di Santis - Pianist
Adolfo De Santis is a Canadian-born musician who has lived and studied in Italy, where he graduated with distinction in piano, composition and orchestral conducting. He won several national competitions and took the top prize in the Stresa International Chamber Music Competition. Mr. De Santis has collaborated with Ars Musica, Centuries Opera, Opera Buffa, the Palestrina Chamber Chorus, Peel Choral Society, Coro Giuseppe Verdi, Etobicoke Centennial Choir, Columbus Community Choir, and The Canadian Tenors. He has been music director of the Toronto Opera Repertoire/Toronto City Opera. He is currently music director of Blythwood Road Baptist Church. He is highly sought after by singers as a trusted musical coach. Mr. De Santis is enjoying his journey into the world of Jazz and Broadway with his wife.

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901 Lawrence Avenue West,Toronto,M6B 4E7,CA, Canada

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