2019–20 Season: Giovanna , Ernani
Romanian-American soprano Esther Tonea has appeared in concerts and recitals across the United States, Canada and Europe. During her participation in the 2019 Merola Opera Program, she appeared as Diana in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s If I Were You. The San Francisco Chronicle praised her “magnificent singing—an ardent, tonally plush performance,” and in the Merola Grand Finale concert, she “dazzled as Fiordiligi” (San Francisco Examiner) with her “gleaming tones and impeccable dynamic control” (San Francisco Chronicle). Tonea’s opera highlights also include the roles of Gilda (Rigoletto), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica). She has appeared as soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis with the Athens Choral Society, Haydn’s The Creation with the University of Georgia and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in San Francisco. In collaboration with the National Orchestral Institute + Festival and Wolf Trap Opera, she performed “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide among other Bernstein hits for their Bernstein at 100: Pops Extravaganza performance. Tonea holds a Master of Music in Voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Cello Performance from the University of Georgia.