Wallis Giunta candid portrait
Kaitlyn Wallis Giunta|
29 December 1985
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Occupation||Opera singer (mezzo-soprano), actress|
Wallis Giunta (born 1985) is an Irish-Canadian opera singer and actress performing at leading theatres and opera companies around the world. She is a lyric mezzo-soprano of Scottish and Italian descent.
Early life and education
Giunta was born in Ottawa, Ontario to Colleen Wrighte and Michael Giunta. She has a brother, Macallan, and a sister, Marley. Giunta sang in the Ottawa Central Children's Choir from age 9 to 15, and began voice training with Charlotte Stewart in Ottawa at age 13. She attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute, and graduated high school from Glebe Collegiate Institute. At 17, she began her post-secondary studies in voice at The University of Ottawa, completing freshman and sophomore years. She then transferred to The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in her junior year, receiving her Performance Diploma (Voice) at age 21 and her Artist Diploma (Voice) at age 23. While a student, she achieved first place in the Royal Conservatory Orchestra Concerto Competition. She attended training programs at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Ravinia Festival, the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, the Georg Solti Accademia and the Banff Centre. She graduated from the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio in 2011, and both the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Artist Diploma in Opera Studies in 2013. She has studied extensively with both Jean MacPhail in Toronto, and Edith Wiens in New York.
In spring 2010, before completing her studies, Giunta made her professional debut, as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Atelier and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto. She spent summer 2010 at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, where she was invited to audition for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She was selected by James Levine to join the program starting in the fall of 2011. Earlier in 2011, she had made her American operatic debut as Pribaoutki in the acclaimed Robert Lepage production of Stravinsky's The Nightingale & Other Short Fables, on tour with the Canadian Opera Company. That season, she also performed Zweite Dame in the Canadian Opera Company main stage production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, directed by Diane Paulus, and made her debut at Opera Lyra Ottawa as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni). In 2012, she performed in two Metropolitan Opera Young Artist productions in New York, as Phénice in Gluck's Armide, and as Dorabella in Stephen Wadsworth's staging of Così Fan Tutte (Mozart). She also debuted at the Fort Worth Opera (Cherubino).
In 2013 she returned to the Canadian Opera Company as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart), directed by Christopher Alden. For the second performance in this production run, she substituted as Sesto. This was followed by her Metropolitan Opera main stage debut as Contessa Ceprano in Rigoletto (Verdi), and her debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, singing the role of Tiffany in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, by John Adams. She also made her Asian debut later that year, with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, reprising the role of Annio.
In 2014, she returned to the Canadian Opera Company, reprising the role of Dorabella, in a new production by director Atom Egoyan. She also created the Canadian premiere of Louis Andriessen's one-woman opera, Anaïs Nin, for the 21C Festival in Toronto, and returned to Opera Atelier as Bradamante in Alcina (Handel).
In early 2015, Giunta returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Olga in a new production of The Merry Widow (Lehár), broadcast worldwide for their Live in HD series. That was followed by a return to Opera Lyra Ottawa as Cherubino, and a debut at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, reprising her role in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky. In the fall of 2015, she became a member of the ensemble at Oper Leipzig in Germany. In November 2015, she made her German operatic debut at Oper Leipzig in the role of Cherubino, in a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro . That was followed at Oper Leipzig by her role debut as Siébel in Gounod's Faust, and her first Wagner role as Rossweise in Die Walküre.
In March 2016 she made another role debut at Oper Leipzig as Angelina in La Cenerentola, to great critical acclaim. She debuted in April 2016 at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, followed by a debut with the Hamburger Symphoniker in May 2016, and her role debut as Mercédès in Carmen for Oper Frankfurt's new Barry Kosky staging in July, 2016. In the fall of 2016, she debuted a new role at Opera Atelier, Purcell's Dido, in Dido and Aeneas, and debuted in concert with the Munich Radio Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia.
In 2017, she starred in three productions for Opera North, singing the title roles in La Cenerentola and L'enfant et les sortilèges, as well as Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, again to critical acclaim.
Giunta's repertoire includes:
- Tiffany, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky (Adams)
- Nancy T'ang, Nixon in China (Adams)
- Anaïs, Anaïs Nin (Andriessen)
- Sally, A Hand of Bridge (Barber)
- Paquette, Candide (Bernstein)
- Dinah, Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
- Carmen/Mercédès, Carmen (Bizet)
- Hermia, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten)
- Nancy, Albert Herring (Britten)
- English Lady, Death in Venice (Britten)
- Pandora, Pandora's Locker (Burry) @
- Wu, Kommilitonen! (Davies) @@
- Phenice, Armide (Gluck)
- Siebel, Faust (Gounod)
- Olga, The Merry Widow (Lehár)
- Bradamante, Alcina (Handel)
- Ernesto, Il Mondo della Luna (Haydn)
- Lola, Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni)
- Annio/Sesto, La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
- Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)
- Dorabella, Così fan Tutte (Mozart)
- Idamante, Idomeneo (Mozart)
- Zweite Dame, Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
- Dido, Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)
- L'Enfant, L'enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel)
- Il Fuso, La Bella Dormente nel Bosco (Respighi)
- Rosina, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)
- Angelina (Cenerentola), La Cenerentola (Rossini)
- Clarina, La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Rossini)
- The King's Mistress, The Children's Crusade (Schafer) @
- Orlofsky, Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss)
- Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier (R. Strauss)
- Pribaoutki, The Nightingale & Other Short Fables (Stravinsky)
- Contessa Ceprano, Rigoletto (Verdi)
- Rossweisse, Die Walküre (Wagner)
- Blumenmädchen, Parsifal (Wagner)
- Wellgunde, Das Rheingold (Wagner)
@ Indicates world premiere
@@ Indicates North American premiere
Recognition and awards
- 2018: Winner "Young Singer of the Year" at the International Opera Awards
- 2017: Named "Young Singer of the Year" by The Arts Desk
- 2017: Winner "Breakthough Artist in UK Opera" in the WhatsOnStage Awards
- 2017: Nominated for *Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance - Ensemble (Opera) for Dido & Aeneas with Opera Atelier
- 2016: Winner of the Bernard Diamant Prize, from the Canada Council for the Arts
- 2015: Named one of the Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- 2015: Named one of the "Top 25 People in Canada's Capital", by Ottawa Life Magazine
- 2015: Chosen to perform for the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards in Canada
- 2014: Named one of the Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- 2013: Named one of the Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- 2013: Received The Juilliard School Novick Career Advancement Grant
- 2012: Winner of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award
- 2010: Encouragement Award winner at the George London Competition
- 2010: Winner of New Discoveries Competition
Films and recordings
- "Trouble in Tahiti"; produced by Opera North and The Space, for the Leonard Bernstein centenary; premiered July 2018.
- "Dans les pas de Cendrillon"; a documentary about the history of the Cinderella story, produced by Arte; premiered January 2017.
- "The Merry Widow", by Franz Lehár, recorded for The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series in January 2015; released on DVD and Blu-ray by Decca.
- "Music for Great Films of the Silent Era"; music by William P. Perry; recorded for Naxos Records in June 2014 with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra & Paul Phillips (conductor) in Dublin, Ireland.
- "Une Saison a la Juilliard School"; a documentary series about students at The Juilliard School, produced by Arte; released on DVD in 2013.
- "Richard Strauss: Lieder Op. 10, 15, 17"; recorded independently in July 2013, with pianist Carson Becke, in Quebec, Canada.
- "Opera Atelier: Don Giovanni"; a mini documentary about Mozart's title character, Don Giovanni; produced by Bravo and 90th Parallel Productions in 2010.
- Hill, Valerie (9 December 2011). "Mezzo Soprano sure to dazzle at Saturday's Messiah performance". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Eades, Erica (12 February 2013). "STAR POWER: A Q&A with Mezzo Soprano Wallis Giunta". Ottawa Magazine. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Glenn Gould School Alumni". The Royal Conservatory.
- "All Participants". Neue Stimmen. 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Alumni: 2012". Internationale Meistersinger Akademie. 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- MacMillan, Rick (2011). "Wallis Giunta". Opera Canada. 52 (1): 10. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Mazzaro, Maria (September 2015). "Sound Bites: Wallis Giunta". Opera News. 80 (3): 14–15. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Biography". Wallis Giunta Official Site. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Hickling, Alfred (19 February 2017). "Cinderella review – effervescent Rossini for a Strictly Dancing era" – via www.theguardian.com.
- Giunta, Wallis. "Repertoire". Wallis Giunta Official Website. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Nominees". Opera Awards. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- Nice, David. "Best of 2017: Opera". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- Valencia, Mark. "Winners of 2018 Opera Poll". What'sOnStage. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Nominees and Recipients". Dora Awards. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- Rowat, Robert. "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 2015". CBC Music. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Tenenhouse, Kate. "Top 25 People in the Capiltal 2015". Ottawa Life Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "Gala Program" (PDF). GGPAA. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Rowat, Robert. "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 2014". CBC Music. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Rowat, Robert. "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 2013". CBC Music. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "Award Recipients". Sylva Gelber Music Foundation. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "New Discoveries Competition". Ottawa Choral Society. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- ""Trouble in Tahiti: watch Bernstein's swinging one-act opera"". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- Perry, William. "Music for Great Films of the Silent Era". Naxos. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Becke, Carson. "CDs". Carson Becke, Pianist. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- ""Opera Atelier: Don Giovanni"". Youtube. Retrieved 29 January 2017.