Province/Territory: British Columbia
Role(s) in this year's festival:
Drusilla: "The Coronation of Poppea"
I'm extremely fortunate to be studying under mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker for the last three years, who is assisting me in preparing for this role. I'm looking forward to cultivating the character of Drusilla alongside my colleagues, and hope to bring an authenticity to her that pulls from my own experiences. Drusilla is the first operatic role I've ever prepared, and I'm extremely excited to gain the invaluable experience of performing live with the rest of the cast, especially after losing all live-performance opportunities for the past two years. I really wanted an opportunity to challenge myself and step slightly out of my wheelhouse, and after reading about NUOVA's past festivals, I figured this was the perfect place to do that!
Anika Venkatesh is a South-Asian vocalist hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia. They are currently pursuing their third year of a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance as a soprano at the University of Toronto. As of recent, they are the proud recipient of the 2021 Arthur Edward Redsell scholarship, awarded to a student displaying merit and excellence in voice studies. Alongside their classical, operatic, and choral vocal skills, Anika sings a variety of music ranging from jazz, to R&B, to Bengali traditional music.
Anika’s breadth of musical interests has led them to numerous programs over the years, including multiple summer voice programs at the University of British Columbia, where they were fortunate to work with conductor and director Dr. Lynne Morrow, as well as Judith Forst and Nancy Hermiston. They were also selected as part of the British Columbia Music Educator’s Association (B.C.M.E.A.) Provincial Honour Vocal Jazz ensembles for three years, where they were honoured to work with various jazz vocal composers and conductors, including Seattle-based writer and vocalist Amanda Taylor. Anika also performs with Couch Jams, a local Vancouver-based R&B collective founded by Matt Yang, as part of the in-house band. They believe in making music that crosses boundaries both musically and socially, and is a stronghold in anti-racism and anti-oppression advocacy in their music community in Toronto.