Emma Bonanno recently completed her Master’s degree in Opera and Voice Performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. At McGill, she has performed the roles of Eduige in Handel’s Rodelinda, Jo March in Adamo’s Little Women, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and La Suora Infermiera in Suor Angelica.
Last summer, Emma was a young artist with the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance, where she sang the role of Cio-Cio San’s Mother and studied the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, conducted by Willie Anthony Waters and directed by Gina Lapinski. In August, she performed the role of Despina in Così fan tutte with the Connecticut Lyric Opera Institute.
Emma completed her undergraduate degree at DePaul University in Chicago, where she was seen as the Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen, Betty in The Threepenny Opera, and Inez in The Gondoliers with DePaul Opera Theatre. Other performances at DePaul include portions of Pierrot Lunaire with the Ensemble 20+, the world premiere of Kurt Westerberg’s Vision and Prayer, and opera scenes performances as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Her senior year, she won 3rd place in the DePaul University Kleinman Voice Competition.
After graduating in 2013, Emma performed the roles of the Witch and the Mother in Chicago Opera Playhouse’s production of Hansel and Gretel, which toured the Chicagoland area. In addition, Emma worked as the Outreach Intern for Chicago Opera Theater’s “Opera for All” program, where she was trained to teach classes in Chicago Public Schools. In the fall of 2013 she gave a recital of Russian and Romantic art songs and arias as part of the Chicago Philharmonic’s NEXT! Initiative for young artists, and that spring she was a finalist for the North Shore Choral Society Donald Chen Young Artist Award in Wilmette, Illinois.
Emma has performed for four seasons with the Grant Park Symphony Festival Chorus, including several world premieres during the chorus’s 75th anniversary season in the summer of 2013. Growing up in Bloomington, Indiana, she trained as a recorder player and cellist at the Jacobs School of Music, and was also a competitive figure skater.