Vania Lizbeth Chan is a versatile artist, active in the fields of vocal performance and academia/education. She enjoys collaborating with fellow artists to create new and exciting projects that inspire and educate a wide ranging audience.
She sings in a variety of styles, having performed opera, operetta, musical theatre, oratorio, sacred, jazz, and popular music.
A lyric coloratura soprano, Vania’s voice has been described as “gently shimmering” (Opera News, NY) and “lovely and agile” (@KarasReviews). She has been praised for her fine acting skills, acclaimed as a “first-rate comedienne” (Halifax Chronicle Herald).
She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall, claiming first prize in the Barry Alexander International Competition, NY, performing “Glitter and be Gay” from Bernstein’s Candide.
Performance Highlights include:
Premiering the role of the Light Moon in The Lesson of Da Ji (Alice Ho and Marjorie Chan) with Toronto Masque Theatre.
Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan) with Toronto Operetta Theatre.
Cunegonde in Candide (Bernstein) with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and in concert with the Grand Philharmonic Choir (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada).
Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Handel) with Halifax Summer Opera Festival (Nova Scotia, Canada).
Olympia in Les Contes D’Hoffmann (Offenbach) with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre (Toronto, Canada).
Madame Herz in The Impresario (Mozart) with Voicebox: Opera in Concert (Toronto, Canada).
The Ad Exec in Airline Icarus (Brian Current) with Soundstreams (Toronto, Canada).
Soprano soloist in The Little Match Girl Passion (David Lange) and I Think We are Angels (James Rolfe) with Soundstreams.
Soprano soloist in Carmina Burana (Carl Orff) with Chorus Hamilton (Hamilton, ON, Canada).
Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) with Opera Manhattan Repertory (Manhattan, New York, USA).
Soprano soloist in Handel’s Heroines – a collaborative program with Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, featured at the Early Music America, Emerging Artist Showcase (Bloomington, Indiana, USA).
Vania has performed with several prominent performance companies, ensembles, and music festivals throughout her career.
In Canada, she has sung with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Voicebox: Opera in Concert, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Soundstreams, Signal Theatre, Confluence Concerts, Toronto Masque Theatre, Tapestry Opera, the Red Snow Collective, Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Canadian Sinfonietta, Jumblies Theatre, Opera by Request, Tryptych, Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, York University Concert/Chamber Choir, the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Chorus Hamilton, Wild Geese Chamber Music, Fanshawe Chorus London, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Westben, and Music Niagara.
In the United States she has performed with Opera Manhattan Repertory (NY), the New York Opera Forum, the Berkshire Bach Society (Great Barrington, MA), and Early Music America.
She has sung with Internationalen Sommerakademie – Elysium Between Two Continents in Bernried, Germany. She will continue to explore the music scene in Europe on a 2022 tour with Soundstreams, performing a program that features the music of Canadian composer Claude Vivier.
Vania’s voice can be heard on a number of CD/digital audio recordings. Of special mention are:
The Lesson of Da Ji (Alice Ho/Marjorie Chan – Toronto Masque Theatre), singing the roles of The Light Moon and Ming. This opera won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Opera (2013). The CD recording, released by Centrediscs at the Canadian Music Centre, in Toronto (2015), received a Critic’s Choice Review in Opera News, New York (2016).
Venom of Love (Alice Ho) features electronic ballet music originally commissioned by Toronto’s Little Pear Garden Dance Company. Vania performed as the Story Teller in the live performance and in the recording, digitally released by Leaf Music (Halifax, NS). The recording ranked 9th place in the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s top 20 best classical recordings in 2020.
Little Heart (Afarin Mansouri) is a CD recording of a children’s opera, released by Centrediscs at the Canadian Music Center (2020). Vania performs the singing role of the Little Girl and the singing/speaking role of the Mother.
Vania has been involved in several unique projects including a D’Italiano Bread Commercial (Jigsaw Casting, Toronto, 2017-2018), where she was featured as the Woman with Garlic Breath in the “Romantic Dinner” scene.
She also lends her soprano voice to a short operatic cartoon/film by Sofia Bohdanowicz called The View from Here (Norbert Palej/Liz Rucker), produced by Jumblies Theatre in partnership with Arts4All. The film has been shown at several film festivals including The Insomniac Film Festival (Toronto), the Fantastic Fest (US premiere, Austin, Texas), and the Bloody Mary Film Festival (Toronto).
Vania has been frequently featured as a performer in the annual Asian Heritage Month Concert/Showcase in Toronto (organized by composer Ka Nin Chan). She also hosted the event as Master of Ceremonies in 2018 and 2019.
Vania received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), with a Specialized Honours in Music, graduating Summa Cuma Laude from York University. She was awarded the Fine Arts Convocation Award – the Highest Cumulative GPA in the Fine Arts Faculty. She received her Master of Music degree (M.M.) at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Vania recently completed and successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, and will be graduating this year, 2021, with a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Musicology from York University.
As an artist researcher, Vania is deeply immersed in the topic of Mindfulness and Self-Regulation in vocal training. She has explored the foundation for this topic in her doctoral dissertation and intends to continue building on her research through future publications and conference lectures.
As a teacher, Vania runs a private voice studio, taking on students at various levels of experience. From 2013 – 2019, she was a Teaching Assistant at York University, teaching subjects that include Choir, Music Theory, Music History and Music and Cultures. She completed her Teaching Assistants’ Certificate in Teaching (TACT), at the York University Teaching Commons, SEDA – Staff and Education Development (2015).
While living in New York, Vania had a Teaching Internship with Music and the Brain (MATB, the 42nd St. Development Corp., Manhattan, NY). She traveled to different elementary schools in the city’s boroughs to observe, write reports on, and help the implementation of the MATB program within the classroom curriculum.
While continuing to perform, research and teach, Vania is excited to embark on new creative collaborative projects with fellow artists. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she started Moon Bloom Music, a concert series that would showcase live performances of unique concert programs, and feature educational outreach chats with the artists involved. She intends to move this series online to a YouTube channel, still currently in development. Her goal is to establish an online platform for herself and fellow artists, through which they can continue to creatively engage with each other, and to allow them to perform for and reach out to a growing online audience.