Born in Montreal, soprano Venetia-Maria Stelliou began singing at the age of fourteen, and won her first competition the following year. Since then, she has earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from McGill University with High Distinction, and a Master of Music in Voice Performance from Boston University where she graduated Pi Kappa Lambda and was granted a graduate assistantship to teach voice for non-majors and also taught at the BU Tanglewood Institute for high school students.

Venetia-Maria has won top prizes in several competitions, including N.A.T.S. and the Canadian Music Competition at the national level. After winning second prize in the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivieres competition, she was invited to sing with the Orchestra and made her debut singing the Soprano Solo in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

She has been a featured soloist in many concerts, including singing for the President of Greece and the former and current Prime Ministers of Canada. Most recently, she sang the Soprano Solo in Mozart’s Requiem at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas. She has attended young artist programs in Italy (Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania) and Austria (University of Miami Summer Program in Salzburg) to further her studies in music and languages, and has sung concerts in the United States, Canada, and Greece. She and her husband, tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz, have started a series of concerts in Sonora, Mexico, the next of which will take place December 2005.

Venetia-Maria is most at home on the operatic stage, and made her debut singing Papagena in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the Maine Grand Opera. Throughout the last two years, she has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most renowned directors and conductors as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus. Most recently, she sang Mary Warren in Robert Ward’s The Crucible at the Utah Festival Opera Company. One of the performances was attended by the composer, who specifically commended her interpretation of the role.

She has been invited to return to the Utah Festival Opera Company to sing Barbarina and cover Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in their 2006 summer season.

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© 2008 Venetia-Maria Stelliou, Soprano