Former resident artist Layna Chianakas returns to OSJ during the 2013-14 season as stage director of Hansel and Gretel. Previously, Ms. Chianakas directed the 2011-12 OSJ performances of La voix humaine, a production in which she appeared as “the woman” back in 1996.Future engagements include the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with El Paso Opera Theater in December 2013, and her debut as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida with Dayton Opera in April 2014. Recent performances for Ms. Chianakas include performances with Symphony Silicon Valley as Alto Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the role of Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice for Opera Santa Barbara, and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) with Intermountain Opera.
Ms. Chianakas is equally comfortable in the recital forum, in which her experience is extensive. She spent three years touring with The Songs of Franz Schubert Concert Series, performing over 100 recitals, accompanied by world-renowned coach and accompanist, John Wustman. She has performed on the mid-day public radio broadcast of the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, IL, the Krannert Center Sunday Salon Series in Champaign, IL, the Listening Hour Recital Series in San José, CA, and various recital series throughout Germany. She was named Artistic Ambassador of the United States, performing recitals in Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and Jamaica. Ms. Chianakas was featured in the Carmel Music Society Concert Series in Carmel, CA, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Recital Series, and sang on the Concerts at Holy Cross series in Belmont, CA. Ms. Chianakas recently gave her New York Recital Debut at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church.
Sought after as a soloist, she has sung with numerous symphonies and choral societies. Ms. Chianakis received rave reviews from the LA Times for her performance of Maurice Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the New West Symphony. Other orchestral appearances include performances with the San José Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Sinfonia da Camera, the Masterworks Chorale, the Choral Society of the Hamptons, New West Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Diablo Symphony, and Augustana Orchestra. Ms. Chianakas sang the world premiere of Saints written for her, by Craig Bohmler, with the San José Chamber Orchestra. Recent engagements included the world premiere of Winter Requiem with Schola Cantorum in San Jose and San Francisco, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Peoria Symphony.
Ms. Chianakas is currently in her fourth year as Assistant Professor of Voice at San José State University.
For more information, please visit her website: http://www.laynachianakas.com/