Onalea Gilbertson

Onalea is a singer, theatre artist, poet and musician who enjoys experimenting with a wide variety of material from cabaret to concert hall. She has recorded four CD's ranging from big band to jazz standards, electronica to original material.

As a theatre artist she has performed numerous roles across Canada including 7 seasons as an ensemble member with the award-winning avant- garde Canadian Theatre Company One Yellow Rabbit. She has worked extensively with several incredible Canadian composers including Emmy award winning Dave Pierce, David Rhymer, Donovan Seidle, and Marcel Bergmann. With Dandi Productions, she has co-created and performed shows with symphony orchestras internationally including the Hallé Symphony - the oldest orchestra in the UK.  Most recently Dandi toured to Australia to perform with both the Adelaide and West Australian symphony orchestras (fall 2013).

Onalea's original pieces REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL:  A Chamber Musical About Homelessness and BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame premiered in New York City as a special events of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2011 and 2012.  BLANCHE was named a top 20 show in New York in 2011 by the Huffington Post.

Recent projects include:  starring in Mata Hari in 8 Bullets at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the summer of 2013; directing What Brought Us Here a new Opera about Immigration which premiered September 2012 with Calgary Opera and creating the role of Petty in HOME an indie film by Sandi Somers. Current work in progress is TORCH SONGS FROM THE GYPSY VAN a love story with Jazz and String quartet.

Mata Hari in 8 Bullets

Mata Hari

Presented by The New York Musical Festival & Charlie Fink

The Pershing Square Signature Center's Studio Theater
- 480 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY

July 8, 10, 13 and July 16, 18, 20

Visit the Mata Hari Musical web site

Onalea wins NYMF 2013 Award for Excellence in the category of Outstanding Individual Performance.

READ MORE on Playbill.com

<<< Links to the NY reviews in the left hand column.


Award-winning chanteuse Onalea Gilbertson conjures a fever dream into the heart, mind and soul of Mata Hari – erotic dancer, courtesan, and international superstar. Imprisoned by the French on charges of espionage during World War I, Mata Hari went from being Europe's most desired woman to its most despised. One of the most misunderstood women of the 20th century gets her chance at redemption in this unique musical blending art song and burlesque.

Production Stills by Billy Bustamante

Production Credits

  • Conceived & Composed by David Rhymer (Musical Director)
  • Starring Onalea Gilbertson (Mata Hari)
  • Lyrics by Blake Brooker & David Rhymer
  • Directed by Peter Schneider
  • Choreography - Odette Heyn
  • Producer & General Manager - Charlie Fink
  • Guitar/Performer - Michael Scholar Jr.
  • Percussion - Miles Lassi
  • Violin - Josh Henderson
  • Sound Design - Matt Rowe
  • Dramaturg - Anna Jacobs
  • Lighting Design - Zach Blane
  • Costumes - Janell Berté
  • Wardrobe - Karle Meyers
  • Props and Set Pieces - Jane Fink
  • Stage Manager - Jessica Vacchiano
  • Assistant Stage Manager - Sean Springle
  • Graphic Design - Ben Spriggs
  • Artistic Advisor - Patrick Pacheco
  • Publicity - Joe Trentacosta
  • Director of Development - Leif Gilbertson
  • Social Media Coordinator - Sarena Kennedy
  • Social Media Intern - Ran Xia
  • Production Asistant - Tiffany Springle
  • Production Asistant -Rachel Meloan

Produced in association with:

  • The New Musical Foundation
  • Onalea Theatrical Productions (Executive Producer - Onalea Gilbertson)
  • Feast of Friends (Executive Producer - David Rhymer)

Special thanks to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Cultural Affairs Department

Special thanks to Invest YYC