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. With her Jazz trio she has opened for Bob Newhart, Daniel Lanios and the East Village Opera Company.
As a theatre artist she has performed numerous roles across Canada including 7 seasons as an ensemble member with the award-winning One Yellow Rabbit. She has worked extensively with several incredible Canadian composers including Dave Pierce, David Rhymer and Marcel Bergmann. With Dandi Productions, she has co-created and performed shows with symphony orchestras across Canada, and the Hallé Symphony in Manchester UK.
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 Off Broadway as a special events of the New York Musical Theatre Festival this past season.
Recent projects include: 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
featuring original tunes about Onalea's gypsy travels over the past three years in her Westfalia Van.
Upcoming Shows - 2013
Songs From Nightingale Alley
A Salacious Salon by David Rhymer
April 19, 20, 26 and 27, 2013 at 8 pm
Big Secret Theatre, EPCOR Centre
Purchase Tickets online
This new musical salon is based on the lyrics of anonymous 19th century underground poets and minstrels - a cavalcade of saucy ballads, wicked parodies and raucous tavern songs.
Featuring Jamie Konchak, Onalea Gilbertson, Denise Clarke, Jonathan Lewis, and David Rhymer.
A salacious and subversive evening of wine, women, chocolate, and song.
More information on the project & audio files here
Nothing is more dangerous than an Emancipated Woman.
MATA HARI premières at the New York Musical Theatre Festival this summer!
Signature Center's Studio Theater 480 W 42nd St New York (42nd & 10th)
July 8th Monday 6:30pm
July 10th Wednesday 8:30pm
July 13th Saturday 1:30 pm
July 14th Sunday 9:30pm
July 16th Tuesday 9:30pm
July 20th Saturday 5:30pm
Erotic Dancer! Courtesan! Mata Hari was the 20th Century's first celebrity superstar, a liberated woman whose celebrated exotic dances mesmerized warring world leaders.
Imprisoned by the French on charges of espionage, she went from being the most desired woman in Europe to being the most despised. An electrifying score soaked in the decadent flavour of the time and a bravura solo performance from award winning chanteuse Onalea Gilbertson takes us on an intimate journey into the heart, mind and soul of one of the most misunderstood women of the 20th century.
- Created and Composed by David Rhymer
- Starring Onalea Gilbertson
- Lyrics by Blake Brooker & David Rhymer Additional Lyrics by Edward Knoll
- Directed by Peter Schneider
- Produced by Charlie Fink
Shows Past - 2013
TORCH SONGS FROM THE GYPSY VAN
FEB 9, 2013, 8 pm (EVENT OVER)
World premiere of brand new songs - torchy folk, prairie jazz style
Presented by proarts
Cathedral of the Redeemer
7th Ave and 1st ST SE
Les Petits Vagabonds
Jeff Gladstone (guitar/bass/vocals)
Brent VanDusen ( percussion)
Dave Reid (t-bone, tuba, euphonium)
Laura Reid (violin)
Jonathan Lewis (viola)
Morag Northey (cello)
Patricia Bereti Reid (orchestra bass)
Plus special guests:
David Rhymer & Kris Demeanor
January 14-26, 2013 (EVENT OVER)
Performed at Lunchbox Theatre as a part of the High Performance Rodeo
160 9TH AVENUE SE
More on Blanche HERE