Ileana Montalbetti



Ileana Montalbetti



Canadian soprano Ileana Montalbetti’s “voice rings, her breath support is flawless, she can turn an elegant phrase and…has dramatic ability” (John Terauds, Toronto Star). 

The 2016/17 season includes an appearance as Gutrune and 3rd Norn in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung.

In the 2015/16 season, Ms. Montalbetti debuted with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

During the 2014/15 season she reprised the role of Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Manitoba Opera, debuted with Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges as Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz and appeared in concerts featuring excerpts from Lohengrin and Fidelio

Past seasons included her role debut and Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated performance of Ellen Orford opposite Ben Heppner’s Peter in the Canadian Opera Company production of Peter Grimes. Another role debut with Edmonton Opera as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann and Michigan Opera Theatre as Leonore in Fidelio.  Ms. Montalbetti returned to the Canadian Opera Company to cover both Leonora in Il Trovatore and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.  She also returned to her hometown of Saskatoon for a solo recital presented by The Lyell Gustin Recital Series.

Ms. Montalbetti is a graduate of the prestigious Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program where she had the opportunity to perform various roles, including Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Elettra in the Ensemble Studio Performance of Idomeneo and The Voice of the Mother in The Tales of Hoffmann.  Ileana also had the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of roles throughout her four years in the program.

Ms. Montalbetti is an alumna of the Chautauqua Institute where she performed Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.  She has also held two consecutive soprano fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Centre where, most notably, she performed Celestial Voice in a concert version of Don Carlo under the baton of Maestro James Levine.

A 2012 & 2010 Laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique, the Saskatchewan native was a winner of the 2012 New York District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was received a 2012 Encouragement Award from the Sullivan Foundation. Ms. Montalbetti placed second in the 2011 Christina and Louis Quilico Awards and was nominated by the Canadian Opera Company to compete in the 2011 Stella Maris Vocal Competition.  She holds an opera diploma from the University of Toronto.

January 2017


Beethoven Leonora FIDELIO
Berg Marie WOZZECK
Britten Ellen Orford
Female Chorus
Dvořak Foreign Princess RUSALKA
Gounod Marguerite FAUST
Mozart Vitellia
Donna Anna/Donna Elvira
Erste Dame/Zweite Dame
Rossini Clorinda CENERENTOLA
Strauss, J. Rosalinde DIE FLEDERMAUS
Strauss, R. Ariadne/Prima Donna
Chrysothemis/Fünfte Magd
Verdi Alice Ford FALSTAFF
  Elisabetta TANNHÄUSER
  Gerhilde/Sieglinde DIE WALKÜRE



Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Berlioz Les nuits d’été
Britten A Poet’s Echo
  War Requiem
Rossini Stabat Mater
Strauss, R. Vier letzte Lieder
Verdi Requiem


Agathe in Der Freischütz
“Ileana Montalbetti’s interpretation of Agathe is wonderfully sublime in her cavatina in Act III with clear highs, very colorful and great sensitivity.”
-Esprit Musique (translated from French)

Leonore in Fidelio
“Saskatchewan-born soprano Ileana Montalbetti made her company debut (Manitoba Opera) as Leonore. Her ability to morph between manly Fidelio and devoted wife Leonore was as remarkable as her strong, effortless voice and dramatic skills. Her powerhouse aria “Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin,” in which she resolutely vows to save her husband, easily deserved one of the first bravas of the night.”
-Holly Harris, Opera Canada

“Ileana Montalbetti made her MOT debut as Leonore. The recent Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio grad tore through “Abscheulicher” with aplomb, singing with admirable breath control and nailing the exposed B natural at its conclusion with ringing brilliance.”
-George Bulanda, Opera Canada

Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes
“when we start to consider Ileana Montalbetti’s saintly Ellen Orford, we are in the realm of greatness. The heartbreaking emotional openness of her voice and the wealth of feeling she gives every moment mark her as the beating heart of this production.”
-Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

“Canadian soprano Ileana Montalbetti deserves a nod for her deeply affecting Ellen Orford, the woman who sees something worth loving when no one else will. Based on what we heard and saw on Saturday, this Ensemble Studio alumna should be enjoying a great career.”
-John Terauds, Musical Toronto

“Montalbetti makes a sympathetic Ellen desperately trying to care for both Grimes and the new, pitiable apprentice (Jakob Janutka) in a society where both are doomed. Her last-act meditation on embroidery is one of the evening’s most poignant scenes.”
-Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine

“Former COC Ensemble soprano Ileana Montalbetti was a sympathetic and unusually youthful Ellen. She sang strongly on opening night, producing a bright sound . . . Vocally, her finest moment was her last line in the opera – “Peter, we’ve come to take you home” beautifully sung dolcissimo, with unforced purity. While Montalbetti has sung it during her conservatory days, this Ellen was an auspicious professional role debut.”
-Joseph So, La Scena Musicale

Elettra in Idomeneo
“Montalbetti is ready for a great career. Period. Her voice rings, her breath support is flawless, she can turn an elegant phrase and she has dramatic ability.”
-John Terauds, The Toronto Star

. . .dramatic soprano Ileana Montalbetti (Elettra) . . .with her big, steely sound and comic flair, Montalbetti gave the performance of her career.
-Joseph So, Opera

“Ileana Montalbetti sang the role of Electra, the Argive princess. She has a commanding stage presence and a considerable voice.”
-James Karas, The Greek Press

Madcap Moments: Highlights from Die Fledermaus
“Currently at the COC covering Rosalinda, ensemble Studio alumna Ileana Montalbetti has the right vocal weight and timbre for this role. She is a dramatically scintillating Rosalinda and sang well, her big, bright soprano making a statement in the ensembles.”
-Joseph So, La Scena Musicale

The Christina & Louis Quilico Awards
“The second half opened with soprano Ileana Montalbetti . . . the rich, penetrating, somewhat steely tone and ample volume is ideal in certain Italian spinto roles and the jugendliche dramatisch roles in Wagner and Strauss. Montalbetti offered beautifully poised singing in “Einsam in truben Tagen” and “Come in quest’ora bruna””
-Joseph So, La Scena Musicale

Collaborations: COC Ensemble & OdeM Atelier Lyrique showcase New Talent
“Saskatchewan native Ileana Montalbetti is familiar to Toronto audiences, as this represents her unprecedented fourth year in the Ensemble. Her’s is a budding dramatic soprano with plenty of volume and a steely edge, ideal as Elettra and Vitellia, roles that she has sung at the COC.”
-Joseph So, La Scena Musicale

Meet the Young Artists COC Ensemble Season Opening Concert
“. . . soprano Ileana Montalbetti, sang Donna Anna’s “Or sai”. Hers is a big, budding spinto . . . with a big, ringing sound”
-Joseph So, La Scena Musicale

Donna Anna in Don Giovanni
“Soprano Ileana Montalbetti does a great job of showcasing her character’s anguish. Dressed in a white satin gown with her hair in curls, Montalbetti cries “My dear father,” and it sends chills up the spine. . . Soprano Ileana Montalbetti also shines as one of Don Giovanni’s seductees, with her bright, clear, strong voice easily bending at her will. At age 23, it’s easy to see Montalbetti has a long, successful career ahead of her, and opera fans will become increasingly familiar with her name as the years go on.”
-Shannon Boklaschuk, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix


654 – Mats Almgren as Hagen and men’s chorus in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Götterdämmerung, 2006Directed by Tim Albery  conducted by Richard Bradshaw, Production Design by Michael Levine, Lighting Design by David Finn, Choreographer Patti Powell
Photographer: Michael Cooper Michael Cooper © 2006134- 1173 Dundas St EToronto, ON M4M 3P1416 466-4474coopershoots@on.aibn.com

Photographer: Michael Cooper

Ileana Montalbetti appears with an all-star cast at the Canadian Opera Company as Gutrune/Third Norn in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. Performances run from February 2 to 25.