Praised for her "feisty and alluring" performances (Review Vancouver), young light lyric soprano Julia Rooney is establishing herself on the Canadian performing arts scene. Julia holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia and has also trained at the Mozarteum University in Austria, Opera Nuova in Edmonton, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the European Music Academy in Czech Republic, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
In the 2018-2019 season, Julia performed in the chorus of three Vancouver Opera productions: the lavish Art Nouveau operetta Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) by Franz Lehár, a new roaring 20's production of Puccini's La Bohème by Canadian designer-director duo André Barbe and Renaud Doucet, and Gounod’s pinnacle of French opera, Faust. Additionally, Julia debuted this season with two other companies: Opera Mariposa (Despina in Così fan tutte) & Heroic Opera (Second Witch in Verdi’s Macbeth).
In the 2017-2018 season, Julia appeared with Vancouver Opera in the chorus for Turandot as well as with the Brandenburg Strings at Hycroft Manor. In December, she returned to Knox Presbyterian Church in Calgary as a soloist in the Messiah, conducted by Carey Unger. In May 2018, Julia debuted with North Shore Light Opera, singing the Baker's Wife in Sondheim's fairy tale mash-up Into the Woods.
In July of 2017, Julia performed a recital series (Here I Am: From Baroque to Broadway) in Calgary and Regina, both cities that she is connected to having grown up on the prairies. She was joined by pianists Faye White and Susan Sametz. Julia was also a featured performer in Broadway Bistro's July Show which was a collection of miscast and bizarre songs.
During the 2016-2017 season, Julia was seen performing in Montreal as a Laureate with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques (Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20) in a series of concerts in November. Julia returned to her hometown of Calgary in December to sing Handel's Messiah with Knox Presbyterian Church under the baton of Paul Grindlay. Julia was asked to return for a second-annual Valentine's performance of German operetta at the German-Canadian Benevolent Society of British Columbia with pianist Richard Epp and tenor Eric Schwarzhoff. In the spring, Julia appeared with Vancouver Opera as the Paralegal and chorus in Dead Man Walking and chorus for Verdi's Otello. Julia also participated in a musical theatre performance masterclass series with Patrick Street Productions' Peter Jorgensen, with the support of a career development grant from the Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment (VOCE).
In the 2015-2016 season, Julia performed Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief (Fear No Opera, Victoria), Cio-Cio-San's Cousin in Madama Butterfly (Vancouver Opera) and chorus in Evita (Vancouver Opera). Julia also appeared with the German-Canadian Benevolent Society of British Columbia in a concert of German operetta excerpts with pianist Richard Epp and tenor Eric Schwarzhoff. In the summer of 2016, Julia completed a Professional Musical Theatre Intensive at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York with the support of a grant from the Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment (VOCE).
Julia has received awards and scholarships from the Vancouver Opera Foundation, Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment, University of British Columbia, Opera Nuova, and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI). Julia is also a two-time winner of the Johann Strauss Foundation Award (Hecht Memorial Scholarship for Advanced Study of Music in Austria). She had the privilege of spending two summers (2010, 2012) studying and performing at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. At the Mozarteum, Julia studied directly with Barbara Bonney, Tom Krause, Janet Perry, Norman Shetler, and Hermann Keckeis.
In the 2014-2015 season, Julia performed in the chorus for Vancouver Opera's productions of Carmen, Die Fledermaus, and Sweeney Todd. Among several concert engagements included chorus in Candide with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2015, Julia sang the roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni (ViVace Opera Workshop,) and Adriana in The Boys from Syracuse (Applause Musicals) both located in Vancouver. Her participation in ViVace Opera Workshop (led by Luke Housner, faculty member of Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia) was funded by a professional development grant from the Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment (VOCE). Julia also attended the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) under partial scholarship where she performed numerous concerts, notably the Viva Rossini concert series as part of the Advanced Independent Study Program.
In the 2013-2014 season, Julia toured British Columbia for 9 weeks with Vancouver Opera in Schools as Rosie in The Barber of Barkerville. While still completing her Masters, Julia covered the role of Gretel in Hansel & Gretel which she performed several times with Vancouver Opera in Schools in 2011. Other credits with Vancouver Opera include chorus in Aida, The Pirates of Penzance, and Don Carlo.
Other notable roles include: Angelina in Trial by Jury (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (European Music Academy, CZ & Bard on the Beach, Vancouver), Frasquita in Carmen (Westben Arts Festival, ON & European Music Academy, CZ), Despina in Così fan tutte (UBC Opera), Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Westben Arts Festival, ON & European Music Academy, CZ), First Wood Sprite in Rusalka (UBC Opera), Adina in L'elisir d'amore (UBC Opera), Noémie in Cendrillon (UBC Opera).
Julia has appeared as a concert soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, UBC Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic, and on tour in Beijing and Chengdu, China with UBC Opera.
Julia was born and raised in Saskatoon and Calgary, and credits experiences in both her hometowns for inspiring and fostering her love of music at an early age. Julia is currently based in Vancouver where she studies with teachers Dale Throness and Nancy Hermiston, and is coached by Richard Epp.