Ramona Carmelly has captivated audiences in roles from the sublime to the ridiculous, in opera, music theatre, concert, oratorio, jazz, and cabaret. She made her TV debut as the oblivious diva amid murder and mayhem (with villain and hero swinging behind her on fly ropes!) in the GlobalTV-Lifetime series Wildcard.
Most recently heard as Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, Venus in Tannhäuser, Amneris in Aida, and The Angel/Narrator in the premiere of David Warrack's multi-faith oratorio Abraham, her diverse roles include: Venus (Tannhäuser), Fricka (Die Walküre) Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), Amneris (Aida), Meg Page and Dame Quickly (Falstaff), Mme de la Haltière (Cendrillon), Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Mère Marie de l’incarnation (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Mrs. Grose (Turn of the Screw), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Larina, Filipievna and Olga (Eugene Onegin), Dido and Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), Mother and Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Mercedes (Carmen), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Ottavia (The Coronation of Poppea), Mrs. McLean (Susannah), Katisha (The Mikado), Golde (Fiddler on the Roof), and Miss Hannigan (Annie).
Ramona has been a featured soloist in masses by Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi, Fauré, and Dvořak. Concert highlights include Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with conductor Richard Bradshaw at Toronto Centre for the Arts, as well as Wagner’s Wesendonck lieder, Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No.5, Ravel’s Scheherazade, Mompou’s Cançons Becquerianas, and Mahler's Symphony No. 3. She had the honour to perform Helen Greenberg's Kaddish in the first concert sponsored by PEN Canada in memory of WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl, and was invited to perform among such luminaries as Susan Hoeppner and Jacques Israelievitch at the Glick Society’s Tribute to Srul Irving Glick. She sang Chad Martin’s song cycle i will open petal by petal myself in John Oswald's Intimate Music project for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, arias from Amphion Opera's Cassandra and Mother of Kings for the Lyric Canada Conference showcase at Shaw, and the Farmer’s Wife in the North American premiere of And the Rat Laughed. Ramona voiced a deconstructed Brünnhilde from Wagner's Siegfried for The 50 Minute Ring by Myra Davies and Chris Willes for the Music Gallery’s X-avant Festival, and participated in a workshop of Christiaan Venter and Anusree Roy's opera, Noor over Afghan, at the Canadian Stage Festival of Ideas and Creation.
Ramona looks forward to creating the title role in Don't Call Me Mama, a new biographic portrait of the great “Mama” Cass Elliot, and reprising the role of Emily Carr on a Canadian tour of Emily, the Way you Are. She moonlights as a teacher, adjudicator, director, and recently as a lyricist.
“Ramona Carmelly was every inch the diva princess as Amneris, in a thoughtful performance that held nothing back, especially in her big scene in Act IV. This is a voice that could develop in several directions, as she has the top and low notes, and sang a huge role in a bluesy style a few months ago in the premiere of David Warrack’s Abraham.” -- Leslie Barcza, Barczablog
“Ramona Carmelly as the Spoken Voice and the Angel really surprised me. I'm already a fan of her full-throated Wagnerian mezzo, but I got to hear a different kind of singing from her. A more contemporary musical theatre sound with - wait for it - some DAMN FINE BELTING!” -- Gregory Finney, Schmopera
“As Madame de la Haltiere, Ramona Carmelly had the right comic flair and rich tone.” -- Joseph So, La Scena Musicale
“special mention for Ramona Carmelly … Her performance was a lesson in how deft acting can overcome the limitations of opera on the concert stage.” -- Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada
“Ramona Carmelly, with her plush mezzo, was outstanding as the jealously domineering Mrs. McLean” -- David Lasker, The Globe and Mail
“... Alora, played marvelously by Ramona Joy Carmelly ” -- Peter Bevan-Baker - The Recorder and Times
“The gifted mezzo soprano … [gave] a soaring, gorgeous interpretation of Jewish-Canadian composer Srul Irving Glick's Time Cycle, a jewel from his much admired Yiddish Suite No. 2” -- Jordana Divon, The Canadian Jewish News
“It is not often a composer finds a performer who will prepare a work with such care and excellent musicianship... a top-notch performance.” -- Mary Gardiner, composer