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Soloist Biographies

G.F. Handel, Messiah

Liisa Dávila

Liisa Dávila, soprano, has gained recognition for her vocal clarity and dazzling coloratura, combined with a richness and depth allowing her to possess a highly desired level of versatility in her work. Heard recently as Kitty Hart in Fresno Grand Opera's critically acclaimed performance of Dead Man Walking, Liisa was also recently seen as Liù in West Bay Opera’s production of Turandot, where "her simple, understated Liù made major contributions to the production" (San Francisco Classical Voice). LA Splash also complimented her performance, saying Liisa "charmed rather than dominated. Her lovely clear soprano was spell-binding in both her arias." She has also performed as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Violetta in La Traviata, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Micaëla in Carmen, and the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon. Other roles in her repertoire include Mimi in La bohème and Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. Of her performance as Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with West Bay Opera, the San Francisco Classical Voice claimed Liisa (along with fellow Ladies Molly Mahoney and Michelle Rice) opened the opera "with the most sublime singing of the three-hour performance."

Liisa’s concert work includes performances as a soprano soloist with organizations including MidAmerica Productions, Music in the Mountains Festival, Auburn Symphony, Gallo Center for the Arts, Bear Valley Music Festival, and the Academy of All Hallows. Her repertoire includes traditional and contemporary works, such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mendelssohn's Christmas Oratorio, the Mozart C Minor Mass and Vespers Solemnes, Handel's Messiah, the Vivaldi Gloria, and the Requiems of Rutter, Duruflé, Mozart, and Fauré. An advocate of new music, Liisa premiered the concert role of Shamiram in Ninos and Shamiram by French composer Michel Bosc, performed in Assyrian for the The Assyrian Aid Society of America's Fourth Annual Mesopotamian Night.

A winner of multiple competitions, Liisa was a San Francisco District winner and a Western Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan National Council Auditions and a winner of the prestigious Maria and Ben Holt Scholarship. In 2010 she won the First International Phyllis Osterhout Vocal Competition, placed third in the Washington International Vocal Competition in Washington, DC, and was a semi-finalist for the Loren L. Zachary Competition.

Liisa's training includes participation in internationally recognized programs such as OperaWorks’ Advanced Artist Program, the Pacific Opera Institute, Sherill Milnes’ V.O.I.C.Experience ‘Opera as Drama’ program, and the International Festival of the Aegean's Greek Opera Studio. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Sacramento.

Monica Serrano

Monica Serrano, mezzo-soprano, is currently majoring in Vocal Performance at Sacramento State University. Roles include the title role in Yuba College’s production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Fidalma in the Sacramento State Opera Theatre’s (SSOT) production of Il Matrimonio Segreto, Madama Rosa in SSOT’s production of Il Campanello, and Mrs. Trapes in SSOT’s production of The Beggar’s Opera. She is a winner of the Robert S. Dinsmore Opera Scholarship, the only competition available for voice students at Sacramento State as well as being a winner of the Lucy Becker Memorial Scholarship. In addition, she has placed at the local NATS competitions. She can next be heard in the role of the Third Knitter in SSOT’s production of Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance this Spring.

Ms. Serrano is a Senior graduating in the Fall and is a student of the Dr. Fisher studio.

Salvatore Atti

Award winning tenor Salvatore Atti recently completed his training with the Merola opera program. While in San Francisco Mr. Atti participated in the Schwabacher summer concert series and the grand finale, singing Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Leiceste in Maria Stuarda. One review read that “The voices soared…it was a gut wrenching and magnificent experience demonstrating the expressive and musical gifts of opera”. Earlier this year Mr. Atti performed with Cincinnati opera in the workshop performance of “Blind Injustice” as the principal role of defense attorney. He also participated in the workshop performance of If I Were You singing Fabian with the Merola opera program. Mr. Atti has performed with West Bay opera, New Rochelle opera, Berkeley chamber opera, and Boston opera collaborative. Mr. Atti studied at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where he performed Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw and Tito in La Clemenza di Tito. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Boston Conservatory. Mr. Atti has performed internationally in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Italy. He had the honor of participating in Verdi’s bicentennial celebration during which he sang Alfredo in La Traviata at the Verdi opera house in Busseto, Italy. Mr. Atti can be followed at

David Paterson

David Paterson, baritone, is a founding member of Capella Antiqua who received a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory/Composition from CSUS, having studied with Dr. Stephen Blumberg and Professor Leo Eylar. He has been singing in choral groups for over twenty years including multiple iterations of the Capital Section High School Honor Choir, American River College and CSUS chamber ensembles, the Sacramento Turner Harmonie, and Schola Cantorum. In addition, he is currently a section leader in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament choir. David also has some opera experience, having sung Balthazar in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Academy at All Hallows as well as the Second Armored Man (Die Zauberflöte), First Minister (Massenet's Cendrillion), and Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni) with Sac State Opera.

David shares his passion across many subjects. While singing he is still an active composer, writing for voice, orchestra, and various chamber ensembles. When he's not singing, he is an analyst for the State of California, co-hosts and produces a weekly podcast called Wasting ALL the Time, and plays Minecraft with his brother.

J.S. Bach, Cantata 147

Jacquelyn Atti

Jacquelyn Atti, soprano, is a native of Sacramento, California. In 2005 she moved to Massachusetts in order to pursue a higher education in voice studies at the Boston Conservatory. In 2009 she received her Bachelorʼs of Music and in 2011 her Masterʼs of Music in Opera Performance. Jacquelyn was honored to graduate summa cum laude and be inducted to Pi Kappa Lambda American honor society. While residing in Boston, Jacquelyn performed the roles of Gretel in Humperdinckʼs Hänsel und Gretel, Yum Yum in the The Mikado, Giulietta in Belliniʼs I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Lisette in Pucciniʼs La Rondine. She joined Boston’s Intermezzo Chamber Opera in the world premiere of three new operas; A Place of Beauty, Rocketʼs Red Blare, and Anne Hutchinson. Jacquelyn also served as a regular chorus member for Boston Lyric Opera.

Jacquelyn has toured New York as soprano in residence with Opera Saratoga and traveled Italy performing the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. In concert, Jacquelyn has been the featured soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and Carissimi’s Jephte.

Jacquelyn recently moved back to her hometown in California and continues to give recitals, concerts, and serves as a local cantor and choral scholar.

Valerie Elizabeth Loera

Valerie Elizabeth Loera is a Mexican-American mezzo-soprano from Fresno, California. Ms. Loera was the 2018 winner of the Kristina Townsend Memorial Competition and was a finalist in the 2018 Student Artists Performance category for Sacramento State’s Festival of New American Music. Ms. Loera will be making her professional operatic debut with Opera Modesto in their production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in April 2020. She most recently appeared in Sacramento State’s production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amelia goes to the Ball and Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance. Ms. Loera is currently the alto section leader at St. Paul Episcopal’s in Sacramento, CA and is a Camerata California Student Scholar. She recently performed with Sacramento State Opera as Madama Rosa in Donizetti’s Il Campanello and Ms. Loera was featured as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Stabat Mater with Capella Antiqua and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Camerata California. Past operatic experience includes The Blind Woman in the world premiere of Evan Mack’s The Secret of Luca and Lady Billows in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. Ms. Loera spent two summers at the Lingua e Canto program in Sant’Angelo in Vado, Italy. Ms. Loera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Fresno and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at California State University, Sacramento under the instruction of Dr. Robin Fisher.

Matthew Hidalgo

Matt Hidalgo, tenor, recognized as “one of Sacramento’s premiere concert artists,” by the Sacramento Choral Calendar, is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento and holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance. For the past 15 years, Matt has sung and performed regularly throughout the Sacramento area and is a familiar face with many performing groups in the greater region.

Matt is a versed performer of oratorio with works recently performed such as American Requiem by James DeMars, Stabat Mater by Joseph Haydn, Messiah by George F. Handel, Magnificat by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Oratorio de Noêl by Camille Saint Saëns. In 2015, Matt made his Sacramento Opera debut performing the role of Eddie Pensier for the season’s opening production of The Bremen Town Musicians at Fairy Tale Town. He can also be heard as a soloist in The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra’s most recent CD release Lest we Forget (2013). He was also winner of the Sacramento State Music Department’s Concerto Competition in 2012 and performed Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Horn, Tenor, and Strings with the Sacramento State Orchestra. Matt was also accepted to the Opera Academy of California in San Francisco under the direction of Metropolitan Opera Director Yefim Maizel, and performed Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Rinucco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicci. Matt’s stage experience includes Paulino in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto, Pluto and Mercury (2014 and 2009 respectively) in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Todd Wilkins in Paulus’ The Village Singer, Luis in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, and Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with The Borgamaria Lyric Opera.

Douglas Smith

Douglas Smith, bass, began singing choral music as a young boy in Southern California. His musical training continued into high school, where he sang with madrigal singers, The Riverside Chorale and The Southern California Honor Choir. After serving four years in the military, he continued his training at the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific where he graduated with degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education. He recently retired after 34 years of teaching school, more than 25 of those years as a high school mathematics teacher. During the majority of his years as a teacher, he sang or directed choirs. Now, when he is not singing with Capella Antiqua he spends his time working on many of the endless projects in his shop, gardening, walking his dogs or traveling with his wife.


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