Name: Daniella Theresia
Occupation: Freelance singer
Lifestyle: Reformed night owl with a penchant for chocolate, rock ‘n’ roll, and yin yoga
And Dress – Gold Fish by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Necklace by ZSISKA (many more designs available in-store!)
What’s a typical day like for you?
Being a freelancer, every day is a bit different, but I usually get a yoga session and vocal warm-up/practice in before noon. Then depending on what I’m performing next, I’ll spend an hour or so in the afternoon going over new repertoire. I like to have a basic understanding of the piano accompaniments as well, so that takes time.
Most of the rest of my day is spent in the kitchen – I love cooking and baking and I’m always eager to try out a new recipe. If I have spare moments, I’ll spend it reading or creating artwork (colored pencils are my medium of choice at the moment).
Evenings are wind-down/cuddle time with my partner unless we have gigs. Sometimes, we’ll have a music jam session, but more often we’ll tackle a puzzle or crosswords with sports or a tv show in the background. We’re currently finishing a 4000-piece puzzle and we’re in the middle of a Star Trek/Roseanne/Vicar of Dibley marathon…so much for a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle!
Charmerion Tunic Solid – Turquoise by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima
Having studied both music and geology, your life could have gone in a completely different kind of direction. Would you tell us about the moment you realized singing was what you wanted to focus on, professionally?
During my last year of university, I spent a term studying abroad at the conservatory in Amsterdam: it was supposed to be my final farewell to music.
But while I was there, I took a lot of classes that I hadn’t explored at home like acting, storytelling, musical improvisation, and so on, and I loved it. My last week there, I had a performance where everything just clicked and I knew that I had to sing.
Tribal Sweetheart Dress (also available in other prints!); Necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio
Besides music, what in your life is really important to you?
I’ve come to realize the power of simply being a loving and compassionate person, and I value that above any kind of career “success.” If I can’t sleep at night without a clear conscience, then what’s the point?
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to touch people’s lives with my singing – the world seems so confusing these days, if I can bring a bit of truth and beauty with my voice, then my job is done.
What mental state do you typically find yourself in during an on-stage performance? Does it require as much preparation and concentration as some of us would imagine? Does it ever feel effortless?
It does take an incredible amount of preparation – even for “simple” gigs, I want to be 100% committed to what I’m singing, otherwise it’s not fulfilling! And the more prepared I am, the less I’m affected by stage jitters or that little inner critic.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching, meditation, and body awareness training in order to silence that inner critic, but of course, we’re still human, and it creeps back once in a while.
These days, a heartfelt prayer is the best preparation I have for connecting with the music and the audience.
When everything is flowing, then I’m not even aware that I’m singing. It’s as if I open my mouth, but I’m not in control of what I’m singing. Those moments are truly magical, but they happen organically and it takes a lot of faith to trust that they will.
Sisi Dress – Lines Print by Montreal label Schwiing (also available in Jungle Print); Necklace by ZSISKA (many more designs available in-store!)
What role does fashion play in your life?
Beautiful and comfortable clothes are the easiest way to ground myself and feel ready to sing. If I don’t get dressed in the morning as if I might perform, then I simply don’t feel ready to face the day and that ultimately affects my singing. If it’s a dreary day outside, then I need bright colors or fun patterns to pick me up.
If I don’t totally love what I’m wearing, that also affects the rest of my day. It’s really hard to sing when all I’m thinking about is how much these shoes pinch my toes or how this bra doesn’t let me breathe properly.
As a singer, I’m hyper-aware of how something affects my body because it is my instrument! I guess it also comes with the trade that I’m a bit obsessed with clothes and shoes – it’s part of how I care for my instrument 🙂
Anemone Tunic – Turquoise by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Necklace by ZSISKA (many more designs available in-store!)
What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
First of all, I love that you feature Canadian designs – I can really feel the difference when things are made with integrity and love. Secondly, I love that I can have an item in mind and know that I will be able to find something suitable at Fresh (I rarely “browse shop,” I need a clear mission or I get overwhelmed).
Most importantly, I love how committed everyone at Fresh is to finding the perfect fit for customers. I usually go to the Fresh in Kensington Market, and Stef really makes sure that I’m totally in love with an item before I take it home. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve gotten home and never worn them because I was coerced into buying them! That doesn’t happen at Fresh and I appreciate that it’s a rarity.
You’re available for all sorts of performance bookings and even private house concerts! Tell us more about your services and how to book!
Yes! I’m available for all the traditional kinds of gigs – church/synagogue services, choirs that need an extra singer or soloist, weddings, memorial services, etc.
I’m also available to book concerts, either in community spaces or private homes.
I have an existing program – The Eternal Feminine – that I want to bring to more venues this year. For this concert, I’m looking for welcoming spaces around the GTA. A tuned piano is always a bonus, but I can bring my own piano if needed.
And my other big project this year is booking house concerts. House concerts are a wonderful way to share a unique evening with friends in the comfort of your own living room. You can even attend the concert in your pyjamas if you like! My dream is to have at least 4 house concerts throughout the year.
For house concerts, I can either create the program myself from my own repertoire or can tailor it to the host’s tastes or requests. I provide the pianist and can bring my own piano, but if they have their own, then it must be in good condition and tuned before the concert. The host provides the fee, space, and audience.
Basically it’s up to the host to decide how to fund the concert. I require a set fee for myself, my pianist, and travel expenses (slightly more if I have to bring my own piano) and it’s up to the host to cover that cost. They can either cover the cost themselves and treat a select audience to a free concert, or they can arrange set ticket prices or take donations – anything is possible! A small reception is always a lovely way to connect with my audience after an intimate concert like this, but that’s entirely up to the host.
I also offer private vocal coachings. If you love to sing but are shy about people hearing you, I can help you to find your true voice and let it shine! Contact me for more information.
To book my services or a concert, contact me by email or through my website: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.DaniellaTheresia.com
Carrie Cardigan – Rust/Black by our own in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean (also available in other styles and colours!); Anemone Tunic – Turquoise by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Necklace by ZSISKA (many more designs available in-store!)
Where can people find you on social media?
My website is my main channel: www.DaniellaTheresia.com. You can find upcoming events, contact me to book a concert or coaching, and purchase recordings in CD, DVD, or mp3 format from previous concerts. I also have a monthly newsletter you can subscribe to.
I’m on Instagram (@daniellatheresia.mezzo), Soundcloud, YouTube, and Facebook (Daniella Theresia, mezzo-soprano).
Where can we see you perform live in the upcoming weeks/months?
My next big concert this year is The Eternal Feminine with pianist Suzanne Yeo at the Heliconian Hall (Yorkville) on Saturday, May 12th at 7:30pm.
The Eternal Feminine is a beautiful program devoted entirely to women – each piece either features a woman character or was written by a woman composer or poet. This year, as the concert falls on Mother’s Day weekend, we’re exploring timeless themes like love, motherhood, and fantasy.
Tickets are available through my website and we’re currently running a Mother’s Day Special: bring a guest for $20 ($30 regular)!
I’ll also be singing in Kensington Market on on Wednesday, May 30th (St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican Church). This event is affiliated with St. Stephen’s “Safe Space” initiative and they raise funds and awareness for the homeless in Toronto.
I had the honor of connecting with this grassroots initiative last year and was truly inspired by the sense of duty felt by the community. I’m touched to be joining them again this year and I hope we’ll reach an even wider audience.
For even more future events, head to my website and subscribe to my monthly newsletter: www.DaniellaTheresia.com