Sonya Headlam is a music educator and singer of a diverse range of repertoire. She has performed across the USA, and around the world from Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Described as having a voice of “liquid tone," she has been praised by critics for her "complete involvement with the text" and "heartfelt authenticity" in her performances of art song and opera.
In a recent interview Sonya described her perspective on being a singer: “As a singer that sings a lot of repertoire from the distant past, I often feel like a time traveller. When I sing, it is like I simultaneously embody two realms of time, and performances feel like a unique opportunity to become a bridge for my audience between the past and present. Like a museum, singers have stored in our brains important artistic and cultural relics (music and poetry), which span across a diverse range of cultures and eras. And there is something mystical about singing in that it has immense potential to stimulate universal human emotions, creating what can often feel like an otherworldly space of connection and inspiration."
Sonya is a featured soloist in several recent recording projects including a recording with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ellen Reid's dreams of the new world, conducted by Julian Wachner, as well as a recording of The Man Behind the Dream with One Voice Chorus, a work composed by Steve Milloy that depicts the life of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. In Summer 2019, Sonya recorded songs of Madame Brillon de Jouy, a female composer and salonnière of the French Enlightenment with the Raritan Players, led by musicologist and keyboard player Rebecca Cypess.
Highlights of recent seasons include the role of Fiordiligi with Light Opera of New Jersey, a recital at Carnegie Hall with pianists Min Kwon and Warren Jones featuring the music of American Composers, Bernstein, Barber, and Copland, and an appearance at the State Theater of New Jersey as the soprano soloist with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra.
Sonya’s concert and chamber music engagements include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Missa Brevis: St Joannis de Deo, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ German Requiem, and Mahler’s 4th Symphony performed with orchestras and choruses around the country such as One World Symphony, the Greenwich Choral Society, the Bronx Orchestra, the Master Singers of Milwaukee, and the Willow Ensemble. Operatic roles include le Feu in L'enfant et les sortilèges, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, the title role in Lakmé, Frasquita in Carmen, Musetta in La Bohème, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Laurie in The Tender Land, and Lucia from Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.
Equally committed to the performance of contemporary music, Sonya regularly participates in musical readings of living composers with Helix! New Music Ensemble, and has performed in two world premiers: Michael Sahl’s Katrina, Voices of the Lost, featured at the Tribeca New Music Festival, and Richard Thompson’s The Mask in the Mirror. She was the soprano soloist in the Prototype Festival's 2018 presentation of Ellen Reid’s dreams of the new world.
Sonya holds performance degrees from Miami University of Ohio, and she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.