Layna Chianakas

Office: MB 134| 408-655-0892 |


Mezzo-Soprano, Voice Teacher, and Stage Director, Layna Chianakas has been hailed for her "vocal talents which are matched by her poignancy as an actress" (Des Moines Register) in her betrayal of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana.  She has portrayed over 50 leading opera roles across the United States, including over 80 performances of Carmen. She was heard as The Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with Dayton Opera and recently sang the role of Mme. Larina  in Eugene Onegin with Intermountain Opera in Bozeman, MT and Filiipyevna in Eugene Onegin with Livermore Valley Opera. In Spring 2021, she will be returning to Intermountain Opera to sing her first Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and will be the alto soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in their performances of Brückner’s Te deum and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Her stage directing credits include, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, the National Opera Association’s award-winning Postcard from Morocco by Argento, Ravel’s The Bewitched Child/L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Strauss’ Die Fledermaus/The Revenge of the Bat, and a fully-staged and conceptualized Mendelssohn’s Elijah, among others, for the San José State Opera Theater.  For Opera San José, she directed La Voix humaine, Hansel & Gretel,Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia.  As the Stage Director for Vivace Youth Chorus’ Summer Youth Opera, she has staged the West Coast premiere of Rachel J. Peter’s Rootabaga Country , and productions of Menotti’s Chip and His Dog and Krasa’s Brundibar. She recently directed Ben Moore’s Odyssey for Opera Santa Barbara’s Youth Summer Opera Program, Verdi’s Nabucco for West Bay Opera, and a double-bill of Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi for Livermore Valley Opera.

Ms. Chianakas holds a Master in Vocal Performance degree from the University of Illinois, a performance diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and also served as an Artistic Ambassador of the United States to Central and South America. She maintains a thriving private voice studio in San Jose, California of students aged 8 to 80, where she lives with her family, six chickens and one tortoise.