Originally from Toronto, Canada, Charlene is an active performer of operatic, chamber and concert repertoire. In 2017, Ms. Chi had the pleasure of appearing as the Mezzo Soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, with the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra & Oahu Choral Society, along with choruses of University of Hawaii & BYU: Hawaii. In the previous year, she collaborated with the same ensembles, appearing as the Alto Soloist in the performance of Bach Magnificat. For several years, Charlene was active in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas, and has also provided solo and chamber recitals in the Pacific Northwest, Denver, Canada, Korea, Germany and Italy. Recently, Charlene appeared as a guest soloist in Rome’s Basilica de Santa Maria del Popolo, performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with three women’s choruses, conducted by Maestro Fabrizio Fucile. She also collaborated in concert with celebrated Vatican organist Maestro Giancarlo Libertucci to present the newly restored and historically significant organ and mural in Bologna. In 2014, Charlene was honoured to be only the second singer ever to record her debut CD at the world renowned Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy.
In April 2010, Charlene had her debut at the legendary Walt Disney Concert Hall as the Alto Soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, to a full house in Los Angeles, California. She also appeared as a featured soloist at the funeral of the late President of South Korea, Kim Dae-Jung, where she had the honour of premiering a solo cantata which was composed specifically for the occasion.
In 2009, Charlene was a competition winner of the Beverly Hills Chamber Music Series. She was a first-prize winner of the Bohemian Opera Association of Los Angeles vocal competition. A recipient of the highly-acclaimed Léni Fé Bland Vocal Scholarship, she has also been honoured with numerous awards such as the USC Jeannette MacDonald Opera Scholarship, Marilyn Horne Scholarship for Vocal Performance, Flora L. Thornton Endowed Voice Scholarship Award, and was a recipient of the Arques Charitable Trust Fellowship. Charlene had received a special congressional recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives and the County of Los Angeles for her active involvement as a performer in the cultural musical development of the Korean-American community.
In 2005, Charlene made her operatic debut with Opera Santa Barbara as Suor Infermiera, in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and has also performed over 14 roles including Carmen, Dorabella, Mélisande, Vanessa, Orfeo, Romeo, Siebel, and the Old Maid, in both full productions and opera scenes at UC Santa Barbara and at USC’s Thornton School of Music. She has also performed as an Alto soloist of oratorios, masses and requiems by Händel, Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Duraflé.
Prior to pursuing her graduate degrees, Charlene applied her previous training in piano, violin and flute by teaching music in the classroom for several years (K-12), where she built and conducted choruses, orchestras and concert bands for Middle School and High School ensembles. At the University level, she was chosen as a graduate assistant during her Master’s and Doctoral training, where she was an instructor for Class Voice and individual vocal instruction to undergraduate and graduate students. For three years, Charlene enjoyed a vocal professorship at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. Charlene was delighted to be the newest addition to the vocal department at San Diego State University’s School of Music and Dance in 2010, before relocating to northern Italy, and most recently was a Visiting Vocal Professor at BYU-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii.
Ms. Chi attributes her passion for Voice to to key teachers: notably Dr. Harold Lickey, Dame Ellen Faull, Dr. William Chunestudy, Dr. Timothy Mussard, Professor Elizabeth Mosher and Professor Gary Glaze.
Currently, Charlene resides in Bend, Oregon, and is the newest vocal faculty at COCC. She regularly performs at local retirement homes to serve the Elderly community, often bringing her students to perform. Charlene loves to explore the mountains with her husband Paul, their children Natalia, Kaleia and Callan– and their giant great dane, Lady Velveteen: Duchess of Vienna-Skye.