Praised for her “dramatic excellence, flexibility, and beauty of her singing” by Classical Voice North America, Romanian American soprano Esther Tonea has appeared in concert and recital across the United States, Canada and Europe. As Diana in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s If I Were You, Tonea stunned audiences and critics alike with “magnificent singing—an ardent, tonally plush performance.” She has also dazzled as Fiordiligi with her “gleaming tones and impeccable dynamic control” (San Francisco Chronicle). In February 2021 she workshopped Jake Heggie’s newest opera, Intelligence, as Callie Van Lew.
Tonea won the 2022 Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. Other competition wins include the New York Lyric Opera National Competition, Holt Memorial Competition, Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition, and Concerto Competitions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and University of Georgia. Tonea is a Presser Scholar and recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.
She holds a Master of Music in Voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and bachelor of music degrees in vocal performance and cello performance from the University of Georgia.