Chad Sonka is establishing himself as an artist with a diverse array of skills in the world of voice. In a recent notable engagement, he directed and sang the role of Alidoro the world premiere of A Royal Feast by Michael Ching, a sequel to Rossini's La Cenerentola, with the Savannah VOICE Festival. Previous performing credits: Tosca (Scarpia – cover) with Central City Opera; Gianni Schicchi (Marco) with Savannah Music Festival; Man of La Mancha (Don Quixote) with Cedar Rapids Opera; The Mother of Us All (Virgil T.), The Rape of Lucretia (Junius), Elijah (Elijah) with Manhattan School of Music; and Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Melchior) with Nevada Opera. Equally versed in concert works, he has performed Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, as well as Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem as his Carnegie Hall debut. He was the first-place winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions – Iowa District in 2017.
Chad’s accolades extend beyond his own singing as a director, teacher, and administrator. Since 2017, Chad has served on Iowa State University’s faculty, teaching voice and opera in his home state. Recently, he was named the Shakeshaft Master Teacher for 2022-2023 for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
He currently serves as President of the Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) where his students consistently place at the Regional and National levels. He is also the Executive Director of the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, which mentor young singers as they begin their careers.
His stage directing credits include: Weill’s Street Scene, Viardot’s Cendrillon, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (virtual), and Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight! at Iowa State University; Ragland’s Charlie and the Wolf (outreach) with Cedar Rapids Opera; and Portman’s The Little Prince, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Menotti’s The Medium, and Ching’s A Royal Feast (premiere) with the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs.