Award Winning Rosanna Riverso
Everything about Rosanna Riverso is multidimensional…Her contrasting interests in academics and the arts; her opposing strengths of business savviness and creativity; her fusion of musical genres; her versatility in songwriting; and her multifaceted voice.
Rosanna explained that being raised by hardworking Italian parents, who had to find their own multiple strengths to make ends meet when they first immigrated to Canada, instilled in her a desire to be a “balanced” individual. As a teenager, although music, drama, and visual arts were her passion, she also placed an importance on her academic studies and indeed flourished at them, receiving numerous awards and being given the privilege of acting as class valedictorian. During her years at Wilfrid Laurier University, her scholastic success continued as she garnered various scholarships for achieving top marks in her class and was part of the minority of business students selected for the school’s renowned co-op program. It was during her co-op placement terms working in the field of marketing that Rosanna honed the skills she uses today in promoting herself and creating the prolific opportunities that allow her to capitalize on both her musical and business abilities.
After years of private classical music studies, Rosanna began experimenting with different genres of music. Anyone who has heard her sing an operatic aria followed by a contemporary ballad or swinging jazz standard is surprised and impressed by her vocal versatility and eclectic musical background and training. Rosanna’s extraordinary vocal talents were recognized at the 2011 Hamilton Music Awards as she won Best Female Vocalist of the Year, among two other nominations for her Contemporary Christian album “Let There Be Peace”. However, what truly sets this Italian-Canadian beauty apart from the rest is her strong songwriting. Her original jazz song “No More” was nominated for Best Jazz Recording at the 2007 Ontario Independent Music Awards. More recently, her original classical-crossover song “Notti Magiche” and her self-penned version of the sacred hymn “Ave Maria” were picked up by major record label EMI Netherlands for a CD compilation package called Romantic Voices, putting Rosanna in the great company of international artists like Il Divo, Placido Domingo, Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, and Sarah Brightman.
Some of her other notable achievements include her performance for Academy Award winner Michael Douglas, singing with Sony Music recording artists The Priests at their 2009 Toronto concert, and performing at Jimmy Kimmel’s San Gennaro Festival in Hollywood, California. She was also honoured to be asked by the Telelatino (TLN) Network to host its 5-part TV series tribute on Luciano Pavarotti, who is one of her biggest musical idols, making this experience one of her favourites to date.
Another layer to this young woman is her fervent passion for charitable causes. Rosanna strongly believes that it is her duty to use her talents for the greater good, and enjoys donating her time and musical gifts for various charitable events. She was founder and chair of Harmony for Hope, a benefit dinner and concert that raised close to $60,000 for the Juravinski Cancer Centre in her hometown of Hamilton. Rosanna also recently created an annual concert tour in churches across Ontario and beyond, something she calls the “Peace Concert Tour”, where she sings sacred songs, spreads the Christian faith, and raises much needed funds for local churches and charities. This concert tour caught the attention of Reverend Thomas Rosica, C.E.O. of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, who contacted Rosanna and arranged to have one of her upcoming performances filmed and broadcasted on his Catholic specialty channel. The October concert which featured a four-piece musical ensemble and surprise guest performances, including a unique and inspiring collaboration with local sand artist Moran Arbuthnot, was filmed in Toronto’s gorgeous Renaissance-Style church of St. Paul’s Basilica and was aired nationally on Salt + Light TV this past December.
Rosanna’s latest album called “Let There Be Peace” is an enchanting musical collection, including classical sacred arias, much-loved contemporary pieces, and inspirational Christian original songs. Creating this beautifully eclectic album gave Rosanna the opportunity to add yet another dimension to her persona. On top of singer, songwriter, and arranger, Rosanna can now add the title of “producer” to her resume, as she self-produced this latest album with Gemini Award Winning Composer/Arranger/Orchestrator/Producer Glenn Morley and Juno Award winning recording engineer Michael Haas of Inception Sound Studios in Toronto. She also brought in some of her musical friends to help make the CD sound so captivating, like renowned Latin-Jazz Songstress Amanda Martinez who performs with Rosanna a fresh interpretation of the old classic “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, the title track of the album. Rosanna’s good friend, EMI Recording Artist and Juno Nominated Singer-Songwriter Mark Masri, also performs with Rosanna on the album, singing the beautifully haunting duet “Waiting” that they wrote together. Rosanna can also be found singing a stunning duet with Mark called “Un Giorno Per Noi” on Masri’s latest album “Intimo”, a romantic collection of Italian love songs.
As if singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and promoter were not enough, Rosanna Riverso shares that she has one more role she would like to take on – a playwright. Although she is able to use her passion and skill for writing when she comes up with the lyrics to her songs, Rosanna says that she longs for the opportunity to develop a more detailed story filled with many interesting and complex characters, something that is impossible to accomplish in a typical 3 minute song. Rosanna explains that she has always loved writing and making up stories. She recalls coming up with plays when she was only a junior student in grade school and auditioning her fellow classmates during recess for school-wide performances she convinced her teachers and principal she could deliver. Clearly, Rosanna was smooth and business savvy even as a child. With this new goal of one day becoming a playwright now set in place, who knows what the future holds for this multi-talented young woman.