Welcome the the Sudbury Arts Council’s monthly artist spotlight! Here you can new a new profile each month on a new artist. Learn about the many disciplines and amazing, talented people that make up Sudbury’s diverse art scene and help it thrive.
Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli was born in Calabria, Italy, and immigrated with her family to Sudbury when she was three. During her teaching career, she received four OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association) Best Practice Awards for her unique strategies in early literacy and other initiatives.
Rosanna is a professional member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers. An alumna of the Humber School for Writers, she has been published in sixteen anthologies, including two published by Sudbury’s Latitude 46 Publishing. She has two books published with Mills & Boon (Harlequin UK) and her children’s book Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round will be released by Pajama Press in September 2019.
Rosanna’s novel La Brigantessa (Inanna Publications, 2018) was awarded Gold for Historical Fiction in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards and she attended the Awards Gala in New York City in May. Her novel was shortlisted for the 2019 Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award. It is shortlisted for the 2019 Northern Lit Award, and it is a 2019 Finalist for The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award. It recently won an International Book Award for Best Cover.
“This is a beautiful novel, one that vividly recreates the heartbreak and drama of one of the most turbulent periods in Italian history.”—Nino Ricci, award-winning author of The Origin of Species and the Lives of the Saints trilogy.
Born and raised in Sudbury, ON, Alessandro is the co-founder and Artistic Director of YES Theatre in Sudbury, currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. Alessandro is currently starring as Jared Kleinman in the first international production of the Tony Award winning DEAR EVAN HANSEN for which he was nominated for a 2019 Dora Award (Outstanding Featured Performance).
Other Select Credits include: Hair, Rent, Spring Awakening, JCS, Hairspray, Merrily We Roll Along (YES Theatre), Prom Queen World Premiere (Segal Centre, META nomination Outstanding Lead Performance), Pasek and Paul’s James and the Giant Peach (YPT, Canadian Premiere). Training: George Brown Theatre School. This summer YES Theatre is producing 2 musicals as part of its annual Summer Festival. Mamma Mia (July 4-21) and James and the Giant Peach (August 15-25).
Neli Nenkova is a visual artist with more than 20 years of art experience in Europe and Canada. Neli is also a Provisional RGD Graphic Designer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Fashion Design, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. Though her name may still be new to Sudburians, you may recognize her mural, “Togetherness” on Kingsway, which she created as part of the Up Here Festival in 2016.
Neli is a recipient of numerous art & design awards, with the latest including: OSA 7th International Miniature Print Biennale – Winner Category Intaglio, Ottawa, Canada; 50 Carleton Award for Logo Design; Studio 123 – Design Award for Northern Ontario; Most Promising Student Award – Cambrian College, Sudbury, ON, Canada. In 2016, Neli was one of seven finalists in the national competition for a new tourist logo of Bulgaria organized by Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Bulgaria.
Neli Nenkova’s paintings are in public and private collections in France, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Greece, USA, Japan, Turkey, the Vatican, Canada et al.
Also featured in the photo is one of her paintings, ‘The Price of Gold’ which she has dedicated to the people of Sudbury and their families whose lives are connected with the mining industry. It was selected from submissions of over 500 artists in Ontario to participate in the Ontario Society of Artists’ 146th Open Juried Exhibition 2019.
THE PRICE OF GOLD by Neli Nenkova
It is the pain, blood, and suffering of mining, the dark side of the golden coin for which hundreds of souls reach out by diving into the bottomless Sudbury mines, that outshines the glimmer of gold. It is the commitment, resolve and serenity of these earthly heroes, who accept their fate plunging into uncertainty to better the lives of their families that weighs more than gold itself. It is the losses of those on whose to better the lives of their families that weighs more than gold itself. It is the losses of those on whose
shoulders we succeed today that remain forever beyond the grasp of gold. This is painting is for them.
Maestra Dr. Mélanie Léonard
Mélanie Léonard, a Montréal native, is the Music Director of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her appointment Sudbury, she held the positions of resident conductor (2009-2012) and associate conductor (2012-2013) with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Known for her youthful vibrancy and dynamic versatility with musical genres and styles, Mélanie Léonard is increasingly sought after as a guest conductor. Ms. Léonard illustrates her virtuosity on the classical and jazz scenes. 2007 marked her first of several collaborations with the Montréal International Jazz Festival. She has served as Artistic Director of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Classical Choir and was also the founder, Artistic Director and conductor of Ensemble Prima, a Montréal based chamber ensemble devoted to 20th and 21st century music.
Mélanie Léonard completed her Doctorate in orchestral conducting at Université de Montréal under Maestri Paolo Bellomia and Jean-François Rivest. She holds a bachelor degree in Music Theory from the same university. She received her Masters of Music in Orchestra Conducting from the Hartt School of Music (Hartford, Connecticut), where she studied with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman.
Ms. Léonard has guest conducted with a number of Canadian orchestras including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, I Musici, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with acclaimed artists, including Herbie Hancock, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Shauna Rolston, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jens Lindemann, Colin James, Nikki Yanofsky, The Tenors, Oscar Lopez, Pink Martini and Chris Botti. In 2012 she was honoured with the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting by the Canada Council for the Arts.
In 2014, she founded the Wild West New Music Ensemble in Calgary, for which she acts as Music Director and Conductor. She also serves as Artistic Director for the Calgary New Music Festival, launched in May 2015. In addition to her conducting career, Ms. Léonard joined the team of La Croisée des Chemins on ICI Radio-Canada Première in Calgary as music correspondent.