As a consummate crossover artist, Onalea's original work is a unique blend of music and the theatrical. As a performer she has worked in both the traditional and the avant-garde playing roles on the stage, screen, and in cartoons. An accomplished vocalist, she has sung with everything from solo piano to chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, and big bands. She has recorded four CD's ranging from big band to jazz standards, electronica to original material.

Onalea's original pieces REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL:  A Chamber Musical About Homelessness and BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame  premiered in New York City as a special events of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.  BLANCHE was named a top 20 show in New York in 2011 by the Huffington Post.  REQUIEM will be presented as a part of Vancouver Opera's 2018 season.

As a theatre artist Onalea has performed numerous roles across Canada, including 7 seasons as an ensemble member with the award-winning  Canadian physical performance theatre company One Yellow Rabbit,  creating many original characters and starring as Sylvia Plath in Sylvia Plath Must Not Die.    Additionally, Onalea has co-created  and performed several shows as an actor, singer and puppeteer, with symphony orchestras internationally as a part of Dandi productions - a company formed with Canadian Colleague Doug McKeag.

Select Roles include: Sleep No More (Off Broadway -Hecate); Mata Hari in 8 Bullets (NYMF) The Ballad of Weedy Peedstraw (Hazel -Caravan Farm Theatre);  Into the Woods (Cinderella); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Drood); Assassins (Squeaky Fromme); Falsettos (Cordelia); and Bernstein's MASS  with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra - Hans Graf conducting (Mezzo Soprano/Blues singer). 

 Current work in progress is TORCH SONGS FROM THE GYPSY VAN a love story with Jazz and String quartet. 

Gilbertson's distinctive, charming voice bristles with intelligence and captures your attention effortlessly. You always sit up and pay notice when she's singing." -Michael Giltz, Huffington Post

"...an artist with a beautiful voice..." - Celia Wren, The Washington Post

“An enchanting stage presence and a silky voice” - Time out New York

Onalea Theater Demo reel



Onalea performs the theatre music of David Rhymer and Blake Brooker. Jan 26-28 2018 High Performance Rodeo Calgary.

Onalea performs From Berlin to Hollywood with the Bergmann Duo featuring music by Hans Eisler and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht

Click on the dates below for tickets and information for each performance:

April 16, 2018 10:30am
Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Duncan, BC

April 17, 2018 10:30am
The Port Theatre, Nanaimo, BC

April 18, 2018 10:30am
The Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, BC

April 19, 2018 11:00am
Surrey Arts Centre, Surrey, BC

April 20, 2018 10:30am
Chilliwack Cultural Centre, Chilliwack, BC



Presented in partnership with The Kettle Society and SFU Woodwards Community Programs

Written and Directed by Onalea Gilbertson with writing and additional music by the Kettle Choir and Writers Guild

Composed and Conducted by Marcel Bergmann

REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL: A Chamber Musical About Homelessness

 Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre

May 4 and 6 2018

Click here for Information and Tickets