Onalea is currently performing in New York City in the hit Off Broadway phenomenon Sleep No More.
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.
As a theatre artist she 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.
Select Roles include: 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).
With Dandi Productions, she co-created and performed shows as an actor, singer and puppeteer, with symphony orchestras internationally including the Hallé Symphony - the oldest orchestra in the UK. Most recently Dandi toured to Australia to perform with both the Adelaide & West Australian symphony orchestras.
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.
Recent projects include: Starring in David Rhymer's Mata Hari in 8 Bullets at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (outstanding individual performance award), which also travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe; directing What Brought Us Here - a new Opera about Immigration which premiered with the Calgary Opera and creating the role of Petty in HOME an indie film by Sandi Somers (Ampia Award nomination best actress). 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