Susana Leiva

Susana Leiva Ovalle was born in 1992 in Santiago, Chile. Susana began piano lessons at the age of four with Georgina Gonzalez at the Conservatory of the University of Chile. At the age of twelve, she furthered her piano education under the outstanding tutelage of Armand Abols at the Austral University of Chile, where she continued her studies in piano performance. Alongside her developments in piano, Susana was constantly involved in singing with various groups that had toured extensively in North America. This has allowed her to had been part of over twenty vocal recordings to date. With the desire to develop her musicianship further, Susana decided to come to La Sierra University, where she graduated from her BM in Vocal Performance.
Susana began her voice lessons with Raejin Lee in 2012 and has participated in several master classes and music summer programs under the teaching of Faith Esham, Fabiana Bravo, Museop Kim, and other fine opera singers. She has also studied organ with Dr. Kimo Smith as an expansion of her musical skills. She has sung under the direction of Dr. Ariel Quintana, Sergio Leiva, and Dr. Earl Richards that has also been developing her musicianship as a choral singer and conductor. Susana has performed many roles in the La Sierra Department of Music’s operatic and musical productions such as Elsa in the “Sound of Music” (2012), Adele in Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”(2013), Hodel in the production of “Fiddler on the Roof”(2014), Lauretta, in “Gianni Schicchi”(2015), The Princess in “Little Nemo in Slumberland”(2015), Maria mother of Jesus in “Oh my Son”, Mable in “Pirates of Penzance” (2016), Gretel in “Hänsel und Gretel”(2017), and the most resent one as Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro”(2018).
Susana has performed with the La Sierra University Wind Ensemble as a keyboardist and percussionist, in annual Opera Galas, and many other operatic outreach programs including numerous recitals for the Riverside Opera Guild. She has also recorded 30 productions in different genres and with a variety of ensembles. In recognition of her fine work, Susana won first place in the Rain Cross Chorale Scholarship Competition 2013 and 2015, and also in the Riverside Opera Guild Competition in 2016. She also placed first and second in the Marguerite Marsh Scholarship Competition in 2015, 2014 and 2016, respectively. As her last awards, Susana was chosen as the winner of the Grand Prize of La Sierra University Concerto Competition 2016 where she will be performing a full concert with the La Sierra University Orchestra on May 13, 2017. Susana is enrolled in Master of Music in Opera program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  She will study under the tutelage of Eduardo Chama. 
Susana has taught piano since 2005, as an assistant to Susana Ovalle, her mother. Her passion for teaching has led her to gain much experience in giving private lessons to students of all ages and coaching vocal groups of all sizes in Chile, Trinidad, and Tobago, and in the United States. For the past 5 years, she has had the privilege to work with many talented children as a teacher of piano, organ, voice, and chamber music at the Music Summer Camp and the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) hosted at La Sierra University of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. She truly enjoys the interaction with students and always looks for ways to draw out their maximum potentials.