Canadian soprano Neema Bickersteth was born and raised in Alberta to parents from Sierra Leone. She is known for her skills as a singer, an actor and a maker of multi-disciplinary performance. She has performed operatic roles in both Canada and Europe - ranging from Mozart to Lehar to Weill. In recent years, she has specialized in contemporary projects in opera, music theatre and experimental theatre. These include: a popular series of concerts and shows with Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto and New York; tours in the USA and Europe with globally-acclaimed Spanish conductor and musician Jordi Savall; Life After for the Musical Stage and Canadian Stage Companies in Toronto; and Century Song for Toronto’s multiple award-winning Volcano and her own collective, Moveable Beast. Century Song is a work she co-created and which has had multiple tours in Canada, Europe and East Africa to critical acclaim. She has worked for some of the most prestigious companies in Canada, including the Canadian Stage Company, the Canadian Opera Company, Volcano, Tapestry New Opera, Nightwood Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, Musical Stage Company, Luminato Festival, Stratford Festival, PuSh Festival, Obsidian Theatre, Urbanvessel and the National Arts Centre of Canada, among many others. NOW Magazine (Toronto) has named her as one of the top ten theatre artists in the city. She has won once and been nominated three times for Outstanding Performance at Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore awards.
In addition, Neema has been honoured to perform for the XIVth Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She has received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees (Opera) from the University of British Columbia. She is a co-founder of and artistic producer for the experimental collective, Moveable Beast. Upcoming: singing the title role in Volcano’s and Moveable Beast's Scott Joplin's Treemonisha, a reworking of ragtime giant Scott Joplin’s visionary 1911 blues/rag/gospel opera; and starring in The Ritual of Breath is the Right to Resist by librettist Vievee Francis and composer Jonathan Berger, an operatic response to the murder of Eric Garner, commissioned by The Hopkins Centre for the Arts and Stanford Live.