Born in Moscow, Russia as Yulia Ronskaya, at the age of 4 she already knew exactly what she wanted to be in the future: ballerina. Definitely a ballerina. Dividing her time between dance classes, ice skating lessons, piano practice, modeling her mother's dresses and jewelry in front of the mirror, and helping her father design airplane engines by drawing on his blueprints with colored pencils, she still found time in her busy schedule to learn a song or two and perform them at family gatherings accompanied by her grandmother, a professional singer and pianist. The stage for her rare vocal appearances, aka chair to stand on, was usually provided by her grandfather, a soloist of Moscow State Operetta Company. Later, when it was time to choose what to do with her life, she chose singing. Perhaps she just loved standing on that chair...
After receiving her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from Moscow Gnesin Music Academy and only two years as a leading soprano with Moscow State Opera, she moved to the US and began performing under a stage name Veronica Bell honoring in part her God Mother, artistic director of Moscow State symphony orchestra Veronica Dudarova. She also decided to change artistic course. Veronica's all-embracing interests in the most varied branches of great music have always ranged far afield from opera. This is why she made a decision to focus exclusively on being a concert soloist which allowed her to venture off into different musical genres while always keeping her favorite operatic arias in the repertoire.
Ms.Bell has performed as a soloist with numerous companies, choral, symphonic and dance groups including Moscow State Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Slavianka Men's Chorus, Wondering Stars Musical Theater, Mimoda Jazzo Gruppa, San Francisco International Music Festival, and has an on-going collaboration with a Los Angeles based group Windsong Players Chamber Ensemble performing a wide variety of classical music ranging from Baroque to modern.
Veronica was personally invited by Queen Sirikit of Thailand to perform concert series in Bangkok on the occasion of Her Majesty's 60th birthday; she also came back to Moscow numerous times to packed concert halls for oratorio concerts with Moscow State Symphony and solo recitals. Veronica performed invitational concert series in Berlin and Munich (Germany), Warsaw (Poland), Barcelona (Spain), Bergamo (Italy), and Paris (France). She recorded the main theme song for motion picture Little Odessa starring Maximilian Shell and Vanessa Redgrave (soundtrack available on Polygram Records on Amazon).
Following her passion for pushing the envelope and taking her art well outside its conventional scope, in 2013 Ms. Bell recorded a controversial cross-gender operatic album Les Frissons D'Amour for which she received a Hollywood Music in Media Award as Best Female Vocalist and also, among fellow musicians, an unofficial title Antichrist of Opera. The album includes operatic arias and duets originally written for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone. It explores the concept of an androgynous nature of love that is not commonly accepted in the world of classical music. In 2016 Veronica received a silver medal at Global Music Awards for the same album. Her performance at the Beverly Hills International Music Festival in June of 2017 received raving reviews and was pronounced "the crown jewel of the festival" by the Los Angeles press.
In 2018 Veronica recorded a composition by Norwegian composer Gisle Korgseth titled The Mountain Songs. A beautiful three-song cycle written to the lyrics by the composer himself is a dramatic musical exploration of the power of love and nature. It premiered with great success on Norwegian National radio in April of 2018 and is now available on Spotify.
Currently, Veronica resides in Los Angeles and continues to perform in the US and internationally and coach voice students in her private studio. Her new classical crossover album Midnight Affairs will be released on April 27, 2019.
Classical vocalist Veronica Bell challenges traditions in her new crossover album Midnight Affairs.
" I know it's crazy to put the Tchaikovsky's aria and Gardel's tango practically next to each other but... I believe that music is a reflection of our souls where everything is mixed together; why should a record be any different'" - Veronica Bell
Operatically trained, Russian-American soprano Veronica Bell is not afraid of raising a few eyebrows. She proudly wears the title Antichrist of Opera given to her for recording Va Pensiero chorus from Verdi's Nabucco as a solo piece accompanied by ... yes, a metal band. In her new album she takes full advantage of the wide-open field of classical crossover genre. Not only she transforms solo arias into duets and trios and instrumental music into vocal, she also combines separately written pieces into one and re-works orchestrations to fit her vision. She has a full three-octave range and a big personality, and she is not afraid to use either. Everything she creates exudes passion, and it's contagious and convincing.