Natalja Sticco (née Černohajeva) (born 04 June 1986) is a Latvian mezzo-soprano, model and IT Engineer. She started her singing career as a Young Artist and member of the chorus with Latvian National Opera from 2009 to 2017. In 2018 Sticco immigrated to the United States where she became a soloist, recording artist and concert performer.
Early Life and Education
Natalia Sticco was born in the Latvian city of Riga, USSR, in 1986. She was raised bilingual, speaking her native Russian while learning English at home from her mother who was an English teacher at the local secondary-school. Sticco's father was an Aerospace Engineer. Following Latvia's independence from the USSR in 1991, she began learning the Latvian language and in 2012 graduated from the vocal department of the Latvian Academy of Music in the class of Kārlis Saržants, obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in music and a vocalist qualification.
In addition to her education in music, Sticco also studied at Riga Technical University in Latvia earning a bachelor's degree in Information Technology (2007), then a Masters Degree in IT Engineering (2018).
In 2009 Sticco was chosen as an Alto for the Chorus of the Latvian National Opera and subsequently selected as a member of the company's first Young Artists Program by its Director Andrejs Žagars; who is also credited with discovering Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais. As an LNO Young Artist she made her debut in the role of Olga in P. Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin.
She further improved her vocal skills in master classes with Paolo di Napoli (Italy), Axel Everaert (Belgium), at the LNO Opera Academy with Margarita Gruzdeva (Latvia) and under private instruction with Anita Garanča (mother of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča) and soprano Hanneke de Wit (Netherlands).
Over Sticco's seven seasons with the Latvian National Opera, she appeared in over 200 productions of 30 Operas in Opera Houses across Europe including: Teatro Calderón, Vallladolid, Spain (Macbeth, 2010); National Opera and Ballet of Belarus, Minsk (Traviata, 2010); Rahvusooper Estonia, Talllinn,(Eugene Onegin, M'dame Butterfly, 2011); Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia (Eugene Oregon, Lucia di Lammermoor, 2013), Monte Carlo (Carmen, 2013), as well as the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman (Der fliegende Holländer, 2013). Additionally, she was privileged to share the stage with Opera stars such as Tenor Jonas Kaufman, Russian Mezzo Soprano Elena Obraztsova and fellow Latvians Soprano Kristine Opolais, Soprano Marina Rebeka and Mezzo Soprano Elina Garanca.
In November 2018, Sticco immigrated to the United States. Settling in the Greater Boston Massachusetts area where she launched her career as a soloist with her first roles singing Mercédès in Bizet's Carmen and the title role of Madame Flora in Menotti's The Medium. Sticco also began expanding her vocal training to include baroque and early music stylings studying with baritone Thomas Jones from Harvard University's Office for the Arts.
Following the global COVID-19 shutdowns beginning in 2020, she turned her attention towards recording her first single, Requiem for a Soldier (Theme from the HBO Series Band of Brothers), which was followed by her self-titled album Natalja. In addition to her opera career Sticco started modeling professionally in 2020, placing in the top 2% of Maxim Magazine's global Covergirl Competition that year, and as a contractor within the IT Industry where she specializes in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. As lockdown and distancing restrictions eased throughout the United States in 2021 she became a sought after concert entertainer around the country and began touring, performing opera repertoire and classical crossover arrangements from pop music and the Great American Songbook. In 2021 she also featured as a vocalist on Let me Comfort You, an original song by Jazz Pianist and Steinway International Artist BK Davis.
Sticco is married to Gene Sticco, a former US Air Force Staff Sergeant and a CIA Contractor working under Non-Official Cover inside the oil and gas industry and whose career is the subject of a tv series in-development. She has one son from a prior marriage.
- Latvian National Opera and Ballet Artist Profiles (in Latvian)https://www.opera.lv/en/artists/choir/alts/natalja-cernohajeva
- Natalja Sticco Official Website https://www.nataljasticco.com
- Andrejs Žagars (16 October 1958 – 26 February 2019) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrejs_Žagars
- Operabase Artist Performance Database https://www.operabase.com/artists/natalja-sticco-109308/performances/en
- Opera Wire 25 September 2019 https://operawire.com/corsara-artists-announces-complete-cast-for-the-medium/
- PR Web 20 June 2020- "Debut Single by Wife of Veteran is a Musical Tribute to Generations of Soldiers" https://www.pr.com/press-release/813927
- Article, Our Quad Cities.com, J. Turner, 11 October 2021 https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/local-news/davenport-native-steinway-international-artist-back-in-qc-for-first-concert-in-six-years/
- IMBD listing for M.I.C.E.- https://pro.imdb.com/title/tt9052956
- RoyalDutchShellPLC.com Article by J. Donovan 26 September 2019https://royaldutchshellplc.com/2019/09/26/leaked-emails-involving-senior-shell-security-managers/