Recipient – Independent Vocal Group of the Year – 2007 Hollywood FAME Awards
Bella Sorella – Nova and Susanna Jiménez (sopranos) accompanied by Danielle Naler on piano and
Joyce Lee on violin – is an award-winning soprano ensemble that combines classical and contemporary
styles in melodic duets. Bella Sorella’s ethereal music, magnetic stage presence and remarkable
personal story has earned them acclaim and recognition throughout the United States and abroad.
Bella Sorella officially formed in the fall of 2005 but has been years in the making. What they’ve
accomplished since releasing their self-produced debut CD, “Popera” is nothing less than remarkable.
With music that spans more than 300 years and seven languages, Bella Sorella has dazzled audiences
throughout California at dozens of venues, including Villa Montalvo, the Empire Plush Room, El Campanil
Theatre, Community Concerts Concord, AT&T Park, Santa Clara University, San José State University, the
San José Italian Festa, the San Diego Indie Music Fest, Lyceum Theater, Cal State Fullerton, La Jolla
Athenaeum, Ridgecrest, Bishop, Arroyo Grande, and Poway. Bella Sorella has also performed in Green
Valley, Arizona, and Florida at Coachman Park, Century Villages, and Devonshire at PGA National. Their
2009-2010 touring season, will take them to Oregon, Washington, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Florida,
Pennsylvania, Georgia, and California. Abroad the ensemble traveled to Nagoya, Japan, where they
were featured musicians at the Villaggio Italia’s Primavera Festival.
Bella Sorella’s angelic sound has graced the airwaves of radio stations in the Bay Area and Japan, and
they have given live television performances on NBC in San Diego and the Bay Area’s Bruce Latimer
Show, the longest-running television variety show in the United States. Industry professionals have
already taken notice of this spectacular ensemble. The Los Angeles Music Awards unanimously selected
Bella Sorella as the 2007 Vocal Group of the Year.
The beauty and sincerity of Bella Sorella’s music reflect the love and friendship Nova and Susanna share.
Fate brought Nova and Susanna together as roommates during their freshman year at University of the
Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, California. As vocal performance majors, they shared all of
the same classes and their common love of music made Nova and Susanna best friends. The two
discovered their vocal chemistry when they began spontaneously singing songs with two-part harmony
as a break from long hours of study. Nova and Susanna were excited by their unique sound and
searched the library for opera and art-song duet repertoire. They then brought these beautiful duets to
life in concert throughout their college years.
Fate brought Nova and Susanna together again at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
During their graduate studies, as in college, Nova and Susanna were roommates and best friends. While
carrying a full load of classes, taking voice lessons and rehearsing for opera productions, they made
ends meet by working the 6:00am shift at a local café in Boston’s Back Bay. They often sang during their
shifts, and customers began requesting songs. These occasional, impromptu performances soon turned
into regular one-hour salon concerts for audiences that packed the store on Sunday afternoons. Nova
and Susanna eventually took their act to larger audiences, debuting at Boston’s famous Hatch Shell
Theater as part of WCRB Radio’s Summer Concert Series.
Susanna eventually moved back to California while Nova remained on the East Coast to pursue
independent singing careers. But nothing provided the joy that they found in singing together. Nova
came back to the West Coast to join Susanna in forming Bella Sorella. The marriage of Nova’s and
Susanna’s voices mirrors their personal life. Nova and Susanna married brothers, hence the name, Bella
Sorella, or, “Beautiful Sister.”
While fate brought Nova and Susanna together, their friendship and love of music keeps them together.
From their time in college, to their 6am work shifts, and to Japan and back, what Nova and Susanna
have built is captured by a phrase from a song they perform from the opera, Norma: “Compagna tua,
compagna m’avrai” – “Truly I’ll prove to you a companion.”