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Cameroonian-American mezzo-soprano, Veena Akama-Makia, joined Chicago Opera Theater (COT) as a Young Artist for the 2021-2022 season. At COT, the mezzo-soprano has covered roles in performances of Carmen (Bizet) and Becoming Santa Claus (Adamo). She will make her COT debut as Tawny Betty in the World Premiere of Quamino’s Map (Wallen/Brevoort) and the role of Tree Spirit in The BeeKeeper (Lu/Rourke) as part of COT’s Vanguard Initiative. 


This Summer, she was a Tomita Young Artist with the Finger Lakes Opera, where she performed the role of the Cherubino in The Three Little Pigs (Davies) and sang duets and arias in their summer scenes concert. She has recently performed in concerts with Opera On Tap Boston and the NEMPAC Opera Project, notably their concert titled, “​​Juneteenth”: Opera In The Key Of Freedom. 

In 2019, she debuted the role of Mother and Grandmother in Little Red’s Most Unusual Day (Davies) at the Rochester Fringe Festival, she made her MassOpera debut as Gloria in Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, and she was the Alto Soloist in Liszt’s Missa Solemnis with the Eastman Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Akama-Makia has been honored with several awards, including being a Finalist in the Jesse Kneisel Lieder Competition, 2020 Mildred Miller Competition, Semi-Finalist in the 2020 Premiere Opera Foundation, and NYIOP International Competition, Semi-Finalist in the 2020 Rochester International Vocal Competition, Semi-Finalist in the 2021 Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition and received a 2021 Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Illinois District.


She holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she sang Mezzo 1 in Tibetan Book of the Dead by Ricky Ian Gordon, Mother in Hansel und Gretel by Humperdinck. She earned her Bachelor of Music at the University of Central Arkansas.

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