Philippine-born tenor, Leander Mendoza has firmly established himself as a professional performer, as well as a voice & piano instructor within the Greater Toronto Area. In 2011, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where his career has began to expand, allowing him to perform not only in the Halifax Regional Municipality, but as well as in other Maritime cities.
Born and raised in Manila, Leander attended the oldest university in Asia, the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, where he took his vocal training under coloratura soprano, Gloria Dizon-Coronel. After graduating with his Bachelor of Music degree, Leander immigrated to Canada in 1995, and pursued further vocal studies with Philippine-Canadian soprano, Eleanor Calbes.
Acting came naturally for Leander, and musical theatre is one of the things where he excelled. In particular, he was awarded Best Actor for his roles in Miss Saigon as The Engineer, and Evita as Che. Other favorite roles include Chino (West Side Story), Lun Tha (The King & I), & Tateh (Ragtime). Besides musical theatre, he has done some opera work as well as operetta. In 2000, he played the role of Giuseppe in Verdi's La Traviata, during the inaugural performance of The Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. In 2005, he played the role of the Baron Von Eisenstein in Johann Strauss' operetta, Die Fledermaus, with the Brampton Lyric Opera. In the Philippines, he played the lead role of San Lorenzo Ruiz in the world premiere of "Lorenzo Ruiz: Escribano", a Filipino opera by composer Jerry Dadap.
Leander was featured soloist in a number of ensemble and orchestral work under the baton of noted conductors such as Wanda Kaluzny (Montreal Chamber Orchestra), Charles DeMuynk (Oakville String Ensemble), Tak Ng-Lai (Brampton Symphony Orchestra), and Shek-Ko (Brampton Lyric Opera). He has performed two of Benjamin Britten's works: "Les Illuminations" at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and "Serenade" for Tenor, Horn & Strings in Oakville, Ontario.
In Halifax, Leander has also sought opportunities to explore the realm of acting in film, television, & commercials and has worked in several projects such as Call Me Fitz, Mac Tech (Home Ed) Ad, Mr. D, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Haven, and a few feature films. He continues to teach voice and piano in his home studio, as well as performing in concerts in Halifax and Miramichi, New Brunswick. He also sings as the tenor section leader with the St. Andrews United Church choir.
Leander has produced his first CD recording, entitled, "In The Moment - The Broadway Album", and has sold over 500 copies. He is currently working on his second album, which will include some of his favorite spiritual songs and other genre.
Leander is a member of the Canadian Actors' Equity Association, The Atlantic Federation of Musicians & ACTRA.
Photography by Chiqui Pineda-Azimi