By Michelle Vires
Nadya Borno, a vocal performance student in her junior year, will be playing a principal character in Elena’s Royal Welcome Show to debut on August 11 at Walt Disney World on the Magic Kingdom Stage.
The show is based on Disney Junior’s newest star Elena, the first princess to come from Mexican and Hispanic heritage; the character was first introduced on July 22 in Elena of Avalor, a computer-animated series on the Disney Channel. Disney describes Princess Elena as “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.” FIU Alumna Aimee Carrero –who is widely known for her role in in ABC’s hit Young and Hungry – is the voice of the princess.
Born in Nevada, but raised in Miami, Nadya is the daughter of a Venezuelan mother and a Haitian father, who were both determined to make a new life for themselves in the United States.
She is an active musician who has been studying and performing for more than 7 years. She is classically trained in music and has since broadened her repertoire to include a variety of vocal styles such as musical theater, pop and jazz, chamber music and reggae. At FIU, she sings in the FIU Concert Choir and has performed as a soprano soloist in the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center.
In addition to performing, Nadya spends much of her time auditioning, teaching and volunteering. She is one of the lead music ministers for the Our Lady of the Lakes Church adult and children’s choir and operates as owner and character entertainer for her business, Song Spells Entertainment.
But it wasn’t until college that she realized that acting and singing were her true loves, not graphic design.
“I began taking voice lessons with Dr. Vindhya Khare and quickly realized how the music faculty have actively been a part of my growth as a musician in a variety of ways,” Nadya says. “There is so much knowledge, experience and practice that separates a ‘good singer’ from a musician and I absolutely believe that my time spent at the School of Music is the reason I have been so successful in the Miami scene. Everyone here is a valuable network.”
So, when Disney held auditions in Miami for the princess character’s royal welcome, she jumped at the chance to audition.
“The requirements for a role such as this one are very much typecast: You have to be a specific height and build, and you need to be able to sing, of course! Fluency in Spanish and acting were additional skills that they were looking for in this audition, and thankfully, I’ve been through enough training, experience and auditions to properly prepare me for the gig of a lifetime!”