B i o g r a p h y
Arnaldo! started as a soloist with the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and has performed with SMC in some of the major concert halls in the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. In 1995, Arnaldo started a group called Cabaret Q where the “drag chanteuse” persona began. In 1999, Arnaldo! began his solo cabaret shows in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and has since performed his one person cabaret in Portland, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Puerto Vallarta, New York and Manila. Arnaldo! has also collaborated with various directors, choreographers and songwriters in the Seattle area. In 2005, he completed the Cabaret Summer Conference Workshop at Yale University. In 2006, Arnaldo! started the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association and continues to organize “Seattle's March is Cabaret Month” featuring local and visiting artists. 2007 marked Arnaldo!’s New York cabaret debut and in 2008, Arnaldo! was honored with a New York Backstage Bistro Award. 2014 was Arnaldo!'s Manila debut where he received "Most Innovative Concert Artist" in Manila by Gawad Musika. In 2016, Arnaldo! was presented by The Filipino Community of Seattle with a Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting culture & the arts.
2005 Fellow, International Cabaret Conference at Yale University
2006 Founder & Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association
2008 New York Cabaret Bistro Award Winner
2010 Top 10 Cabaret Act in the Bay Area, Jazz and Cocktails, SF Bay Times
2012-present Pride ASIA Co Executive Director
2014 GAWAD MUSIKA award for "Most Innovative Concert Artist" in Manila
2016 FCS Lifetime Achievement Award, Arts & Culture
What is a drag chanteuse?
When I started performing in drag, I was not sure what to call what I do. I am performing in drag and not lip-synching – so being a “drag queen” does not describe what I really do. Others suggested using “drag diva”, but my persona is more subtle and intimate. So in 1996, I decided to combine the words “drag” and “chanteuse” after my name. The “!” came when a friend suggested that I add that as a joke … well it stuck! I then performed for various fundraisers and smaller cabarets; and in 1999, I started my one person cabaret show series to – unexpectedly - sold out crowds.
The drag aspect of my performance all happened by chance. And now for me, performing in drag is the theatrical element of my cabarets. I have many women singers I admire and I of course perform their repertoire. I also do not imitate them and at most, I emulate these women I admire by arranging my songs to do renditions out of my own vocal styling.
What others are saying ...
"No mention of the concert would be complete without commending the amazing performance of Arnaldo ..."
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times music critic
Ann Hampton Callaway, guest artist Seattle Men's Chorus New Zealand-Australia tour
"Utterly original and unabashedly glamorous, Arnaldo is a sensational and ravishing musical diva!"
Chay Yew, Director of the Taper's Asian Theatre Workshop and the Resident Director at East West Players in Los Angeles
"Arnaldo is who I call upon when Seattle Men's Chorus goes on tour or has a big special engagement. The solo numbers he does with the large ensemble backing him are always the hit of the show."
Dennis Coleman, Artistic Director, Seattle Men's Chorus
"[Arnaldo] is a female impersonator—not quite like the others—extremely tasteful....looks like a young Pat Suzuki sitting atop the piano doing Cole Porter and other sly, witty things!!!"
Erv Raible, NY cabaret impresario and Artisic Director, Cabaret Conference at Yale University
"The highlight of the show is Arnaldo ..."
Vivian Wai, Seattle Weekly theater critic
"…Arnaldo is truly a gender illusionist of the highest rank."
Milton Hamlin, Seattle Gay News music critic
"Such talent, such caring ... thanks a million!"
Ron Sims, former King County Executive, Senatorial and Gubernatorial candidate for WA