AN OPERATIC HOLIDAY
Buon Natale with Maria Natale
Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3 pm
St. Margaret of Scotland Church, 6 Sussex Ave, Morristown
Operatic superstar soprano Maria Natale joins acclaimed pianist and Opera at Florham’s Artistic Director Mary Pinto to perform seasonal holiday classics and operatic selections. After receiving over 46.5 thousand views of their recent Sparrow LIVE recital, they are excited to reunite for the Opera at Florham audience. Guest Matthew Ciuffitelli adds his rich baritone voice to the program.
An Operatic Holiday can be viewed in person at the beautiful, large venue graciously offered as our temporary home during COVID times.
COVID provisions: The large church is partitioned off with seating at every other pew and social distancing measures within each pew, following New Jersey's pandemic guidelines. All attendees must wear masks.
Tickets: In-person general admission $25, students $10.
To cope with increased costs during the pandemic, we have set the online general admission price at $28. This helps cover COVID expenses and credit card processing fees. To avoid the $3 fee, we offer the opportunity to pay by check. Mail in this form and your payment to Treasurer, 712 Ridge Drive, Union, NJ 07083. Walks-ins are allowed with cash or check payment accepted at the door.
Praised by The New York Times for her “plummy, penetrating voice,” soprano Maria Natale is the recipient of many awards and grants from some of the most prestigious vocal competitions nationwide. She was awarded 1st prize in the National James Collier Vocal Competition, 2nd Prize and Audience choice in the Elizabeth Connell Prize, second place in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, a grand finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, a grant recipient from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition, and the second prize winner of the Opera at Florham Vocal Competition.
Recently, Ms. Natale made her debuts at Tulsa Opera as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly and at Opera San Jose Opera as Nedda in Pagliacci, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. Other engagements include Opera Maine as Violetta in La Traviata under conductor Stephen Lord where Opera News claimed, “her powerful soprano easily filled the house,” and her Sarasota Opera debut portraying the role of Liù in Turandot where she was hailed as having an “unequivocal Italian sound” (New Outpost).
As a concert soloist, Ms. Natale has been featured at Carnegie Hall in Faure’s "Requiem" and Mozart’s Missa Solemnis with MidAmerica Productions. She has also appeared as the soprano soloist with NYC Master Chorale in Dvorak’s "Te Deum" and Mozart’s "Requiem." In 2015 she was selected by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to sing in a masterclass with Placido Domingo in Lincoln Center.
Ms. Natale is a graduate from the Manhattan School of music where she performed the role of Lady Macbeth in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth and was praised by Opera News for her “high voltage vocal thrills” and “merciless stage presence.”
Next season’s engagements include Maria's debut as Mimì in La Boheme with Opera in Wiliiamsburg, and a reprise of Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro,and the title role in Salome in a brand new production at Opera San Jose.
Artistic Director & Piano Accompanist
Mary Pinto, an accompanist and vocal coach, has worked with international opera singers and major American opera companies for the past 25 years.
Ms. Pinto's career began as a rehearsal pianist for noted opera companies: Dallas Opera, Chicago's Lyric Opera, Omaha Opera, and others. In 2012, Ms. Pinto coached and was rehearsal pianist for Metropolitan Opera star and international soprano Deborah Voigt as she prepared for the three Brünhilde roles for the Met's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle which was featured in the documentary Wagner’s Dream: The Making of the Met's Ring Cycle and premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2014, she performed with Opera Noire's Ensemble in the American Embassy in Moscow and St. Petersburg; spent last three summers as coaching staff at Masterclass d' Ischia, Italy.
Since 2007 Ms. Pinto has been on the faculty of Montclair State University as a private coach, accompanist, and to prepare students for opera productions. She serves as the Vice-President and Artistic Director for Opera at Florham while maintaining coaching studios in New Jersey and New York City.
Mary received her Bachelor’s degree in Music for piano performance from DePauw University and a Master’s in Music degree for piano and voice accompaniment from University of Illinois.
Of Matthew Ciuffitelli's performance at the Columbus Citizen’s Foundation Event, Opera Night Live!, Brooklyn Discovery raved that baritone “Matthew Ciuffitelli has resonance and power.” These qualities were equally in evidence when he appeared as Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Sergeant Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, the Sacristan in Tosca with Eastern Opera, Papageno in Nyack, Eisenstein in Amore Opera’s Die Fledermaus, and Prince Yamadori in New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s Madama Butterfly.
Ciuffitelli has performed in The Telephone with Light Opera of New Jersey, Die Zauberflöte in New York’s Pardington Hall, and as a featured resident artist singing the Official Registrar in the Sarasota Opera company’s production of Madama Butterfly. Last fall he covered Valentin in the St. Petersburgh Opera’s production of Faust.
Currently Mr. Ciuffitelli is appearing as a featured solo artist with the renowned Sharpe Family Singers in an extensive Broadway concert tour throughout Ireland and France. In February he will perform his first “Dr. Falke” in Die Fledermaus with Light Opera Company of New Jersey and will make an exciting debut with the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice as baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Recently, the rising baritone earned 3rd place in New Jersey State Opera’s opera competition, which presented him in an enthusiastically-received opera gala concert. He was lead soloist in a new Broadway revue production entitled Best of Broadway with the Sharpe Family Singers this past summer of 2019.
Baritone Matthew Ciuffitelli hails from Wantage, New Jersey and was a successful voice performance major at The Music Conservatory of Chicago’s College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He currently resides in Jersey City, New Jersey and continues his vocal studies with David Jones and Christopher King.