One of the ways Opera at Florham fulfills its mission to educate the general public and in particular young people about opera is to offer background, stories and narration by experts from the world of opera at musicales and outreach concerts. Our narrators include OaF artistic director Mary Pinto, Fairleigh Dickinson University vocal instructor Mariana Karpatova, music educator Lou Barrella, and the singers themselves. 


Tribute to Opera Legend Licia Albanese 

As part of our tribute musicale to opera legend Licia Albanese in April 2019, Lou Barrella provided audio/visual highlights of Ms. Albanese's life and work. He was joined by Aldo Mancusi, founder of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America and friend to Ms. Albanese, relating personal stories and displaying memorabilia.



Artistic Director & Piano Accompanist

Mary Pinto, an acclaimed 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. She spent the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019 on the 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 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.

Vocal Instructor

Mariana Karpatova, mezzo-soprano, appeared “Live from Lincoln Center” in Maurice Sendak’s Hänsel und Gretel as the Mother and the Witch while studying at Juilliard. At her debut with Sarasota  Opera, was praised for “acting and singing with passion and power.” She was an Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Award recipient and cited by the New York Times under the headline, “A Debut with Signs of the Future.”

Opera appearances include Sarasota Opera as Cuniza in Oberto, Michigan Opera as Quickly in Falstaff, Metropolitan Opera as Maid in Elektra and Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, the Bulgarian National Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore, and many more. Her concerts include Symphony No. 8, Verdi’s Requiem, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Shoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Ravel’s Scheherazade, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Durufle’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and others.

In the summers of 2018 & 2020, Ms. Karpatova helped organize and performed in the “Unbeaten Path” chamber music festival in her native country, Bulgaria. In 2018, she performed songs by Brahms and Bulgarian and American composer. In 2020, during COVID times, she performed virtually Dobrinko Tabakova's Songs for the Seasons: Summer and Autumn.

Ms. Karpatova is a recognized specialist training youth and advanced professional singers for contemporary and classical music. She has a private practice (Mariana Voice Studio) and is on the vocal teaching staff at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison.


Music Educator and Storyteller

Louis Barrella has been a dedicated Music Educator for over 40 years, specializing in Music and Opera Appreciation in schools and cultural organizations. He has given workshops and organized student trips for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Opera for 35 years and continues to do so.  

Mr. Barrella has been a guest lecturer at colleges, museums and cultural institutions throughout the Metropolitan Area, making 700 presentations since 1993. He is a board member of the Enrico Caruso Museum, a regular presenter at the Mario Lanza luncheons, a co-host at Columbus Citizens’ Foundation Opera Nights; and is conducting an Opera Class at the Garibaldi Meucci Museum for the 6th season. He is involved with cultural programming at Casa Belvedere and has made presentations for the Westchester Italian Cultural Center. 

In 2003, Mr. Barrella received the Dr. Leonard Covello Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Teachers’ Association for his Outstanding Contributions to Italian Culture which he proudly continues to promote!

The Mansion, Fairleigh Dickinson University

285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940



PO Box 343, Convent Station, NJ 07961

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