Performance and Educational Staff
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 2022, Ms. Pinto was invited to be official accompanist for the Giulio Gari Competition and to accompany singers in the Gerda Lissner Song, Zarzuela and Aria Competition. She made her Carnegie Hall debut playing for the winners of the Gerda Lissner Winners Concert. In 2021, Ms. Pinto coached and directed scenes at the Summer Opera Festival of Morelia and coached at the Queens Summer Vocal Institute. In the fall of 2020, she performed at Black Opera’s tribute to Jessye Norman. She spends her summers on the coaching staff at Masterclass d' Ischia, Italy. She has worked with the NJ State Opera and Light Opera of NJ, and internationally with Opera Noire’s Ensemble in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Ms. Pinto is on the faculty of Montclair State University as a private coach, accompanist, and prepares students for opera productions. She serves as Artistic Director and accompanist 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 and Singer
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, Michigan Opera, Metropolitan Opera, the Bulgarian National Opera and many more. Her concerts include Symphony No. 8, Verdi’s Requiem, Ravel’s Scheherazade, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and others.
During 2021-2022 season, Ms. Karpatova appeared in Opera at Florham's holiday concert, and in the BCENY Gala concert at Carnegie Hall and concert series. In the summer and fall of 2022, she debuted as Florence Pike in Princeton Festival’s “Albert Herring” production and appeared with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Annually since 2018, Ms. Karpatova has co-created and participated in the “Off-the Beaten Path” Chamber Music Festival held each summer in her native Bulgaria.
Ms. Karpatova is on the Board of Opera at Florham and provides musical commentary for their opera concerts. She is on the teaching faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University and maintains the Mariana Voice Studio in Madison, NJ.
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!