The ROYALTY OF OPERA
Sunday, April 2, 2023 @3pm
The Mansion, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Madison, New Jersey
Tenor Matthew Cerillo, soprano Toni Palmertree, bass-baritone Yue Wu and soprano Courtney San Martin sing opera arias from operas depicting historical and fictional royalty and similarly themed songs from Broadway musicals.
The singers are accompanied by Artistic Director, Mary Pinto. Musical commentary by Mariana Karpatova.
ADMISSION: Adult $25. Student (22 & under) $10. FDU student (22 & under) free. Children (14 & under) free
Matthew Cerillo is an Italian-American tenor from Freehold, New Jersey. Making a sold-out Lincoln Center solo debut at age 24, Matthew is one of opera’s most sought-after young tenors. In May 2023, he will be making his role debut as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with Teatro Grattacielo and the Athens Philharmonia Orchestra in Greece. Recently, he was a Resident Artist at Portland Opera, where he performed the role of El Remendado in Denyce Graves’s production of Carmen. While in Portland, he also covered the role of Don José and appeared in many outreach concerts.
Mr. Cerillo was recently a finalist in the Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition. He won an Encouragement Award from the 2022 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition ands also placed 3rd in both the NAO Carolyn Bailey Competition and the MTNA National Competition.
Mr. Cerillo participated in Ukrainian Artists Music in Kiev (with the National Presidential Orchestra of Ukraine), Music in the Alps in Bad Gastein, West Chester Summer Vocal Institute, and the Oyster Bay Music Festival. He performed as a lead character in a workshop for the new opera The Listeners by Missy Mazzoli, working in close collaboration with the composer. Matthew has also performed the role of Tamino for Hofstra University's production of Die Zauberflöte, Don Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Demetrius (The Fairy Queen), as well as Dianna Trapes, Filch, and Ben Budge (The Beggar's Opera) with full orchestra.
He received his Masters in Music from The Mannes School of Music in the studio of Arthur Levy. Matthew is a graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelors in Voice Performance
TONI MARIE PALMERTREE
Toni Marie Palmertree is rapidly becoming recognized as one of America’s most riveting performers. She launched her career at San Francisco Opera in the title role of Madama Butterfly. Other roles at San Francisco Opera include Nedda in Pagliacci and Liù in Turandot. In 2019 she made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut stepping into the title role of Luisa Miller.
This season, she performs the title role in Madama Butterfly at Palm Beach Opera and the title role of Tosca at Florida Grand Opera. At the Metropolitan Opera, she performed the role of Voce dal ciel and covered the role of Elisabeth de Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlo, and covered the title role of Cherubini’s Medea.
Ms. Palmertree holds many awards, including the Olga Forrai Career Grant, the Richard F. Gold Career Grant by the Shoshana Foundation, and winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Awards.
Yue Wu is from Tianjin, China. He's a first-year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he sang Dottore Grenvil in La Traviata. He holds a master's degree from the Mannes School of Music and bachelor's degree from the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.
At Mannes, he sang Charlie Soong in Dr Sun-Yat Sen and Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro. In 2022 he was selected for the Song Studio under the leadership of world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming. Last summer he joined the Music Academy of the West as a Vocal Fellow and sang Rotnyi in Eugene Onegin. Next summer he will participate in the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS as Renée Fleming Artist. He willl sing the leading role Katsumi Hosokawa in Bel Canto and cover the Voice of the Oracle of Neptune in Idomeneo.
COURTNEY SAN MARTIN
Courtney San Martin enjoys performing a versatile range of musical styles and repertoire from Baroque to 21st Century. Most recently, Ms. San Martin performed the role of Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Light Opera New Jersey. In 2022 , she made her debut as Diana in Jake Heggie’s If I Were You with Nightingale Opera Theatre and performed the title role in Massenet’s Manon and as Almirena in Handel’s Rinaldo at Montclair State University. Other roles include: Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Rose (At the Statue of Venus), Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Venere (Cavalli's Didone), Miss Pinkerton (The Old Maid and the Thief), and more.
Ms. San Martin is equally comfortable on the concert stage. She debuted at Merkin Hall performing works by contemporary composer Kamala Sankaram and performed the music of Rachel J. Peters in the Mannes Sounds Festival. Ms. San Martin was a soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Yale Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. San Martin has completed the following training programs: Milnes VOICE Studio, Classic Lyric Arts Italy, German Vocal Arts Institute, CoOPERAtive, and SongFest. While completing her Bachelor of Arts at Yale University, she was an active member of the Yale Glee Club and the winner of the Sledge Performing Arts Prize. Ms. San Martin received her master's from the Mannes School of Music and her Artist Diploma at Montclair State University.
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.
Narrator and 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, 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, provides musical commentary for their opera concerts and singss in their holiday concerts. She is on the teaching faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University and maintains the Mariana Voice Studio in Madison, NJ.