July 9, 2023
Opera couple Pedro Barrera, tenor, and Sarah Sherman Barrera, soprano, performed a mix of operatic favorites, Andrea Bocelli classics, Latin art songs and a touch of musical theater in a cabaret style setting.
The audience was brought to its feet as the duo stepped off the stage and brought music into the audience.
The singers were accompanied by Artistic Director, Mary Pinto.
SARAH SHERMAN BARRERA
Sarah was born in San Diego, California and received her Bachelor of Music from Northern Arizona University in 2016. In 2017 Sarah began her Masters in Music at the University of Denver where she played the leading roles of Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Her love of opera and classical singing began when she was invited to be an apprentice for the summer at the Greek Opera Studio at the age of 17. She has since sung in Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Austria.
Colombian tenor Pedro Barrera, born in Barranquilla, moved to the United States in 2017 after receiving a full-ride scholarship for his Master's at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. Originally classified as a baritone, Barrera started transitioning to tenor in 2019. His tenor debut was that same year as Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi, and later on he played Goro in Madama Butterfly, both performances at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. In Colombia, Barrera performed baritone roles with Opera de Colombia including the Second Prisoner in Fidelio, Norton in La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and was also the baritone soloist for Duruflé’s Requiem with the Bogota Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Barrera was a national finalist of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra Singing Competition in 2015 and 2016. Upcoming projects include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni this summer with Camerata Bardi - Teatro Grattacielo in New York City.
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.