Opera arias, classic carols and family favorites for the holidays were performed by soprano Julianne Casey and baritone Kevin Jasaitis from the Mannes School of Music, joined by rising stars from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. The concert featured the beautiful voice of mezzo-soprano Mariana Karpatova, our program narrator. Piano accompaniment was provided by Artistic Director Mary Pinto.
Julianne Casey, soprano, hailing from Tyler, Texas, is a second-year graduate student at the Mannes School of Music in New York City, where she is a student of Bonnie Hamilton. Julianne was last seen at her alumna college in Texas, performing a medley of art songs and arias in concert with Tyler Junior College’s Alumni Guitarists.
During the 2020-2021 COVID affected season, Julianne prepared the roles of La Contessa and Donna Anna in an extensive year-long Mozart/DaPonte workshop with Mannes Opera. During the 2019-2020 COVID affected season, Julianne was to appear as Blanche de la Force in Purchase Opera’s production of the Dialogues of the Carmelites. Julianne was heard singing the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica with Purchase Opera, where she also understudied the roles of Dido in Dido and Aeneas and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
Julianne joined the Wesley’s Singers in Switzerland, Germany, and appeared at the Duomo di Milano as the soprano soloist in 2019, following her 2018 international debut in the United Kingdom.
For the 2021 holiday season, Julianne will appear in concert with the Marvin Symphony Orchestra as guest soloist in her hometown of Tyler, Texas.
Kevin Douglas Jasaitis is entering his final semester as a Master of Music candidate at the Mannes School of Music where he studies classical voice under Bonnie Hamilton. He earned a B.M. in Opera at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, studying with Jacque Trussel.
At Purchase, Kevin performed roles such as Masetto in Don Giovanni, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and Father Francis in Confession. He also coached with Djordje Nesic, Hugh Murphy, and Mary Pinto. In the summer of 2019, Kevin studied in Arona, Italy at the young artist program Si parla, si canta! under the direction of Benton Hess.
Kevin is a native of Point Pleasant Borough, New Jersey.
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.
n 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 honor the 75th Birthday of Jessye Norman. 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. She spent three summers 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.
Mezzo-soprano and Narrator
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 2021, 2020, and 2018, Ms. Karpatova helped organize and performed in the “Unbeaten Path” chamber music festival in her native country, Bulgaria. In October 2021, she performed a set of Rachmaninov songs at the Bulgarian Concert Evenings' opening night gala at Carnegie Hall.
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.