Opera at Florham Opens a New Season with Something “Different”
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 • 11:02pm
The 2012-2013 Opera at Florham season opens with “Fall Cabaret: A Musical Encounter of a Special Kind,” on September 30 at 3 p.m. in Lenfell Hall at the College at Florham of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The afternoon's program will consist of opera, operetta, broadway music, and folk tunes. The venue, Lenfell Hall located in Hennessy Hall (The Mansion), was the drawing room of the Twombly family when they lived in the 100-room mansion.
The cabaret, which was organized by Luigi Boccia and Steve DeMaio, will feature baritone Christian Bowers, tenor Theron Cromer, soprano Christina Nicastro, and pianist Mary Pinto.
Christian Bowers is studying at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. A district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Philadelphia 2010-11. He has appeared in Opera with S.U.N.Y. Purchase, Opera Delaware, Sarasota Opera, and in Tosca with the Santa Fe Opera in 2012. Next year he will perform the role of Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera Colorado. He has also appeared as Figaro in Barber of Seville at the Academy of Vocal Arts in 2012 and will sing the lead role of Renato in Un ballo in Maschera in 2013. He was the Second Prize winner of the Mario Lanza vocal competition 2011.
Theron Cromer is entering his senior year of study in Music Performance at Montclair State University (MSU). His most recent opera workshop credits include Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Des Grieux (Manon), Nemorino (Elixir of Love) and Alfredo (La Traviata). His Musical theater credits include Jacey Squires (The Music Man), Conrad Birdie (Bye Bye Birdie). In his first Main stage production at MSU, Theron performed the title role in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, and this past spring sang in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio.
Christina Nicastro is a soprano from Dunellen, New Jersey where she began her vocal career with roles such as Maria in The Sound of Music and Mr. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. She is currently in her last year of Classical Performance study at William Paterson University where she has taken on the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Micaëla in Carmen, and Adina in The Elixir of Love in the opera scenes program. Christina was a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 2011 with the William Paterson University Chorus. She is a 2012 recipient of the Garden State Arts Foundation’s Thomas H. Kean Music Award scholarship and recently participated in a summer voice program called Ischia Opera Program, in Italy.
Mary Pinto is an acclaimed accompanist and vocal coach who has been working with artists that have performed at the Metropolitan Opera and across the United States for the past 25 years. A student of John Wustman, the renowned accompanist for Luciano Pavarotti, Pinto began her career as a rehearsal pianist for Dayton Opera, Omaha Opera and Augusta Opera. She went to coach for the Lyric Opera of Chicago Opera Center Program, preparing performances of Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte, and the premiere of Bright Sheng’s The Song of Manjun and Bruce Saylors’s Orpheus Descending. Pinto worked as a rehearsal pianist and coach at Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, at the Dallas Opera and San Antonio Opera.
Since returning to her home state of New Jersey, Pinto has joined the faculty at William Paterson University and Montclair State University where she coaches for the Opera Department as well as private lessons. During the past year, Pinto has had the pleasure of playing for and coaching famed soprano Deborah Voigt in preparation for the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle during the 2011-2012 season. Pinto can be seen in Wagner’s Dream, the celebrated Tribeca Film Festival movie about the making of The Ring. She also coaches privately in New York City.
Tickets are $30 for regular admission, $25 for seniors, and $10 for students under 22 years of age. Tickets can be ordered by calling 973-443-8620. Checks can be mailed to Opera at Florham, P. O. Box 343, Convent Station, NJ 07961.
Guests are welcome to arrive at 2 p.m. and bring a light meal to enjoy with friends prior to the cabarets.
The College at Florham of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located at 285 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ. For more information, visit www.operaatflorham.com.