Francesca Mondanaro - Soprano
A specialist in Verdi and heavier bel-canto repertoire, Francesca Mondanaro had an exciting start to the 2015-2016 season making her Deutsche Oper Berlin debut as Abigaille in NABUCCO. The previous season included her Lyric Opera of Baltimore debut as Abigaille, after having previously covered the title role of NORMA there with Maestro Christian Badea. Francesca also performed the role of NORMA with Baltimore Concert Opera and Taconic Opera and in concert with the Calvary Concert Series of New York and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. She reprised her recitals with stage director Fabrizio Melano , based on the life and career of Maria Callas for Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera. In recent seasons she sang Lady Macbeth in MACBETH for BCO, Taconic Opera and Sarasota Opera (where she sang both versions of the opera in the same season), Margherita /Elena in MEFISTOFELE for Taconic Opera, and the Mother/Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL for Boheme Opera of New Jersey. She has also performed Abigaille in NABUCCO for Taconic Opera and Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA with New Jersey Verismo Opera and the Baltimore Concert Opera. She has performed the title role of ANNA BOLENA for both the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Concert Series and Tel Aviv’s International Vocal Arts Institute, and Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI with Baltimore Concert Opera. Upcoming seasons will see Ms. Mondanaro reprise the roles of Santuzza, Norma and Lady Macbeth in the United States and Europe. She created the role of Clara in the world premiere of THE SANDMAN by Thomas Cabaniss, Music-Animateur of the Philadelphia Orchestra and sang in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award winning play MASTERCLASS at the Beam Music Center in Las Vegas, and at the Edward Albee Theater Conference in Valdez, for an audience which included August Wilson, John Guare, and Edward Albee. Additionally, Ms. Mondanaro has sung leading roles with such companies as the Anchorage Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Spontini Festival in Italy.
Mondanaro has broad experience with recital, vocal and sacred music. In 2013 she is the soprano soloist in Brahms' EIN DEUTCHES REQUIEM for the Fairfield County Chorale. Most recently She was featured as the soprano soloist in the VERDI REQUIEM with the Southwest Florida Symphony, and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New England Symphonium as the soloist for Schubert’s MASS IN G and Haydn’s ORGELMESSE. She performed Mozart’s BELLA MIA FIAMMA for the Bach Society of New York.
Notable recital and concert appearances include a tribute to Maria Callas with stage director Fabrizio Melano for Baltimore’s Artscape Music Festival; Mondanaro co-starred in a BEL CANTO HEROINES recital at the Argentine Consulate in New York City (for which she sang a demanding program of the final scenes of ANNA BOLENA and ROBERTO DEVEREUX, and excerpts from NORMA). In 2012, Mondanaro sang the role of Lady Macbeth for MASTERLY SINGING: POWER BEHIND THE THRONE: CREATING LADY MACBETH for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. An avid student of vocal heritage, Ms. Mondanaro has been invited to be the featured soloist in, “THE STREPPONI PROJECT”, a planned 2016 recital tribute to the career of soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, which will include arias not heard since the 19th century. Also in the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Mondanaro has been invited to participate in performances for Marfa Live Arts honoring the work of artist Charles Mary Kubricht.
Mondanaro has been the recipient of many awards, including a grant from the prestigious Amadeus Fund in 2005. She was a finalist in the Licia Albanese Puccini Festival, and a winner of the Career Bridges Foundation Competition in 2006. Additionally, she was a grant winner from the Olga Forrai Foundation, and a prize winner of the Silverman Prize at the International Vocal Academy of Israel, the Anna Maria-Saritelli-diPanni Bel Canto Competition, the Metropolitan Opera Northwest Council Scholarship Award, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (district), the Stanley L. Richman Award at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Five Towns Music and Art Competition, and the NFAA Arts Competition.