Cristina Fontanelli Set for Enrico Caruso Museum Benefit Tonight, 6/5
Cristina Fontanelli, the renowned soprano who recently made her fourth annual performance at the prestigious Feinstein's at The Loews Regency and served as host for PBS television specials starring Andrea Bocelli ( "Live From Central Park"), Il Volo, the Vienna Boys Choir and the Qi ong specials, will perform a benefit concert for the Enrico Caruso Museum tonight, June 5, at 8 PM at the Enrico Caruso Room at Grotta Azzurra Ristorante, 177 Mulberry Street, in historic Little Italy.
For Cristina performing in Little Italy will be like coming home since her family years ago owned a popular Italian Deli on Grand Street called Fontanelli's. "I have very deep feelings for the neighborhood since my family roots are firmly implanted there," she says. "And to be able to perform in the very same room at Grotta Azzurra where the world famous Naples-born tenor Enrico Caruso frequented when he was at the top of his career in the early 20th century is like a dream come true. I feel privileged to have been invited to do this benefit concert for the Enrico Museum in Brooklyn."
The "voice of Domino's Pizza" on their current national radio commercial, Ms. Fontaneli has performed at the White House for President Clinton and at the Inauguration for President George W. Bush. She received the "Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts" from the O.S.I.A. (previous honoree Luciano Pavarotti). She was the PBS/Channel 13 Host for "Andrea Bocelli in Central Park" which aired in December 2011 and was the opening act for Jimmy Kimmel's first-annual national charity telethon in Hollywood CA which aired on September 25, 2011.
In 2010, she performed at the opening ceremonies of the prestigious Hamptons Classic Horseshow, sang the National Anthem on CapitAl Hill in Washington D.C. for the testimony to fashion-icon Giorgio Gucci, sang Happy Birthday to Mickey Rooney at his 90th birthday celebration at Feinsteins with Donald Trump, Regis Philbin and Tony Bennett in attendance and performed her seventh Annual "Christmas in Italy" concert at Lincoln Center. She was the voice of "Nonna" on the beloved TV Chef Lidia Bastianich's 2010 PBS Christmas special (seen on over 300 PBS outlets across the U.S.) and she closed the year with an interview/performance/co-hosting with Tony Tantillo on CBS Weekend New York seen by 15,000,000 viewers. Cristina has been named one of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts 100 most notable alumni.
A listing of the popular "giants" she has appeared with include Tony Bennett, Joel Grey, Vic Damone and many others. Ms. Fontanelli is a favorite guest artist with many prestigious orchestras including the Boston Pops and the St. Louis Symphony, performing in major concert halls throughout the U.S. and the world, including the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and major concert halls throughout the Far East and Canada.
She has completed three world-tours with the Mantovani Orchestra. Her beautiful soprano voice has taken her to the White House as part of President Clinton's holiday celebration, to Gracie Mansion at the invitation of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to the Governor's mansion in Princeton, N.J., to Washington, D.C. for the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), to Lincoln Center with stars from the Metropolitan Opera, to the Waldorf-Astoria for the Columbus Citizens Foundation honoring Franco Zeffirelli, to a special function honoring Maestro Riccardo Muti and to the prestigious National Arts Club in NYC. She has appeared annually at the world-famous, Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel, in NYC, and has received rave reviews for her nightclub entertainment abilities, in addition to her classical concert and operatic appearances.
Ms. Fontanelli has performed with opera companies throughout the United States and abroad including the Palm Beach Opera, the New York Grand Opera, the Opera of Hong Kong and the Cairo Opera. She has also performed at the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C., the Rainbow Room for the National Organization of Italian American Women and the Waldorf Astoria for the Order Sons of Italy in America.
She has toured the Middle East extensively as an "Ambassador of Opera". Her operatic repertoire includes such heroines as Mimi, Musetta, Violetta and the title role of "Madame Butterfly". Ms. Fontanelli has also toured as a solo concert artist in major concert halls throughout Japan, Korea, Italy, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States. She sings and entertains in Japanese, Korean, Italian, Neopolitan, French, German, Spanish and Yiddish.
Ms. Fontanelli was born in Brooklyn, New York of Italian heritage and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has also attended the Juilliard School in New York.
The Enrico Caruso ROOM is located downstairs at Grotta Azurra where the world famous Naples-born tenor Enrico Caruso would often dine with friends – and then sing – while he lived in New York City as the greatest tenor of his time with the Metropolitan Opera in the first two decades of the 20th century. The new venue is decorated with memorabilia of the world famous tenor donated by Cav. Uff. Aldo Mancusi, founder and curator of the Enrico Caruso Museum which is located at 1942 East 19th Street in Brooklyn The Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year.
There is a $ 20 cover charge and dinner will be available in the Dining Room from 6 PM on. Reservations can be made by calling Grotta Azzurra at 212-975-8775.
Photo Credit: André's Photography.