"-Elegant and vivacious - a young Callas" according to the review of Mario Fratti, the Tony Award-winning playwright. Cristina is quickly becoming a well-known personality through her appearances on Italian and American radio, TV, opera and in concerts, where she is gathering rave reviews for her performances.
A listing of some of the popular "giants" she has appeared with would include Tony Bennett, Joel Grey, Joan Rivers, Vic Damone, Red Buttons, Kaye Ballard, Sergio Franchi and many others. Her beautiful soprano voice has taken her to the White House s part of President Clinton's holiday celebration, to Gracie Mansion at the invitation of New York's Mayor Giuliani, and to Washington, D.C. to open the ceremonies for the National Italian American Foundation's 20th Anniversary, whose honorees included President Bill Clinton and Tony Bennett.
She is a favorite guest artist with many prestigious orchestras throughout the United States and the world, including the Boston Pops, the St. Louis Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the New Jersey Pops and the Bloomington Pops and has appeared in major venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Academy of Music. Ms. Fontanelli has also completed three world-tours with the Mantovani Orchestra.
In the world of classical music, Ms. Fontanelli has appeared with opera companies throughout the United States and abroad including the Palm Beach Opera, the New York Grand Opera, the Cairo Opera, the Teatro Nacional, Santa Domingo and the Sha Tin Auditorium in Hong Kong. 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". She has also toured as a solo concert artist in major concert halls throughout Japan, Korea, Italy and the United States.
Ms. Fontanelli has performed with such prestigious theatres as the Coconut Grove Playhouse and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. Her "popular" dates have included appearances at the Tropicana Trump Taj Mahal and Marina Casinos in Atlantic City and on the Crystal and Cunard Cruise Lines. She is a favorite at many Italian Festivals throughout the U.S including Milwaukee (more than 10 appearances), Chicago and L.I.'s Eisenhower Park.
She has been the recipient of many awards including winning her Italian operatic debut through the American Opera Auditions, receiving grants from the Puccini and Koussevitsky Foundations, performing at the Casa Verdi in Milan under the auspices of Giulietta Simionato, being named "Woman of the Year" by the Ethnic Press Council of Toronto and being awarded the Italian- American Heritage Award by the St. Ann's Festival in Hoboken, New Jersey. Two of her most recent achievements were awards presented by Boys Town of Italy and the Sergio Franchi Music Foundation.
Ms. Fontanelli is proud to announce the release on the Meadowlands Record Company label of "Cristina Fontanelli Sings Great Italian Favorites" produced by platinum record award-winning songwriter/producer Sandy Linzer.
She is much in demand for radio broadcasts across the country and has had the privilege of appearing on N.Y.'s WQXR Robert Sherman Show and Boston's WGBH with host Ron Della Chiesa. TV appearances have included the "Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon" and RAI/USA's "Italians in America".
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.
Many major publications, including The New York Times, have praised Ms. Fontanelli's singing having "technical ease" and "flaunting bravura", but perhaps this quote taken from a recent review best sums up the artistry of this versatile soprano - she is a "show stopper".Cristina Fontanelli Official Website