Opera at Florham Celebrates Opera Legend Licia Albanese


On April 14 at 2pm, Opera at Florham presents A Tribute to Opera Legend Licia Albanese with sopranos Mia Pafumi and Amber Daniel performing a repertoire of famous and favorite roles of the great Licia Albanese as a young artist and established opera star.

Schuyler Chapin, General Manager of the Met, described Licia Albanese as “the frailest Mimì [rt] the tenderest Butterfly [left], and perhaps the most haunting of modern Violettas [center].”
Soprano Mia Pafumi
Soprano Amber Daniel






Licia Albanese was an international legend who performed at the Met for 26 seasons, the San Francisco Opera for 20 seasons and appeared widely on recordings, TV and radio, including her own program for ten years. An influential opera patron and avid supporter of aspiring opera singers, Ms. Albanese served as jurist for several of Opera at Florham annual Vocal Competitions.

The concert includes audio-visual highlights, personal stories and memorabilia from Ms. Albanese’s life and career presented by music educator Lou Barrella and Enrico Caruso Museum founder, Aldo Mancusi, a friend of Licia’s.

Baritone Matthew Ciuffitelli, pianist Mary Pinto & tenor Frederick Schlick

The two “Licias” are joined by baritone Matthew Ciuffitelli and tenor Frederick Schlick with piano accompaniment by Opera at Florham artistic director, Mary Pinto (artists’ bios). The program is staged at the beautiful, historic Mansion on the Madison campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Refreshments are served during a brief intermission.

Amber Daniel, who was lucky enough to compete before Ms. Albanese, reflects, “I won grants and encouragement awards from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation and sang at their Winner’s Gala in 2016 and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall. Mme. Albanese gave me written feedback after I participated in her competition in 2011. It was very special to receive her encouraging words and directions on how to approach singing and developing as a young artist. She imparted such a dignity and grace to everything she did. I’m in awe of what she has achieved and given back to the art form. For me, the recordings of Licia’s Cio-Cio San [Madame Butterfly] and Mimì [La Bohème] are the ones I really have invested time listening to, and it’s remarkable how nuanced and individual every role is and every performance as well! There is a wonderful live performance recording of her Mimì with Toscanini conducting – you can really feel the emotion and expressivity in her singing.”

Tickets: General Admission $30, Senior $25, Student (22 & under) $10, Group Discount, Children and FDU Students free. Handicap accessible, free parking, buses welcome.

Opera at Florham presents professional vocalists in recital, concert, and competition from Opera to American songbook. A not-for-profit, founded 36 years ago, OaF’s supports the mission, Opera Is for Everyone, by offering low-cost, high-quality events at home and out in the community.

2018 Vocal Competition: 1st prize Emmett O’Hanlon, baritone (center); 2nd prize Anna Dugan (left), soprano; 3rd prize Helena Brown, soprano (right)

Season 2018-19 concludes in May with the 31st annual International Vocal Competition Honoring Violetta DuPont (founder of Opera at Florham) presenting young aspiring opera singers demonstrating exceptional talent in the operatic art form. 108 opera singers are set to compete in live preliminaries before the Gerda Lissner Foundation in New York City the week before. Watch opera come to life when 8-10 finalists compete for $10,000 in awards in this final round on May 5 at 2pm in the Mansion at FDU.

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