Primary Instrument: Vocal
Melanie Mitrano is an active composer-performer who specializes in crossover repertoire. Her vocal and compositional repertoire encompasses classical, avante-garde, Broadway and Jazz styles. She is especially committed to hybrid music, which combines elements of several musical genres at once.
Melanie has the distinction of being the first woman to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, and also holds an MM and BM in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. Her critically-acclaimed debut CD, Songs in Transit, was released on Capstone records in 2006. It features selections which unite musical theater, blues, jazz, hip-hop, electronic and world music within a classical framework. Such notable American composers as Lee Hoiby, Tom Cipullo and Lori Laitman, as well as Pulitzer-Prize-winning composers David Del Tredici and Paul Moravec are heard accompanying the singer at the piano.
Mitrano has worked with many other esteemed composers, including György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, and John Harbison. In Manchester, England, she gave the world premieres of selected 20th-century Lieder at the second Perspectives on Anton Bruckner conference; and toured Japan and Taiwan, premiering the choral music of Earl Kim. She was a founding member of the Boston-based Auros Group for New Music and has sung with similar groups in the New York area, including Speculum Musicae, Ensemble 21, The Crosstown Ensemble, The Downtown Chamber Players, Sound Liberation, The International Street Cannibals, Absolute Ensemble, and Friends & Enemies of New Music.
With Absolute Ensemble, she recorded the film score for the award-winning movie Perfume, directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Dustin Hoffmann and Alan Rickman. Her voice appears in the film and on the EMI movie soundtrack. She will soon be heard in the Manta Ray Pictures film Anomaly, written and directed by independent filmmaker Terry Wickham.
Melanie has sung under the auspices of American Opera Projects, and made her solo Carnegie Hall debut in 2004. That same year, she won first place in the New Jersey NATS Artist Award Competition, and second place in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Art Song Competition. She has sung in conjunction with the Composers Concordance and the Guild of Composers, under whose sponsorship she made her Merkin Hall recital debut in 1996; and premiered student and faculty compositions at Yale, NYU, NEC, Colombia University, MIT, The New School of Music, and the Symposium for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. Dr. Mitrano premiered the role of Harriett Shelley in Allan Jaffe’s new American opera, Mary Shelley, presented at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. With Sound Liberation, she appeared in the premiere of Gene Pritsker’s techno-rock opera Money at the Flea Theater and The Players Theater in Manhattan. In May 2008, she gave the Italian premiere of this work at Etnafest in Catania, Sicily.
An ASCAP composer, Melanie performs her original works in a variety of venues, from concert halls to jazz clubs. Her classical art songs have been featured at Symphony Space in NYC, and in recital at various American universities. She was awarded a composer-performer grant from the New York Women’s Composers in 2006. In 2008, she was a guest composer-performer with the NJ-based Diane Moser Composers Big Band. Her new disc, All Things Gold, featuring her original vocal jazz compositions, has just been released by Ivy Cottage Press. One of the songs on that disc won a compositional award in the 2009 SAW Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Melanie’s music was recently showcased in the 2010 Cape May Singer-Songwriter Festival.
All Things Gold
Ivy Cottage Press
Tracks: Immune; Another Song About The Moon; Something To Go On; My Finest Hour; The Man You Used To Be; All Things Gold; I Ain't Got You; Smarten Up; She Floats Away; You Can't Unring Bells; The King of Cryptology; Backstory; Never Been To Brazil; Wednesdays; Toccata Talk To Me.
Personnel: Melanie Mitrano: vocals. Matt King: keyboards. Andy Eulau: bass. Scott Neumann: drums. Mike Lee: saxophones. Jim Cifelli: flugelhorn. Nick Afflitto: trumpet. Erick Storckman: trombone. As a Leader
Songs in Transit
Tracks: Why I Wear My Hair Long; Saying Goodbye; The Pocketbook; How To Get Heat Without Fire; The Hour; Money; Manners; Filling Station; Insomnia; Your Little Voice; Time For Tea; Bona Petite; Lullaby; Beauty Runs Faster; Truth; We Are Never Alone; I Could Call You Up; Main Street USA: New Year's Eve.
Personnel: Melanie Mitrano: vocals. Tim Cipullo: piano. Lori Laitman: piano. Lee Hoiby: piano. Judith Munro de Wette: piano. Paul Moravec: piano. David Del Tredici: piano.
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Willing to teach:
Melanie Mitrano has the distinction of being the first woman to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, and also holds an MM and BM in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. She has premiered student and faculty compositions at Yale, NYU, NEC, Colombia University, MIT, The New School of Music, and the Symposium for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. Dr. Mitrano began her teaching career at Connecticut College in New London; and from 1996-2001, served on the faculty of New Jersey City University as Coordinator of Vocal Studies. A dedicated educator and frequent clinician, she has lectured at several NJMEA state conferences, high schools, and universities, including the Mannes College of Music, Western Connecticut State University, Kutztown University, Brooklyn College, and the University of New Hampshire. She has served as an adjudicator for the NJ NATS Festival of Singing and the National Federation of Music Clubs. Since 1999, Dr. Mitrano has been a member of the editorial board of The New Music Connoisseur, a Manhattan-based journal dedicated to the advancement of contemporary music. Her articles have been published in NMC, as well as Tempo Magazine, the MENC international edition of Spotlight on Teaching Chorus, and the NATS Journal of Singing. Currently, she maintains a busy private voice studio in New Jersey.
Over the years, I have given many different clinics on a wide variety of topics, encompassing both classical and cross-over repertoire. I sing in six languages, and also coach diction, translation and interpretation, including the genre of Brazilian jazz. Clinic topics may include any of the following: vocal health, contemporary classical repertoire, cross-over performance for classical and jazz singers, song-writing, diction, and vocal pedagogy, among others.