Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
is freshly arrived to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar to Spain (2007-2008) where she did an investigation of twentieth century Spanish song repertoire at La Fundación Juan March in Madrid, realizing her musical studies with the distinguished pianists Miguel Zanetti and Jorge Robaina from La Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid and the eminent Spanish music critic and writer, Carlos Gómez Amat.
She has been heard in such roles as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Illinois, New Jersey State Opera and the Rountop Music Festival, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with New York Grand Opera, New Rochelle Opera and New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Musetta in Leoncavallo’s La Boheme with New York Grand Opera, Romeo in Capuletti ed i Montecchi with the Roundtop Music Festival, Maddalena in Rigoletto with the New Rochelle Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with the Teatro Nacional de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, as well as Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte in Madrid. She has sung North American premiere's of numerous works, including Paissiello's La Molinara in New York's Town Hall, Vivaldi's La Griselda, Rossini's l'Equivoco Stravagante at the Danny Kaye Theatre in NYC, as well as Zandonai's La farsa amorosa and Mascagni's Guglielmo Ratcliff both with Teatro Grattacielo in Avery Fischer Hall in Lincoln Center under the baton of Maestro Alfredo Silipigni and Maestro David Roe respectively.
Ms. Tonna has placed in many competitions, including the Liederkranz Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, and Marjorie Lawrence International competition, Teatro Grattacielo Competition, National Opera Association and the Violetta Dupont/Opera at Florham.
Of Anna Tonna’s portrayal of Ernestina in the U.S. Premiere of Rossini’s L’Equivoco Stravagante, The Rossini Gesselschaft said “Like many a Rossini comic opera, its success depends to a large part on that charm of the mezzo heroine, a heroine who knows also how to sing Rossini. This the Bronx Opera had in Anna Tonna …Ms. Tonna, handled the difficult fioriture with ease. Just as important, she carried off the opera’s “bizarre deception” with aplomb (feigning male status, a castrato and military deserter at that!)”. Peter G. Davis of New York Magazine wrote "Anna Tonna effectively stole the show as Ernestina, offering a prototype of the classic quick-witted Rossini heroine with a heart of gold as well as showing off her warm, secure mezzo-soprano to maximum advantage”. Recently in Teatro Grattacielo’s North American Premiere of Zandonai’s La Farsa Amorosa in New York City’s Lincoln Center in November of 2006, The New York Times said she “brought a penetrating sound to her alert portrayal of Dona Mercedes”.
In the field of art song, Ms. Tonna concertizes extensively in the Tri City area. She has appeared at the Leo Beck Institute, Goethe Haus and Weill Recital under Elysium Between Two Continents, singing music composed by prominent Jewish composers fleeing the Nazis. She has been presented as a recitalist by Joy in Singing, the Connecticut Schubert Club, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan where she was a fellow, and has been a featured recitalist with Música de Camara in NYC. Ms. Tonna is a founder of New Music New York, a New York based vocal chamber ensemble group which promotes and commissions works by young contemporary composers. In addition to traditional repertoire, Ms. Tonna is a champion of Spanish and Latin American Song, appearing in New York's Town Hall with orchestra in concert celebrating the composers from Dominican Republic, and featured in the zarzuela's as Cecilia Valdes and Luisa Fernanda. She was seen in the title role of Maria de Buenos Aires (Piazzolla) with the Connecticut Grand Opera, and was featured soloist with Los Amigos de la Zarzuela, Association of Dominican Classical Artists as well as with The Interpretation of Spanish Song Festival in Granada.
Ms. Tonna recently completed a tour of recitals in Spain with La Fundación Eutherpe (León), Casa de la Moneda (Madrid) and Project Canción Española (Granada). Concert appearances in New York City, Miami and Spain are scheduled for the next months as well as upcoming opera productions that include Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina) , La Cenerentola (Angelina) and Cosí fan tutte (Dorabella); Ms. Tonna bowed in a recital of Latin American composers this past August in the Bellas Artes Hall to great critical acclaim at the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes (Folclore y Arte) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as a concert of The Songs of Julio Gómez at The Mannes Summer Institute: Art Song in Spanish in New York City. She returned to San Juan as a recitalist at the Festival Casals de Puerto Rico, where she performed a recital of music by Puertorican composers with the pianist Daniel Daroca as well as in the Otono Cultural of Huelva in a program of Spanish exiled composers in the Greater Antilles. She was recently heard as Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte en Castellon (Spain), and as Olympia in the revival of Albeniz's The Magic Opal at the Auditorio Nacional of Madrid.
A native and resident of New York City, Ms. Tonna holds a B.A in Music from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and a Masters in Performing Arts from the Mannes College of Music in New York City.
Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano