Award-winning singer and PBS/WNET and NY affiliates Host Cristina Fontanelli brings her program of Italy’s best-loved songs, arias, Neapolitan and Christmas classics during her 9th Annual ‘Christmas in Italy’ concert at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on Saturday the 1st December 2012 at 3pm. Ms. Fontanelli’s show is a love letter to her Italian heritage and a tribute to her grandparents. “I decided to begin this annual Holiday tradition to preserve my Italian heritage because of my concern that these musical “gems” are being lost and to teach them to younger generations.” says Ms. Fontanelli.
For this special one-day event, Ms. Fontanelli will be accompanied by piano, mandolins, guitar and accordion in order to evoke the authentic Italian flavour of the music. The children of the Coro d’Italia, P.S. 79 public school, (Queens, NY – Andrea Jannetti – Teacher/Choreographer) and the Richmond Choral Society of Staten Island (Marina Alexander, Music Director) will join Cristina. Ms. Fontanelli’s musicians will include Maestro Steven Crawford (Metropolitan Opera) on piano; award-winning musician/composer John T. La Barbera as mandolinist/guitarist; and others to be announced.
Cristina Fontanelli is PBS host for Andrea Bocelli’s concert “Live From Central Park”, “Il Volo Takes Flight” and Vienna Boys Choir specials. She appears on CBS Weekend in interview/performance/co-hosting roles; performed for Jimmy Kimmel’s “Feast of San Gennaro” in Hollywood; is the voice of “Nonna” on PBS Chef Lidia Bastianich’s animated Christmas special; and is the “voice” of Domino’s Pizza on the national radio commercial. She has performed for the White House, the Presidential Inaugural Ball in 2005, with The Boston Pops, the St. Louis Symphony, at Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency, has completed 3 world tours with the Mantovani Orchestra and has sung title roles with the Palm Beach, New Jersey, New York Grand and Cairo Opera companies.
Brooklyn-born Cristina Fontanelli was awarded the OSIA Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts (previous recipients include Luciano Pavarotti), has been cited as one of the top alumni of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (along with Robert Redford, Anne Bancroft, Cecil B. Demille, Anne Hathaway et al) and has been named “Woman of the Year” by many Italian organizations throughout the country.
More information on Ms. Fontanelli can be found at www.cristinafontanelli.com and on “Christmas in Italy” at www.cristinafontanelli.com/ChristmasinItaly.htm .
Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street in New York City. Tickets and information can be purchased through the box office at 212-864-5400 and online at www.symphonyspace.org. “Christmas in Italy” will also take place for the 2nd year in a row in San Diego on Sunday, December 9 at 3 p.m. at the University of San Diego, Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.