Mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato has long been an admired favorite on the American orchestral-concert scene, while establishing herself as a respected operatic artist as well. Of her New York City Opera debut in Handel's Alcina, The New Yorker called her “a Handelian of crisp accomplishment.” She has performed Handel's operas in such venues as Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, Emmanuel Music, and Monadnock Music, while singing major roles in eight premiere Handel CDs for Albany, Newport Classics, and Vox.
She has performed other major roles with Glimmerglass (Beatrice in Berlioz' Beatrice and Benedict); Kentucky Opera (Artist-in Residence, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas); Connecticut Grand Opera (Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Opera San Jose (Sarah in Mollicone's Hotel Eden), Rochester Opera (Seibel in Faust and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte), Florida Grand Opera (Dorabella) and with Boston Lyric Opera on many occasions, most recently Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. This past season she was also heard in Les Noces with the Nashville Symphony and in Les Nuits d ’été with Pro Arte.
Highlights of her orchestral engagements have included Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortileges and Verdi's Falstaff with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony; Mozart's Requiem with Ottawa's National Arts Center Orchestra; Gluck's Orfeo with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with Minnesota Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony; Ah, Perfido! with the Pittsburgh Symphony; Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher with the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur; Berio's Folksongs with both New Jersey Symphony and Omaha Symphony; and Messiah with the New Japan Philharmonic and Osaka's Telemann Orchestra. Fortunato also participated in Roger Norrington’s series of worldwide performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Much of D'Anna Fortunato's musical life has been devoted to the works of J.S. Bach. To this end, she has sung on numerous occasions with the Bethlehem, Winter Park, Carmel, Boulder, and Rome Bach Festivals and at the 92nd Street Y with John Gibbons. She was a longtime soloist with Emmanuel Music (13 seasons) and Cantata Singers (10 seasons). At present she is a member of the Bach Aria Group, touring, recording, and teaching summer seminars at S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook (15 years).
Fortunato's list of festival appearances is lengthy, and includes Marlboro, Tanglewood, Casals, Blossom, Rockport, Newport, Vaison-la-Romaine, and Berlin's Spectrum Festival. She has been a frequent visitor with such chamber organizations as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Boston Chamber Music Society (which awarded her a citation of merit), the Northeast Harbor Chamber Festival (Composer's String Quartet), and the Marblehead Chamber Music Festival.
Newly released CDs include David Schiff's Gimpel the Fool for Naxos, Marilyn J. Ziffrin's Songs & Arias (North/South), Larry Thomas Bell's Vocal Music and Handel's Deidamia (role of Achille) for Albany, and a New York Philharmonic CD of Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher (Heavenly Voice). Heading her list of 35 CDs is a re-release on Sony of her Victorian Baseball: Hurrah for our National Game, while her CD Amy Beach Songs, on Northeastern, won Best of the Year from New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The New York Post. Her Dido in Dido and Aeneas on Harmonia Mundi with the Boston Camerata was hailed as the best by Graham Sheffield in Opera on Record. Other labels include London/Decca, Koch, Bridge, Gasparo, Erato, and Margun.
D'Anna Fortunato has researched and performed extensively the little-known works of Amy Beach, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, and Charles-Martin Loeffler. Composers John Harbison, Stephen Jaffee, Stephen Albert, and John Heiss have chosen her to debut their compositions. D'Anna Fortunato was brought up in Charleston, S.C.
B.M. with Honors, M.M., Artist Diploma, New England Conservatory. Diploma, The Mozarteum. Tanglewood Fellow. Studies with Gladys Childs Miller, Ellen Repp, John Moriarty. Masterclasses with Phyllis Curtin, Sena Jurinac. Recordings on Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Erato,London/Decca,Vox, Newport Classic, Northeastern, and Gasparo.
Photo by Susan Wilson