Singing in Italian
Mezzo-soprano Patrizia DeCarmine Conte has received international acclaim for her combination of vocal beauty, superb musicianship (she has absolute pitch), and commanding stage presence in a repertory of over 40 opera, concert, and oratorio roles.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., she earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in voice performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She was also a full tuition scholarship recipient for operatic studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
Her major debut as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana in Miami earned her great acclaim: “A beautiful and powerful dramatic voice and a superb actress.” The late Maestro Alfredo Silipigni of the New Jersey State Opera considered her Santuzza one of the finest he had ever heard. Her Town Hall debut was described: “A voice of velvet.” A finalist in the San Francisco and the Chicago Lyric Opera auditions, the Concorso per Le Voci Verdiane in Busseto, and the Concorso Lirico in Parma, Italy, Ms. Conte was a protégé of the late Metropolitan Opera soprano Beverly Bower. The late Jerome Hines acclaimed hers as a “Stignani" voice, recalling the great Italian mezzo. Critics have praised her “glorious, cello-like tones…we have not heard the contralto role [Messiah] sung with more beauty, warmth and joyousness.”
She has appeared at L'Opera de Montreal, the Teatro Verdi di Busseto, the Kennedy Center, the Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Opera, Wolf Trap, National Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Opera Pan Americana de Miami, Opera Delaware, Opera Omaha, Annapolis Opera, and many others, singing under the baton of such renowned conductors as Robert Shaw, Nicola Rescigno, Joseph Rescigno, Alfredo Silipigni, Rudolf Kruger, and Cristofer Macatsoris, and collaborating with such esteemed directors as Carlisle Floyd and Bernard Uzan in many productions, including Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana, Tosca, Susannah, The Consul, Il Trovatore, Aida, Andrea Chenier, and The Daughter of the Regiment.
She appeared in concert as featured mezzo/contralto soloist in the Bach Great Mass in B minor; Handel Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Mendelssohn Elijah, Verdi Messa da Requiem, Michael Haydn Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Stabat Mater, and many other works with the Metropolitan Chorus, Oratorio Singers of Westfield, the Morris Choral Society, the Easton Choral Arts Society, the Babylon Chorale, and the Essex Chorale.
She debuted in March 2009 in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Annapolis Opera, Maestro Ronald J. Gretz conducting. She also debuted with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey in August 2008 under the baton of Maestro Robert W. Butts as Juno/ Ino in Semele of Handel and scored a triumphant return in August 2009 as the plaintive Cornelia in Giulio Cesare: "Patrizia Conte's Cornelia set the quality standard for the performance. The depth of her emotional artistry in the lamenting 'Priva son' left this reviewer in tears." (Peter Stevens, The Alternative Press). In October 2011, she debuted at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Concert Hall in Alexandria, Vir., singing the mezzo role in the Rossini Stabat Mater, Maestro Barry S. Hemphill, conductor. She then was invited to make her Kennedy Center debut in December 2011 as contralto soloist in the Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra and 200-voice chorus, again under the baton of Maestro Hemphill. Subsequent appearances with the Annapolis Opera have been in Rigoletto (March 2013) and in concert in “Celebrate Opera” (December 2013). She returned in March 2016 as Marthe Schwertlein in Faust.
Patrizia Conte was appointed to the vocal faculty of the Conservatory of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in August 2015. In addition, she maintains an active private voice studio and is in demand as consultant, clinician for master classes, and adjudicator. Her critically acclaimed CD release, The Art of Patrizia Conte, is now available through her website: patriziacontemezzo.weebly.com