Matinee Opera Players

By Mario Laurenti

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Ron Regan at:(727) 204- 4163
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​Mario Laurenti gained recognition as a dramatic tenor, having sung in major companies throughout Europe including the Rome Opera and San Carlo Opera Theater. He was born in Supina, Italy in the year that Caruso died and sang in the era of Di Stefano, Corelli, Tebaldi, and Tagliavini. His own debut was as Turridu (Cavalleria Rusticana) in Rome. He was chosen by Martha Graham to be the lead tenor soloist in her international and Broadway productions of Klydemnestra. Mario's interest broadened over the years to stage direction and opera production. His stage directing experience took him to the Philadelphia, San Antonio, Hartford and the Stanford Opera companies
His own companies, which began in New York and Long Island, quickly gained recognition and acclaim. His Long Island Opera Showcase was responsible for bringing opera to thousands of school children. The showcase attracted various artists, some from City Opera and the Met in New York. His New York company, Laurenti Opera Theater, was one of two opera companies to showcase artists recognized and approved by, and for, AGMA artists. The Laurenti Opera Theater was also chosen by the New York City Parks Department to found what has become “Opera in the Park,” a popular attraction in city parks throughout all five boroughs. It is a tradition that continues to this day.
Maestro Laurenti began staging operas in Tampa in 1976 and was responsible for bringing such illustrious artists as Robert Merrill, James McCracken, Roberta Peters, Dorothy Kirsten and Anna Moffo to the Tampa Bay area. He gave Johanna Meier her debut performance in the Tampa production of Norma. Laurenti founded the Sunstate Opera in 1994 after retiring as the Artistic Director of the Tampa Bay Opera. He revived the Tampa Bay Opera in 2008 with the financial and management assistance of a group of opera supporters.

An acclaimed voice teacher for over 50 years, including studios in New York City and Hollywood, California, his goal is to provide an opportunity for local talent to gain experience in full operatic roles with complete sets, costumes, and orchestration, preparing them to move on to professional operatic careers. While definitely benefiting area singers, his activities have also been a boon to culture in the Tampa Bay area with world class caliber performances and staging.