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Fortuna Dean, Maria

Soprano from Niagara Falls, New York, who attended the Curtis Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music before embarking on a career as a teacher and vocalist.

She was a visiting lecturer at Brook University’s opera workshop and a visiting professor at Pittsburgh’s Carnie Mellow University from 1999 to 2000.  Then she performed similar duties at the State University of New York in Fredonia.  In recent years, she has taught voice at The Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts and been on the voice faculty of The Chautauqua Institution.  Her students include Chelsea Janice, Mary-Lou Patricia Vetere, and Roksana Zeinapur.

In 1989, she completed her studies with the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco and appeared in a production of Richard Strauss’s Die Frau Ohne Schatten at the War Memorial Opera House.  She was one of the “Great Performers at Lincoln Center” at Rossini’s Bicentennial Birthday Gala on 2nd March 1992.  A couple of months later, she was performing in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in tandem with The Seattle Opera.  In 1993, she gamely stepped in for an ailing Carol Vaness as Fiordiligi in a production of same in Dallas, Texas.  She also appeared in an opera DVD of Richard Strauss’s Capriccio as—what else?—an Italian soprano.

In 1988, she shared billing with bass-baritone Dean Ely as part of The Brownville Concert Series.  She is one of the “various artists” on the opera CD, Rossini Gala, which hit the shelves in 2002.  In August 2007, she helped offer up “An Evening of Los Angeles Opera” which was a sneak peak at the 2007-2008 season.  The Opera League of Los Angeles featured her as a performer at once of its musicales in Brentwood, California, in the spring of 2010.

The Philadelphia Singers recordings
Adeste Fidelis (Frederick Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
RCA 6559-RC-2 (Gloria!  Gloria!)
Soprano – Benita Valente
Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Conductor – Michael Korn

Here she is coaching a student at the The Chautauqua Institution…