Mario Antonio Marra, sought after collaborative pianist and coach, is currently serving on the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera music staffs. He is a recent alumnus of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center young artist program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Until 2015, he was on the coaching staff of the Manhattan School of Music, while earning a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Warren Jones.
Since beginning at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Marra has served as an assistant conductor for Rossini's La Cenerentola, as well as playing continuo in the pit for the same production under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, Lucia di Lammermoor under the baton of Enrique Mazzola, and Rigoletto under the baton of Marco Armiliato. During the 2017-18 season, Marra served on the Music Staff at San Francisco Opera for a new production of Elektra with Christine Goerke under the baton of Henrik Nánási.
An active recitalist, the 2016-17 season has included performances with Eric Owens, Quinn Kelsey, Richard Ollarsaba, and with Stephanie Blythe in her widely celebrated Sing America! program. Marra has also for the last two years curated a recital of Neapolitan Music for the Art Institute of Chicago in conjunction with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Lauded by the legendary Marilyn Horne for his "superb technique," Marra won the 2013 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, along with the critically acclaimed young baritone John Brancy. In the spring of 2014, Marra and Brancy presented a concert tour performing at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA, Hahn Hall in Santa Barbara, and Opera America in New York City. Other performance highlights include master classes with luminaries of the vocal world such as Marilyn Horne, Christa Ludwig, Vladimir Chernov, Deborah Voigt, and Stephanie Blythe. In early 2014, Marra was selected to participate in Carnegie Hall’s “The Song Continues,” a week-long series of master classes and recitals. In 2010, he toured Tuscany, performing solo and chamber music with renowned new music flutist Roberto Fabbriciani and had the rare privilege of playing a High Mass on the organ of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Photo Credit: Simon Pauly