Casita Maria's Annual Musicale Benefit Featured Mario Chang

April 15, 2016

Our Musicale 2016 was our best yet! On Thursday, April 14th, 75 guests enjoyed an elegant and intimate evening of music, cocktails, and conversation featuring internationally-recognized tenor, Mario Chang, and the Casita Maria Chamber Choir. The evening was was dedicated to the memory of Musicale 2015 honoree, cultural patron Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò.

Thanks to the vision of the late Gaetana Enders, Casita Maria is able to provide over 250 children ages 5-11 with daily instruction in general music, voice, violin, piano and musical theater. Thanks to the generosity of our family of supporters, we are able to continue and realize that vision and continue to change lives every day through the power of music.

We hope you can join us next year! To learn more about our Music Program and next year’s Musicale, please contact Joanna Gang, Director of Individual Giving at or 718.589.2230, ex. 6190.

A First Prize, Zarzuela Prize, and audience favorite at the 2014 Operalia Competition, Tenor Mario Chang, a native of Guatemala City, recently completed the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera and the Advanced Diploma in Opera Studies program at the Juilliard School. 

The 2015-2016 season will see Mr. Chang return to Oper Frankfurt as an ensemble member for the second consecutive season, where he will star as Edgardo in a revival of the Matthew Jocelyn production of Lucia di Lammermoor and reprise the role of the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier. Mr. Chang will also return to the Metropolitan Opera as Nemorino in the vibrant Bartlett Sher production of L’Elisir d’Amore as well as make his debut with LA Opera as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Concert work includes an evening of Donizetti arias with the Clarion Society conducted by Steven Fox, and an appearance as a featured artist in Rolando Villazón’s “Stars of Tomorrow” program which will be broadcast on Arte TV later in the season.

In the 2014 – 2015 season, Mr. Chang joined Frankfurt Oper as an ensemble member where he sang Rodolfo in La Bohème, the Italian Singer in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier and Cassio in Otello. 

Mr. Chang also made his North Carolina Opera and role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata.

Mr. Chang’s operatic highlights include the role of the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier which he performed both at the Met under Edward Gardner and with the National Symphony Orchestra opposite Renée Fleming under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, his Met Opera debut as the Forth Squire in a new production of Parsifal, his Israeli debut as the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Gastone in La Traviata with Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Teatro Lirico D’Europa, and Fritz Kobus in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz with Miami Lyric Opera. Mr. Chang also sang Nemorino in selections from L’Elisir d’Amore with the Met and Juilliard scenes program conducted by James Levine for which Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times lauded him as a “born bel canto tenor.”

Concert performances include Mozart’s Requiem with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Guatemala and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with Orquesta Sinfónica Centroamericana in Nicaragua. 

Other highlights include a concert in Puerto Rico honoring Giuseppe Verdi with Teatro de la Opera, his participation in the Opera Studio at L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma in Italy with soprano Renata Scotto, his Carnegie Hall debut singing in a concert with the Musical Olympus Foundation, and his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in Rennes, France. He was also a guest soloist with the Saint Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra at Festival Musical Olympus in Russia.

Honors and awards include Top Prize in the 2014 Gerda Lissner Foundation competition, a Festival Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot career grant in 2013, a 2012 Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award grant for promising Young Classical Artists, the 2011 recipient of the overall First Prize, the Plácido Domingo Prize and the ‘Amigos de Sabadell’ Prize in the Francisco Viñas Competition at Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona. 

He also received awards from the Concurso de Canto Lírico de Trujillo, Perú, and the Asociación Artista del Año and Asociación Dante Alighieri in Guatemala.