Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ninfa Gianfala, Former Metropolitan Opera Young Arist, Releases CD

Ninfa Gianfala, far right, after winning first place in the 1962 
Gulf Coast regional auditions of the Metropolitan Opera.
"The ghostlike image of the little girl from Magazine Street hovers in the background, but she’s not an apparition. 'That’s me,' Ninfa Gianfala says, pointing to the image. 'I was the little girl from Magazine Street.' Inside, she’s still that little girl, the one who loved to perform, the one who was teaching neighborhood kids to sing at age 9, the youngest person ever to become a member of the New Orleans Opera Chorus. The one who has put together a retrospective CD chronicling her career in opera and concerts, titled — what else?— The Little Girl from Magazine Street. The CD comes in a two-disc set and is available on iTunes and at Amazon The cover features a photograph of Gianfala from her performance days in the foreground, the ghostlike photo of her as a child in the background. Now she sits at the dining room table in the Baton Rouge home she shares with husband, Daniel Caruso, to tell her story. It was Caruso, along with the couple’s daughter, Lori, who encouraged Gianfala to compile the CD of the music that had taken her from the New Orleans Opera to New York for the Juilliard School for the Performing
Click here to purchase the album
Arts, then to LSU for her master’s degree. Eventually, she opened the Mexican restaurant El Palacio with her husband. Critic Rex Reed used to frequent the restaurant when visiting his ailing father. Gianfala never met him, but he knew about her musical background. And he remembered her upon receiving a copy of the CD, opening his review with, 'Nina Gianfala may not be a household name, but that is just an accident of fate. She deserves to be widely known because her talents are varied and many.' Reed points out that Gianfala is equally at home singing opera and Broadway show tunes. What he doesn’t discuss — and perhaps didn’t know when writing the review — is that she also is a composer, having written a Christmas opera titled 'Malachi.' Gianfala teaches voice lessons, her students ranging from age 5 to 70-something. It’s a job she’s loved since her childhood at 3915 Magazine Street." [Source]

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