Melanie Mitrano is a singer, teacher and award-winning ASCAP composer. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and holds MM and DMA degrees from the New England Conservatory. Melanie's vocal and compositional styles span many genres from classical, Broadway, jazz and pop to Brazilian music and Portuguese Fado.
Melanie has sung under the auspices of American Opera Projects, and made her solo Carnegie Hall debut in 2004. That same year, she won first place in the New Jersey NATS Artist Award Competition, and second place in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Art Song Competition. She has sung in conjunction with the Composers Concordance and the Guild of Composers, under whose sponsorship she made her Merkin Hall recital debut in 1996; and premiered student and faculty compositions at Yale, NYU, NEC, Colombia University, MIT, The New School of Music, and the Symposium for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. Dr. Mitrano premiered the role of Harriett Shelley in Allan Jaffe’s new American opera, Mary Shelley, presented at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. With Sound Liberation, she appeared in the premiere of Gene Pritsker’s techno-rock opera Money at the Flea Theater and The Players Theater in Manhattan. In 2008, she gave the Italian premiere of this work at Etnafest in Catania, Sicily.
In Manchester, England, she gave the world premieres of selected 20th-century Lieder at the second Perspectives on Anton Bruckner Conference. She also toured Japan and Taiwan, premiering the choral music of Earl Kim. She was a founding member of the Boston-based Auros Group for New Music and has sung with similar groups in the New York area, including Speculum Musicae, Ensemble 21, Composers Concordance Ensemble, Vox Novus, and Friends & Enemies of New Music. With Absolute Ensemble, she recorded the film score for the movie Perfume, winner of the 2007 German Film Award, directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Dustin Hoffmann and Alan Rickman. Her voice appears in the film and on the EMI movie soundtrack.
Melanie's compositions have been performed in a variety of venues from concert halls to jazz clubs. She was awarded a composer-performer grant from the New York Women’s Composers in 2006. That same year, she released her debut CD, Songs in Transit, on Capstone Records. It features repertoire which unites musical theater, blues, jazz, hip-hop and world music styles within a classical framework. Such notable American composers as Lee Hoiby, Tom Cipullo and Lori Laitman, as well as Pulitzer-Prize-winning composers David Del Tredici and Paul Moravec are heard accompanying the singer at the piano.
In 2008, she was a guest composer-performer with the NJ-based Diane Moser Composers Big Band. Her second disc, All Things Gold, featuring her original vocal jazz compositions, was released in 2010 by Ivy Cottage Press. Six of the songs on that disc have won compositional awards in the SAW Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and the Billboard World Song Contest. Melanie’s jazz songs have been showcased at the Cape May Singer-Songwriter Festival, on SkyJazz Internet Radio, where she was a Favorite Artist Poll winner, and twice via podcast worldwide on Classical Music Discoveries. Her song cycle Phobias & Infatuations won the 2011 Summit City Art Song Festival Composition Award. Most recently, her work was featured on Arts Up Close Montclair TV 34.
Dr. Mitrano began her teaching career at Connecticut College in New London; and from 1996-2001, served on the faculty of New Jersey City University as Coordinator of Vocal Studies. A dedicated educator and frequent clinician, she has lectured at several NJMEA state conferences, high schools, and universities, including the Mannes College of Music, Western Connecticut State University, Kutztown University, Brooklyn College, and the University of New Hampshire. She has served as an adjudicator for the NJ NATS Festival of Singing and the National Federation of Music Clubs. Her articles have been published in The New Music Connoisseur, Tempo Magazine, the MENC International Edition of Spotlight on Teaching Chorus, and the NATS Journal of Singing.
Dr. Mitrano is a full member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and adheres to the NATS Code of Ethics.