Regarded as one of opera’s most exciting dramatic sopranos, Pamela Kucenic has worked with such companies as The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Tokyo Opera Nomori (Seiji Ozawa), Arena di Verona, Royal Opera de Wallonie (Belgium), received awards from the president of Taiwan for her contributions to Taipei’s cultural scene and for her Aida, Tosca, and Leonora at the National Theater in Taiwan, Teatro Municipale (Rio de Janeiro), National Theater (Cairo), Baltimore Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Chile’s Teatro Municipal, to name a few. Singing some of the most challenging roles in the dramatic repertoire, rave notices were the “usual” for her Turandot, Elektra, Lady Macbeth, Tosca, Santuzza, Leonora (Il Trovatore), Senta (The Flying Dutchman), Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera), Salome, Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Venus and Elizabeth (Tannhäuser), La Gioconda, among many others. She received a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall for her Abigaille (Nabucco) with the NY Grand Opera. Opera Monthly wrote: “Kucenic challenged the gods……singing fearlessly over an unusually wide tessitura that exploits all of any soprano’s vocal resources, she emerged triumphant.” Following a performance of Aida with Hawaii Opera, the Honolulu Advertiser said ”Kucenic in the title role of the Ethopian slave is magnificent”. The Palm Beach Post hailed her Madame Lidoine (Dialogue of the Carmelites) as “spellbinding”. She was also a favorite with the Maltese audiences (Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, Verdi Requiem). In Madrid she appeared with the Orquesta Sinfonica conducted by Sergiu Comissiona in a live broadcast of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, and Wagner’s Immolation Scene from Gotterdammerung.
She attended Duquesne University, earning a B.M. with a major in voice and received excellent training early on in her career under the tutelage of Dr. Elemer Nagy from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford where she received her Masters of Opera degree. She joined the faculty upon graduation and assisted Dr. Nagy with his operatic productions while also performing in them. Upon his death a few short years later, she was asked to teach some of his classes and being an extremely accomplished pianist, studying from the age of 5, she began coaching and accompanying the juries at the Hartt School, and was a member of the vocal faculty for 8 years. Eventually she opened her own vocal studio in New York City until the demands of her career kept her traveling much of every year especially enjoying the Italian repertory until the voice matured enough for some Strauss and Wagner. Her full operatic bio is on the website: www.espressoopera.com.
After semi-retiring from the operatic stage, Ms. Kucenic reopened her vocal studio in NYC, where she is now embarking on even more in the operatic field. She found that her students seemed to have little idea of the requirements of preparing and performing full length roles in opera. Thus, calling upon her years of experience on the operatic stage, she and her husband, Salvatore Motisi, founded Espresso Opera of NY, a small company giving opportunity to new and promising singers. In 2006 she successfully produced and staged, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Otello, Carmen, highlights of Adriana Lecouvreur and Cavalleria Rusticana, besides presenting two gala concerts for Espresso Opera. At present Espresso Opera is morphing into more of a media presentation combining various art forms of which the end result is to be decided in the future.
She also holds Master Classes for her students once a month where they learn audition techniques, dramatic interpretation, basic stage technique, and provides a safe environment for them to learn to express and communicate and try out various repertoire including Broadway selections.