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12th Annual Christmas In Italy

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Opera Star Cristina Fontanelli poses for a photo-op at the 12th Annual Christmas in Italy at the Skirball Performing Arts Center in Greenwich Village

Emcee and PBS Host Jim Masters poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at the 12th Annual Christmas In Italy

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op  at the 12th Annual Christmas in Italy at the Skirball Performing Arts Center in Greenwich Village

It was a Merry Christmas Italian-style at the 12th Annual “Christmas In Italy” showcasing at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts in Greenwich Village in New York City on December 19, 2015.

Audiences created new traditions and wonderful family memories as they were transported to La Bella Italia! All that attended enjoyed the strains of the mandolins, the beautiful Children singing (the Little Language Studio of Brooklyn) and dancing (Dance Electra of Staten Island), plus the Richmond Choral Society of Staten Island with the Arcadian Chorale of NJ performing during this special concert. Opera Star Cristina Fonantelli and her wonderful PBS-TV co-hosts, Denise Richardson and Jim Masters, were happily joined together on this Vocal Journey through Italy’s best-loved songs and the World’s best-loved Christmas classics.

Cristina has become a well-known personality through her recordings, her appearances on TV, radio, in concert, nightclubs, opera and through her acting debut on network television. She has appeared as PBS-TV/NY affiliates host for Andrea Bocelli’s Live From Central Park, also starring Celine Dion and Tony Bennett; for the Il Volo Takes Flight special; Vienna Boys Choir and Qi Gong PBS-TV Specials. In November of 2014 Cristina was chosen by the Italian government as a world-wide representative of the Puglia region to sing in Bari, Italy. She is the “Voice of Domino’s Pizza” on their national radio commercial, the voice of “Nonna” on PBS-TV Chef Lidia Bastianich’s Christmas special (in over 300 PBS outlets across the U.S.) and has appeared on CBS Weekend NY in interview/performance/co-hosting roles for the past 2 years. Cristina’s beautiful soprano voice has taken her to the White House as part of President Clinton’s holiday celebration and Cristina was invited to open the ceremonies at the Stars and Stripes Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush. This following her “Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts” from the Order Sons of Italy in America (previous honorees include Luciano Pavarotti).

She has appeared with many famous recording artists and big talents including Tony Bennett and Joel Grey. Ms. Fontanelli is a guest artist with many prestigious orchestras including the Boston Pops and the St. Louis Symphony performing in major concert halls throughout the U.S. and the world, including the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers and major concert halls throughout the Far East and Canada.

She has completed three world-tours with the Mantovani Orchestra. Annual and recent appearances include Jimmy Kimmel’s Feast of San Gennaro in Hollywood, CA; singing the National Anthem on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. for the testimony by fashion-icon Giorgio Gucci; appearing annually at Feinsteins at the Regency Hotel; singing Happy Birthday to Mickey Rooney for his 90th birthday celebration at Feinsteins (Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Tony Bennett, et al in attendance); opening the ceremonies for the prestigious Hamptons Classic Horseshow; honoring Connie Francis at the historic Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach; the National Arts Club NYC; performances in San Diego (with Giada DiLaurentis); making her off-Broadway debut at the St. Luke’s Theater in “My Big Gay Italian Wedding”; the PBS Gala at Times Square Discover and her 12th-Annual “Christmas in Italy”® which will take place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 3 p.m. NYC and her 4th-annual in La Jolla, CA T/B/.

Cristina has sung at Gracie Mansion at the invitation of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Washington, D.C. for the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and the 9/11 Memorial at Rockefeller CenterItalian Embassy, Lincoln Center with stars from the Metropolitan Opera and the Waldorf-Astoria for the Columbus Citizens Foundation honoring Franco Zeffirelli and Maestro Riccardo Muti.  She has toured the Middle East extensively as an “Ambassador of Opera”.  Ms. Fontanelli has also toured as a solo concert artist in major concert halls throughout Japan, Korea, Italy, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States. She has received rave reviews for her nightclub entertainment abilities, in addition to her classical concert and operatic appearances. Other appearances include the Hilton in Atlantic City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC, a 9/11 memorial concert at Rockefeller Center with the NYPD Concert Band (televised on CNN, Fox National and NY Channels 5, 7 and 9) and the Columbus Day Parade on 5th Avenue NYC.  She was signed by platinum-record winning producer to record “Cristina Fontanelli Sings Great Italian Favorites”.  Her numerous awards include the American Opera Auditions and awards from the Puccini and Koussevitsky Foundations and “Woman of the Year” awards from the NYC Transit Authority, Italian Charities in America, the NJ Federation of Italian and Italian-American Societies, the Ethnic Press Council of Toronto, the Salerno Club of the State of NY and the International Women’s Network for service to NY.  Ms. Fontanelli speaks fluent Italian and sings and entertains in 8 languages

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