Present and Past
Anamer Castrello (Mezzo-Soprano)
Praised by the Washington Post as "the richest and most expressive voice...with a memorable mezzo-soprano – round and clear with a smoky finish…Castrello has a powerful and passionate voice...," mezzo-soprano Anamer Castrello, a native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, stands out as one of the most impressive and versatile artists and singers in the Washington, DC, area.
Ms. Castrello’s awards include, among others:
* Catholic University Concerto/Aria Competition winner
* Award winner at the Gulf Coast Regional Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera
* “Best Latino Female Vocalist” at the Washington Area Music Awards (WAMA)
* “Operatic Singing Artist of the Year Award” from the Institute of Puerto Rico in New York
She has sung numerous opera and zarzuela roles as well as cabaret and popular shows abroad and in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Anamer participated in the International Opera Festival in Rome, Italy, playing Marcellina in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. She has appeared with several opera companies and orchestras including the Washington National Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Camerata of Washington, Shakespeare Theatre, Pan American Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Capital City Symphony, the Mount Vernon Orchestra, Opera Americana, The Other Opera Company, GALA Hispanic Theater, Zarzuela Di Si, Diaspora Opera of Washington, Bel Cantanti Opera and the Singers Opera. She is one of the artists/singers of the IN Series, an innovative Washington, DC opera company.
Of her portrayal of Estrelda in Sousa's El Capitán, Sorab Modi of Opera News wrote: "Ana Castrello was pert and vivacious… her singing always refined, her phrasing accomplished with finesse." Other roles include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, Baba in Menotti’s The Medium, Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Luisa Fernanda in Torroba’s Luisa Fernanda, Paloma in Barbieri’s El Barberillo de Lavapiés, and María la O in Lecuona’s María la O.
Ms. Castrello holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in Piano from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Arts degree in Music Education for Colleges and Universities from New York University and a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of Maryland at College Park. She just earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from Catholic University of America. She is currently studying with Rosemarie Houghton and Rick Christman.
As an artist with extremely versatile talents Anamer started as a vocalist in the pop world, having collaborated with such artists as Lucía Mendez, Lucesita Benítez, Chucho Avellanet, Sophy, and Danny Rivera among others and recorded duets with Cheo Feliciano and Marco Antonio Muñiz.
In addition to her opera appearances, Ms. Castrello has presented her shows Soul of Latin America, Latin American Essence and Sabor y vida/Essence and Life directed by Abel Lopez, locally at the Smithsonian Museums, The Mexican Cultural Institute, the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center and throughout the United States. That program, devoted to song classics from south of the border, is the inspiration of her first solo CD titled Anamer Castrello, Latin American Mezzo: Latin American Hits, featuring a mixture of many Latin American music styles. Also touring from 2000-2003 with the Washington Ballet, Anamer was the vocal soloist for the piece Juanita and Alicia, choreographed by the artistic director, Septime Webre, with the Latin Jazz ensemble Sin Miedo conducted by Didier Prossaird.
As an actress she played Regina Morti in GALA Hispanic Theatre's Washington, DC, production of An Inopportune Visit by Copi, and won great critical and popular acclaim.
Ms. Castrello teaches voice at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. She also teaches voice privately in Riverdale, MD. She is often asked to be the solo performer of the National Anthem to open official events.
Reflecting her interest in furthering music as part of education she is one of the founding members of Duet Cantaré, a musically interactive performing group dedicated to fostering knowledge of Latin America and Caribbean music in the public schools of the United States. Anamer was part of a classical vocal sextet of diverse women called VENUS. And most recently she is a Teaching Artist with the Washington National Opera under the direction of Plácido Domingo in their Education and Community Programs. With the Washington National Opera she works directly with the programs: Creating Original Opera by helping grade school students write and produce their own operas and the Libraries Program by offering opera workshops for community children and their families. Anamer Castrello is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), Actors' Equity Association, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).