Pellegrini, Maria(Anna) Maria Pellegrini. Soprano, b Pretoro, Italy, 15 Jul 1943, naturalized Canadian 1965. Emigrating to Canada in 1958, she studied 1960-4 with Ernesto Vinci at the RCMT, then in London with Joe Macko. She sang with the COC first (1963) as the High Priestess in Aida, then (1965, her debut in a major role) as Gilda in Rigoletto. Further COC roles have included Nedda in I Pagliacci (1966), Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (1971 and 1975), and Violetta in La Traviata (1974 and 1978). She was a 1967 Metropolitan Opera auditions winner and made her debuts at Covent Garden (1968) and Sadler's Wells (1969) as Gilda and Cio-Cio-San respectively.
Specializing in the Puccini repertoire, she has appeared with the Edmonton, Manitoba, Quebec, Southern Alberta (Calgary), and Vancouver operas and Opera Hamilton, and has sung in Genoa, Trieste, Parma, and Catania in Italy, in Pittsburgh and New Orleans in the USA, in Santo Domingo, and with the Welsh National Opera. She appeared in the 1977 CBC TV production of Madama Butterfly with Pierre Duval, Bernard Turgeon, Judith Forst, and a CBC orchestra conducted by Jean Deslauriers, and was Musetta in the 1980 production of La Bohème in Ottawa.
After her performance in the title role of Opera Hamilton's 1982 production of Madama Butterfly, Arthur Kaptainis wrote 'Chief among a strong and even cast was Maria Pellegrini... [who] waltzed through all the coquettish fan-fluttering motions with balletic ease. But her performance was still fresh and immediate, thanks to acting that conveyed innocence, an appearance that conveyed youth, and singing that was handsome and intense from beginning to end' (Toronto Globe and Mail, 18 Sep 1982).
Mercer, Ruby. 'Maria Pellegrini,' OpCan, Fall 1971
'Tragic lady of opera,' ibid, Dec 1977
Jones, Gaynor. 'More than a butterfly: Maria Pellegrini is trying to shake her image as the ''Butterfly soprano'',' Music, Jun 1980