More than 10 years after Corine Salon helped Marco Cammarota get the lead in “Fiddler on the Roof” at Mohonasen High School, she’ll be sitting in the audience at Glimmerglass Opera this summer watching him play Malcolm in Verdi’s “Macbeth.”
Salon, a talented opera performer herself and now primarily a voice teacher, brought Cammarota into her Schenectady home in 2004.
“My organist, Avery Tunningley, sent him to me because he wanted to get the lead in the musical at his high school,” remembered Salon. “Obviously he was young when I got him, but he worked hard and got the lead as a junior, and the following year he also got the lead in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Then he went off to Potsdam.”
Rotterdam's Cammarota among Young Artists at Glimmerglass. Class here.
Salon did watch him perform in Glimmerglass’ Young Artists Program last summer, and received a call from Cammarota earlier this summer to share his plans for the future with her. At one time, he was thinking about becoming a history teacher.
“He was trying to decide what to do, and he thought about majoring in history,” remembered Salon. “I said to him, ‘Listen, you have a high C, you’re fluid in Italian,’ and then I found out later he has a dual citizenship with Italy. I said, ‘Maybe you ought to think about singing rather than history.’ ”
Telling someone to pursue a singing career, especially in opera, isn’t something Salon does very often.
“You have to be very careful when you encourage someone to go on, unless they really have a gift,” she said. “It’s so hard to make a living in this field, so this is something very special. He’s had a lot of teachers since I worked with him.
“I saw Marco last year at Glimmerglass and I’m going to be there for his opening night this summer.”
Cammarota is just one of Salon’s star pupils. Eric Plantive was a French native and RPI graduate student when he began taking voice lessons with Salon and now performs in operas around Europe. Guilderland graduate Brianna Fragomeni performed in “Billy Elliott” on Broadway, while some of her other top pupils include Sara Smigen of Niskayuna, Marissa Scotti of Guilderland and Michael Aniolek of Rotterdam.