Concert Operetta Theater's Mission
Founded in 2001

Concert Operetta Theater is dedicated to presenting, preserving, and educating audiences about operetta through professional performances from the Golden, and Silver Ages of operetta. A minimalist production concept highlights the story and the music, bringing the production closer to the audience in an intimate setting.

COT is the only performing arts group in the USA that produces operettas in a concert version in new translations or original language. These productions are unique because this type of music does not get performance time on a regular basis in the USA. In the past fourteen seasons Concert Operetta Theater has presented twenty-three operettas, nine potpourri concerts, one USA premiere, and eight Philadelphia premieres. COT has presented programs for the Ocean City Pops Orchestra (NJ), Michener Museum (Doylestown, PA), the German Society of Philadelphia, and the Hadley Memorial Fund.

Over one hundred fifty performers has graced the stage, and pit of COT productions. Many have gone on to perform at The Metroplitian Opera, New York City Opera, Deutches Opern Berlin, Staatsoper Vienna, La Scala Milan, Paris Opera, St. Gallen Opera, Dallas Opera, Saint Louis Opera, Des Moines Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and many more.


Concert Operetta Theater

Board of Directors
Daniel M. Pantano,
Executive and Artistic Director
Anne Hagan,
president
Nan Altman,
vice-president
Jerry L. Bennett,
treasurer/secretary

Concert Operetta Theater is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Advisory Board
Maryann Devine,
Smarts & Culture
Nan and Michael Miller,
Operetta Foundation
Alyce Mott,
VHSource, LLC
Gregg Opelka,
Composer and lyricist, American Playwrights
Bruce Pomahac,
Director of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein Corporation
Michael Presser,
Founder and Executive Director, Inside Broadway
Daniel Rothermel,
Music Director and conductor, The Savoy Company
Joseph Rubin,
Canton Comic Opera
Albert Sherman,
Stage Director, New York City Opera
Richard Traubner,
American journalist, author, operetta scholar
Quade Winter,
American composer, music restorer and translator
Nedra Zachary, Zachary Vocal Competition, Los Angeles, CA


Daniel Pantano is the executive and artistic director of Concert Operetta Theater,
a company which he founded in 2001. Concert Operetta Theater (COT) is still the only concert operetta company in the UnitedStates.

Mr. Pantano is a trained singer and has been has performed in opera, oratorio and cabaret productions
with repertoire that has been most diverse, and from which he has made a home in supporting and character roles. He has worked with such groups as Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Delaware, Augusta Opera, Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Banff Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and The Academy of Vocal Arts Theater.

During his time as an Artist -apprentice with The Des Moines Metro Opera, he sang Fiorello (The Barber of Seville), which was televised live on PBS and aired nationally.

Before his performing years Mr. Pantano studied make-up design and apprenticed with Opera Company of Philadelphia, and did design work for Boston Opera, New Hampshire Opera, and Boston University Opera Theater. He was the designer for Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle which was performed both in Boston and on Broadway in NYC.

Mr. Pantano served for three years as Board President for The Voices for Children Foundation of Philadelphia. During that period they recorded three Christmas CD’s that had the distinction of being the #1 holiday recordings each year at Tower Records helping to raise over $65,000, which was donated, in grant-form to local nonprofit groups working with pediatric AIDS.

Daniel was the founder of the only singing waiters group in the state of Iowa, located in Des Moines, called The Hemingway Singers. Mr. Pantano and the Hemingway Singers made frequent television appearances and were invited to open the Iowa State Fair two years running. He was also a regular on cooking segments for local Des Moines morning television, introducing Chilean Wines and Wild Game recipes to the public.

Mr. Pantano received the DiRoNA ( Distinguished Restaurants of North America) award while Director of Restaurants at Founders in the Bellevue Hotel, Philadelphia. He was also been listed as an Outstanding Young Man in America (1986), and in the National Register’s Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals (2001). Mr. Pantano is a graduate of Boston University and an alumnus of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and The Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia.

Recent singing credits include a solo recital for the Hadley Memorial Fund of Chester County, The Helena Symphony (MT) and The North Penn Symphony (La bohème), River City Brass Band (Gershwin), Main Line Opera Guild ( The Gypsy Baron), and six recitals for the Brown Bag Concert Series at The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square.

Mr. Pantano’s recent speaking engagements on operetta include The Nelson Eddy Appreciation Society ( Cambridge Springs, PA), the Friends of Operetta (Los Angeles, CA), OLLI (Osher's Lifelong Learning Center) at Temple University, and the Tuesday Morning Discussion Group at The Philadelphian.

In May 2005, Mr. Pantano was interviewed by Jill Pasternak for her Crossover broadcast on WRTI 90.1 FM. in conjunction with Concert Operetta Theater’s concert – The Music of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, and in 2010 was a guest on Brandywine radio, Chester County, PA.


José Meléndez, music director and pianist is in demand as a vocal coach, conductor, and collaborative artist. His professional engagements have taken him to Europe, South and Central America, Asia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and throughout the mainland United States. He is committed to the artistic development of young and emerging singers, and has been associated with numerous young artist programs, competitions, and training centers.He holds a full-time position at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he is Assistant to the Music Director, Orchestra Librarian, and part of the music staff. He serves as Assistant Conductor, Collaborative Pianist, and Vocal Coach for various AVA productions and events.

Mr. Meléndez has held professional positions with Glimmerglass Opera (Principal Coach), Opera Company of Philadelphia, Connecticut Grand Opera, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater (Conductor), Westminster Opera Theater (Music Director), Indianapolis Opera, and Opera de Puerto Rico. He has worked with Opera New Jersey since 2001 as Assistant Conductor and Principal Coach, and as Music Director of the Young Artist Program.

He continues his role as Principal Coach and Pianist for the Puerto Rico Metropolitan Council District and Regional Auditions, a position he has held for over 15 years. He has worked with the Curtis Institute of Music (Music staff), L'Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice (France), Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), Culturarte (Puerto Rico), Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition (Barcelona), and Operalia, Plácido Domingo's World Opera Competition.

As a collaborative pianist, Mr. Meléndez is known for his colorful and sensitive playing, as well as his innovative programming. For the past thirteen years, he has enjoyed a partnership with mezzo-soprano Maya Hoover, appearing in recitals throughout the United States and abroad. They are known for their programs of all Latin American art song, and for their carefully crafted recitals featuring lesser-known repertoire, which often include new arrangements written by Mr. Meléndez. In 2008, they were featured on Hawai`i Public Radio talking about their long history as a collaborative team and performing some selections from their repertoire. Mr. Meléndez is also a frequent guest artist at the University of Hawai`i, where he has presented master classes on the art of collaboration and has played for three consecutive seasons on the Music at Mānoa concert series.

José Meléndez holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Coaching from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where he studied with Dalton Baldwin, José Ramos Santana, and J.J. Penna.


A History of Concert Operetta Theater Productions
See Past Productions for more information

The Chocolate Soldier / O. Straus, Tim Ribchester, music director, conductor

Luisa Fernanda / Torroba
Jose Melendez, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta/Zarzueal**

Frederica / Lehár
Richard Raub, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**

My Vienna, the music of Emmerich Kalman and Franz Lehar
Jose Melendez, music director

Madeline / V. Herbert
Cyrano dr Bergerac / V. Herbert
(pocket version)
Tim Ribchester, music director, conductor
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**

The Music of Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy
Jose Melendez, music director

Gypsy Princess / Kálmán, Richard Raub, music director

Apple Blossoms / F. Kreisler & V. Jacobi
, Tim Ribchester, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**

Common Thread, The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein,
Tim Ribchester, music director

Sweethearts / V. Herbert, Jose Melendez, music director

Remembering Romberg!, Jose Melendez, conductor
Ocean City Pops Orchestra

The Carp / Winter, Jose Melendez, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
The Lovely Galatea / von Suppe, Jose Melendez, music director

Remembering Romberg!, Jose Melendez, music director
Michael Presser, special guest narrator

The Merry Nibelung / O. Straus, Jose Melendez, music director
**USA premiere of the complete Operetta**
**World premiere of new English Translation by Ashby, Pantano and Stoeckl**

Performed in Philadelphia and Merkin Hall, New York City

Giuditta / Lehár, Jose Melendez, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**Philadelphia premiere of new English Translation by Adam Carstairs**


Gems of the American Operetta, Jose Melendez, music director
Music of Rodolf Friml, Victor Herbert Herbert, Jerome Kern & Sigmund Romberg

The Chocolate Soldier / O. Straus, Jeremy Gill conductor
**COT debut with Ocean City Pops Orchestar**

A Waltz Dream / O. Straus, Michele Scanlon, music director

Sári / Kálmán, Jose Melendez, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**NYC debut of COT at Merkin Hall**
Performed in Philadelphia and Merkin Hall, New York City

Naughty Marietta / Herbert, Jose Melendez, music director

The Loves of Lehár, Richard A. Raub, music director

Countess Maritza 2007/ Kálmán
, James Batt, music director

The Student Prince / Romberg , Luke Housner, music director

The Cousin from Batavia/ Künneke, Jeremy Gill, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**East Coast premiere of new English translation by Richard Traubner**


The Merry Widow/ Lehár, Nicholas Mastripolito, music director
**East Coast premiere of new English translation by Greg Opelka and Jack Helbig**

An Afternoon of Operetta Classics, Nicholas Mastripolito, music director

The Czarevitch / Lehár, Richard A. Raub, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**Philadelphia premiere of new English Translation by Adam Carstairs**


A Night in Vienna!, Jeremy Gill, music director

The Music of Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy, Gloria Collins, music director

Die Schöne Galathée / von Suppe
, Benjamin Blozan, music director
**Philadelphia remiere of new German edition**

The Chocolate Soldier / O. Straus , Jeremy Gill, music director, conductor

The Duchess of Chicago / Kálmán, Gloria Collins, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**East Coast Premier of new English Translation by Gregg Opelka and Philip Kraus**


Cabaret Concert Fund Raiser
featuring Eileen Duffy, chanteuse & Daniel Pantano, baritone
with Richard Rome, piano and Robert Campbell, bass

The Count of Luxembourg / Lehár, James Batt, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**Philadelphia Premiere of new English Translation by Nigel Douglas**


Music of the American Operetta, Gloria Collins, music director

Countess Maritza / Kálmán, James Batt, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of new English Translation by Nigel Douglas**

Paganini / Lehár, James Batt, music director
**Philadelphia premiere of Operetta**
**Philadelphia premiere of new English Translation by David Kram and Dennis Olsen**


Operetta in ¾ Time!, Gloria Collins, music director

Recital by Daniel Pantano, baritone & Benjamin Blozan, piano

The Gypsy Princess / Kálmán, Gloria Collins, music director
** Philadelphia premiere of new English Translation by Nigel Douglas**

Red = potpourri concerts and Blue = operetta productions


Click names below for bios of
COT's music directors and pianists

James Batt
Benjamin Blozan
Gloria Elizabeth Collins
Jeremy Gill
Luke Housner
Nicholas Mastripolito
Richard A. Raub
Tim Ribchester
Michele Scanlon


Click here to see the complete list of performers
with Concert Operetta Theater