Maria Pellegrini has sung many major roles, being significantly recognized internationally for her signature role Madama Butterfly. After winning the Metropolitan Opera auditions, she embarked on a brilliant soprano career, which took her to the leading opera houses and concert halls of Europe, Canada, United States, Asia and the Caribbean.
Her tenure at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, under the baton of Sir Georg Solti, continued for eleven seasons. She also performed at Royal Albert Hall, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Felice di Genoa, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, Teatro Massimo di Catania, Taormina, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, New York City Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Baltimore Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera Company, L'Opéra de Montréal, Teatro del'Opera di Santo Domingo and the Taipei Opera Festival.
Maria made her debut as Gilda (Rigoletto), at the age of 19, with the Canadian Opera Company. Such was her success that she was quickly engaged to co star as Mimi (La Bohème) opposite Luciano Pavarotti at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. The famous operaphile and critic, Lord Harewood, declared, “Maria Pellegrini is the greatest Butterfly alive”. In New Jersey the critics later reported, ”If Pellegrini is the greatest Butterfly, then her Mimi and Violetta cannot be far behind”. The media have also referred to her as the Callas of Canada.
Audiences and critics around the world have praised her in many other roles,including an award-winning Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte), Amelia (Simon Boccanegra) Alice Ford (Falstaff), Amina (La Sonnambula), Loretta (La Rondine), Elvira (I Puritani), Amalia (I Masnadieri), Liu (Turandot), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Manon Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Violetta (La Traviata), Desdemona (Otello), Nedda (I Pagliacci), Chrysothemis (Elektra), Tosca (Tosca) and Micaela (Carmen), and Aida (Aida). She sang for many international broadcasts with the greatest conductors and voices of the day. These included Sir Georg Solti, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Edward Downes, Anton Guadagno, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Ernesto Barbini, Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Gwyneth Jones, Rolando Panerai, Sergio Capuccilli, Gianni Raimondi, Renata Scotto, Kiri Te Kanawa, James McCracken, John Vickers, Ermanno Mauro, Renato Bruson, Lando Bartolini, and Luciano Pavarotti.
Maria was awarded “Best Italian Soprano” in 1991 and was included in George Abbott’s and Gordon Hay's book “Canadian Women of the Year”. In October 2007, Ms. Pellegrini was honoured with the award of Cavaliere dell' Ordine al Merito Della Repubblica Italiana. The Italian city in which she was raised, Pescara, further honoured her in 2008 by inviting her to sing at a concert held especially for that purpose. In addition to private voice coaching and master classes at McGill University and University of Ottawa, Maria, in 2004, founded Pellegrini Opera, was the Artistic Director until 2013, and continues now as the recognised Founder and Executive Consultant in all areas of the company. For more information on private lessons and voice coaching, please visit