For eighteen seasons Concert Operetta Theater has been 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.
In the past eighteen seasons Concert Operetta Theater has presented twenty-seven operettas, fourteen potpourri concerts, one USA premiere, and nine Philadelphia premieres.
COT has presented programs for the Ocean City Pops Orchestra (NJ), The Michener Museum (Doylestown, PA), Cherry Hill Township (NJ), Waverly Heights, the German Society of Philadelphia, and the Hadley Memorial Fund of Chester County.
Concert Operetta Theater
Concert Operetta Theater is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Daniel Pantano is the executive and artistic director of Concert Operetta Theater,
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 1984.
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 waiter's 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 Friends of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
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
Welcome Back Operetta (2022)
Jewish Composers of Operetta (2019/2020)
The Merry Nibelung / O. Straus (2019)
Tales of Offenbach (2019)
Remembering Romberg! (2018)
The Czarevitch (2018)
A Taste of Vienna! (2017)
Common Thread, The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein (2017)
The Dollar Princess (2017)
Viva la Zarzuela! (2017)
Broadway does Operetta (2015)
Die Fledermaus (2015)
The Chocolate Soldier (2015)
Luisa Fernanda (2014)
My Vienna (2014)
The Music of Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy (2013)
Gypsy Princess (2013)
Common Thread, The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein (2013)
Thine Alone! The Music of Victor Herbert (2012)
Remembering Romberg! (2011)
The Carp (2011)
Remembering Romberg! (2011)
The Merry Nibelung / O. Straus (2010)
Red = potpourri concerts
Click names below for bios of
Click here to see the complete list of performers