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Verismo Opera Names Lifetime Achievement Winners

Maestro Morss receives the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from President Dr. James Garvin and Artistic Director Lucine Amara.
Maestro Morss receives the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from President Dr. James Garvin and Artistic Director Lucine Amara. Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto
Maestro Morss takes a final bow as principal conductor directing the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor.
Maestro Morss takes a final bow as principal conductor directing the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto
Catherine Mirabella creates a costume for the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera.
Catherine Mirabella creates a costume for the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. Photo Credit: Giovanni Simone.
Catherine Mirabella (center) receives the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. She is flanked by Verismo Opera trustee Ria Hawks, a member of the costume department, (left) and her successor Barbara Konig.
Catherine Mirabella (center) receives the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. She is flanked by Verismo Opera trustee Ria Hawks, a member of the costume department, (left) and her successor Barbara Konig. Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

FORT LEE, N.J. -- The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera headquartered in Fort Lee is announcing the organization's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Emeritus Principal Conductor and Music Director Maestro Anthony Morss, along with Costume Consultant and Former Costume and Wardrobe Designer Catherine Mirabella, received the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Awards for their service and contributions to the organization and opera.

Maestro Morss retired at the end of this season, after two decades of service with Verismo Opera.

Morss conducted Lucia di Lammermoor, his last production with Verismo Opera, in October at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey.

Catherine Mirabella, of Hillsdale

When Mirabella retired from her job, she turned to her avocation -- sewing.

Mirabella joined Verismo Opera in 1996, designing and producing costumes for the principals of the October 1997 production of Aida. She has continued costuming principals in every production since.

With able assistance from Ria Hawks, Barbara Konig, Elaine McKhann, and Rita Tonitto, chorus and supers were outfitted, as well.

Mirabella recently passed the baton to her protégé, Barbara Konig, but she continues to provide valuable advice. MIrabella received Verismo Opera’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 1998.

A resident of Hillsdale, New Jersey, she and her husband Anthony delight in their five children and three grandchildren.

Anthony Morss

Born in Boston, Maestro Morss studied at the New England Conservatory and the NOA in New York. He was chosen by Leopold Stokowski as his choral master / associate conductor with the Symphony of the Air. This led to the position of Chorus.

He has been Master of the American Opera Center at Juilliard, Music Director of the Majorca and Saragossa Symphonies in Spain.

In 1976, he conducted the American Premiere of Massenet’s Marie Magdeleine with Regine Crespin, led the 1978 Tosca production of the Marseille Opera and more.

Maestro Morss was appointed Verismo Opera’s music director and principal conductor in 1995.

CLICK HERE for more on the opera company.

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