Marianna Elise Biography
Marianna’s passionate relationship with music began at a young age. She discovered musical emotion and expression through her church choir, and carried it over into professional roles with Opera Americana and The Washington Savoyards. Her role with the later gave her the unique opportunity to perform as the lead character in an original musical at Caux, Initiatives for Change in Switzerland in 1996.
While earning her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University she began a deeper exploration of music in her life. She worked closely with composers at school performing their original pieces for them, helped to write and direct an original musical with Cheryl Rothstein and performed in many university recitals and productions. She graduated in 2000 with honors.
After graduation she expanded her musical styles even more. In Boston, she sang opera with a local group The Kaji Aso Studio, jazz with an experimental improv group Listen/Silence which was run by Jeff Lieberman, tried a bit of funk and participated in a production called “Dream Catcher”; which blended aspects of wushu, tango, dance, opera, piano and theater, directed by Leda Elliott.
San Francisco bay area
At the beginning of 2003 Marianna moved to San Francisco. She began working with a politically-minded pop group in Australia called LANDED and traveled back and forth to write and record with them. In San Francisco she began to collaborate with Jeffrey Chin, an established producer and jazz pianist, and Andrew Epstein a jazz and Brasilian-influenced pianist and composer.
In 2005 Marianna formed an all women jazz trio named Kabaya with Sumita Pennathur playing saxaphone and Annika Todd playing double bass. They wrote and performed together until, sadly, Sumita relocated to teach at UCSB. Then in late 2006 Marianna formed a new trio Domesticated reuniting with Annika Todd and inviting pianist and composer Megan Miller to join. These days Marianna periodically performs throughout the bay area; she has sung at salons, fundraisers, and night clubs – occasionally she performs original works but she always and only sings things that excite her!
Marianna teaches voice lessons in the San Francisco bay area both privately and with Musical Theatre Works and gets great satisfaction out of sharing her love of singing with others. She thinks that excitement is infectious and that the discipline, self-confidence and enthusiasm one gets through vocal self-expression will carry over throughout all aspects of life. Everyone should sing!