Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meet the Volunteers: Melina Spadone Palmer

Mrs. Spadone Palmer serves as the Chair of the Eastern Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has also served on the Young Associates Steering Committee.  She is currently the Executive Director of a family trust that focuses on women's and children's issues.  She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Room to Grow, an organization focused on improving the lives of babies born into poverty in New York City.  She began her career as a corporate lawyer and was the General Counsel for the International Council of Shopping Centers and for a multibillion dollar family fund. She earned her B.A. at Brooklyn College magna cum laude, her LL.B. at Fordham University and her M.B.A. at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons and is fluent in French and Italian.


Opera Idols: What moved you to join the committee/get involved in this effort?
Melina Spadone Palmer: I have been an opera fan and a young associate at the Met for many years. When Camille La Barre asked me if I would be interested in running the Eastern Region auditions, I jumped at the chance. It is very rewarding to me to volunteer and to make a difference in the careers of these young, talented singers. 


OI: What have you enjoyed about volunteering with the auditions?
MSP: I love the team involvement and the wonderful people I have met. I have a fantastic group of volunteers supporting me and they are dedicated and talented in their own right. Meeting the young singers and being a part of this exciting moment in their lives is truly special.


OI: Do you have a favourite opera/aria/composer/singer?
MSP: I love the comedic operas and am a huge fan of Juan Diego Flores and especially love the quartet from Rossini's Italian in Algiers!