By: Elsie Krikorian
TV, Film & Broadway Star
Anna Maria Alberghetti, 72, recently wowed audiences at the Palm Springs Follies’ ninth and eleventh seasons and closed the eighteenth spectacular season with wondrous sounds.
Her pure, wondrous sound has been heralded in America since her Carnegie Hall Debut at the age of 13. Her appearances on concert stages in a dazzling one-woman show cause her to be a sought after artist in both cabaret and with the world’s finest symphony orchestras.
She was born in a musical home in Pesaro, Italy, May 15, 1936, the daughter of a concertmaster father and pianist mother. They greatly influenced her obvious talent and by age six she was performing with symphony orchestras with her father as her vocal instructor. “I cannot remember a time when music was not part of my life,” Anna Maria recalls today. “My father sang with a number of famous opera companies, including La Scala and he was concertmaster for the Rome Opera Company.”
The tragedy of World War II forced the Alberghettis from their homeland and after a tour of Europe, Anna’s parents brought her to America where she debuted at Carnegie Hall. Success with the New York Philharmonic and other distinguished symphonies followed, paving the way for a career as soloist with outstanding orchestras that still flourish today.
As she matured, she made a mark in other facets of entertainment. On TV Ed Sullivan first introduced Anna Maria to millions of households and the public was thoroughly taken by this singing angel. She appeared with Sullivan a near-record 53 times. She also graced a number of popular TV shows with non-singing, damsel-in-distress roles on such shows as "Wagon Train" and "Checkmate". Her recording career has included associations with Capitol, Columbia, Mercury and MGM Records.
On stage, she has performed in West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Fanny, Side By Side By Sondheim and, most notably, Carnival. In the latter, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her interpretation of the role- Lili. Most recently, she appeared as Carlotta in the national tour of the Kopit-Yeston production of Phantom.
Her sister Carla also became a musical artist who appeared in many stage productions. She eventually became Anna Maria's replacement in her Tony-winning role on Broadway.
In 1964, Anna married director/producer, Claudio Guzman. During the ten-year marriage she gave birth to two daughters, Alexandra and Pilar, and her focus shifted from her career to the demands of parenthood. Today, as her daughters have begun their own careers, Anna is again pursuing the profession she knows and loves.
“When you’ve been fortunate enough to have a career as a child, there are great advantages and great responsibilities. I accomplished so many things during the early days of my career that I never felt there was sacrifice in being home with my children. Rather, there was joy,” she explains.
Returning to the theatre, as well as to the concert and lecture stage today, she is warmed by the affection of a public, which has maintained an interest in her talent and beauty since childhood. “One great advantage of working all your life is that people are wonderful,” she says. “They remember and enjoy from so many points of view. Some people have attended a concert, others were touched by a lecture or one of my films has entertained them. I gained an entirely new audience during the years I was associated with the Good Seasons television commercials. . It’s satisfying to feel special and familiar to so many people.”
Today, Anna is busy with an international schedule of concerts, lectures, and personal appearances. “I cannot remember a time when music wasn’t a part of my life,” recalls Alberghetti. She recently performed with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra at The Los Angeles Music Center and continues her international schedule of concerts and lectures including appearances with major symphony orchestras Town Halls, colleges and Italian festivals. Among her other accomplishments, Anna Maria speaks three languages fluently.