Mario Il Basso
: Operetta, Opera, Pop
• Spanish, Italian, German, French •
Ithaca College, M.M. Ed. Voice/Piano '82
Ithaca Festival Featured Performer
Ithaca Farmer's Market Featured Artist
Ithaca Commons Licensed Street Singer

July 4, 2019: National Anthem, Ithaca Official Vocalist
(Seneca St Parking Ramp roof) - clik for performance
2 links in the works { 7.13.18 }....!
 • video demo
 • video demo
video demo
video demo

Mario earned his Masters Degree in Music at Ithaca College, M.M. Ed. Voice/Piano in 1982. Since then, he has sung on stage well over a thousand times, with his former rock band The Corvettes, and through his school music programs. And now... he's back: singing concerts, singing in the streets, singing in Italian restaurants: Aeillo's (Whitney Point NY), Joe's (Ithaca NY), Franco's (Ithaca NY), Boca Bella (Newton MA), Jerlando's (Watkins Glen NY).

DEC 2017 Program     MAY 2018 Program

Much gratitude to I.C. voice teachers '78-'82 : Leslie Bennett †, Roland Bentley †, to 2017 vocal coach Imogen Mills, I.C. Music Ed/Voice '18, - and the encouragment of vocal magician Claude Stein (Woodstock NY) to resume performing after a 30 year hiatus. Many thanks to Neapolitan language tutor Martina Edda De Biase, Sicilian language tutor Viviana La Gaipa, and Roberto Vazquez, dialect translator for Mario's well-received Rodney Dangerfied comedy schticks in Mexican Spanish. *** In 1977, the singer shook hands with Luciano Pavarotti backstage after a concert at Bailey Hall, Cornell University. It was a powerful electric moment, with an unmistakable spiritual transmission, although it took 42 years of gestation to emerge as..... "Mario Il Basso!"

Performing at Wizarding Weekend, Ithaca Commons Oct 26, 2018

Reviews from the 2017-18 recital series!

"Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful singing voice, musical expertise
and obvious enthusiasm for the pieces you performed."

"It was wonderful!"

"I heard this aria at the Metropolitan Opera. This was better."
(Mario: I swear to God this was a real comment, street singing on the Commons)

"You connected with the audience more than any performer we have ever had!"

" If I were hearing you on stage, I surely would be paying a lot of money for a ticket!"

"You are a triple-threat: great singing, dancing, acting: you've got it all!"

"I spent some time in Italy about a month ago, but this was better!"
(Mario: Yes, this was a real comment, after singing at Mangia in Cortland)

"Your program was very diverse and engaging - from the very serious love songs to the rollicking German hiking song, with other humorous and dramatic pieces mixed in."

"It was fun. You are quite an entertainer!"

"You have a beautiful voice."

"A good time was definitely had by all!"

"Thank you for your time and energy and providing us an entertaining evening. "

"I have a sense that everyone liked you and enjoyed the program. "

"Everything about tonight was Perfect! You are a fortune cookie!"

"Best entertainment we have ever had at McGraw House!"

The singer's musical journey began shortly after birth (Highland Park NJ), hearing his father, a self-taught pianist, improvise for hours into the night. The memory of his mother's repeated plaint are today as clear as ever: "George, come to bed!" Dad was also fond of belting snatches of vaguely learned opera arias and odd songs he had heard in the army,while in southern Italy during WWII.

At age ten, the singer began playing guitar and singing pop tunes, mesmerized by the then current hits of Elvis Presley, Dion, and so on. He studied classical guitar for four years. In high school, he was a member of a performing folk ensemble, and later, in college, several short-lived rock bands.

Thrilled to the soul by the music of the Sage Chapel Choir, (choirmaster Donald R. M. Patterson †), he founded the choral program at the Community School of Music & Art in 1978. He directed the a cappella Whiton Chorale for four joyous years, arranging, composing and preparing many hand-copied choral scores of all eras.

He attended Ithaca College for a Masters Degree in Music Education Voice/Piano 1979-82,. To the unending consternation of his beloved voice teachers (Leslie Bennett †, Roland Bentley †), he would regularly come in with dubious repertoire choices: dramatic tenor arias (Corelli, Wunderlich...) for which he had hand-transposed the piano accompaniment way, way down for baritone. Older and slightly smarter, he has been studying the styles of many, many singers in Spanish, German, and Italian, finding/transposing songs suitable to his artistic temperment and vocal means, as his skill and artistry develop.

After Ithaca College, he developed a successful public school music/english program, composing/performing over a thousand works in many styles, using students' lyrics. The New York State Board Of Education invited him to give presentations in Albany on several occasions. During these years, he also led the retro-rock and country band "The Corvettes" for ten swashbuckling years, playing 2-3 night per week, 50 weeks a year..

Today, he is known regionally as an avid social dancer and dance instructor, teaching ballroom, swing and salsa dance with his wonderful dance partners at Ithaca Dance. In 2018, at age 70, he retired from twelve years of college teaching dance at Cornell University and Ithaca College. With a string of unrelated hobbies (elaborate electronic inventions, Sanskrit and Tibetan calligraphy, dance photography, and ??), he continues to compose, produce music videos, explore the unknown, and rejoice.