New appointments named to MN Opera, Artistic Team

Minnesota Opera is pleased to announce the appointment of Mario Antonio Marra as Head of Music and Celeste Marie Johnson as Principal Coach & Chorus Director, both starting in August, 2022.

As Head of Music, Mario Antonio Marra will supervise the musical preparation and execution of Minnesota Opera’s productions, as well as manage the selection and mentorship of the Resident Artist Program in collaboration with the Vice President, Artistic.

As Principal Coach & Chorus Director, Celeste Marie Johnson will supervise the selection, preparation and management of the Minnesota Opera Chorus. Johnson will also serve as principal pianist and coach throughout the rehearsal process and assist in stewarding the musical and artistic integrity of Minnesota Opera’s productions.

“Both Mario and Celeste are world-class talents in their field and we are thrilled for them to be joining the Artistic team here at Minnesota Opera,” said Joseph Li, Vice President, Artistic. “They bring a wealth of skill, knowledge, and commitment to the operatic art form and will be crucial in supporting our mission to sing every story. Please join us in welcoming them to our community!”

Headshots of Mario Antonio Marra as Head of Music and Celeste Marie Johnson as Principal Coach & Chorus Director

Mario Antonio Marra
Head of Music

New Haven, CT

Notable Engagements
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Merola Opera Program
Oper Frankfurt
San Francisco Opera

MM, Manhattan School of Music
BM, New York University

Cooking & Cuisine

Celeste Marie Johnson
Principal Coach & Chorus Director

Pine Island, MN

Notable Engagements
Minnesota Opera
Opera Saratoga
Tanglewood Institute

DMA, Boston University
MM, The Peabody Institute
BM, Baylor University

Certified Professional Coach
Yoga & Poetry


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