Robert Butts

Conductor ● Composer ● Educator

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Encounter Concert in New York a Success

Marco Frisina’s December 2016 Visit
By Lee Doswell
(Music for Faith, Inc. Executive Director)

Marco Frisina was with us in New Jersey and New York for several important events sponsored by Music for Faith, Inc. and also to experience the sights and sounds of the Christmas season in NYC.

Video with Interviews and Excerpts 

The highlight of his visit was the event entitled “An Encounter with Marco Frisina and His Music”, held at the National Opera Center of America in NYC on December 4. Our intent was to introduce selections from his operatic and choral works, including a new oratorio specifically to the greater choral and operatic communities in New York metropolitan area.

Marco Frisina is best known for his many sacred and liturgical works but he also has composed many other extraordinary pieces including 3 operas, numerous film scores and several orchestral works.  As part of the mission of Music for Faith, Inc., we want to introduce and share his music widely throughout the United States to a very broad audience perfomed by American musicians. One of our challenges is to find ways and means to accomplish this.

PASSION-TALENT-DEDICATION:  Luckily, one member of our Board of Directors is an accomplished conductor, composer, arranger, and lecturer with extensive orchestral and operatic experience.  Dr. Robert W. Butts has been a fellow music colleague and my good friend for many years. Upon introducing him to the music of Marco Frisina, he also became a passionate admirer and supporter of Frisina’s music.

“Bob had already presented some of Monsignor’s orchestral pieces with his Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey – namely his Puccini Suite and Piccolo Concerto Notturno for Bassoon & Strings. Once we knew that Monsignor Frisina was available to come to the States in December 2016, we partnered to organize an event that would showcase selections from Frisina’s monumental operatic work La Divina Commedia, based on Dante’s masterpiece, along with a new oratorio and other representative songs.”

With Bob’s connections at Opera America and choral and operatic contacts, we were able to select several fine soloists and also to form a wonderful chamber choir for this event. With Bob’s leadership, his deep understanding and admiration for Marco Frisina’s music, and his musical direction, we presented an inspiring and exciting concert.  All participants and attendees were deeply touched by the power and beauty of Frisina’s music and we also now have a wonderful core chamber choir to continue to share Marco Frisina’s music through live performance. After the concert, the singers and audience members were treated to an impromptu sing along with Monsignor at the piano.

Bob has also created an in-depth video that documents this journey including interviews with several of the soloists and other musicians as well as rehearsal and performance footage. VIEW HERE

For more complete coverage of this event including a video of the concert, please visit our companion website (

On December 6, we had the opportunity to thank some current and potential future supporters at a cocktail reception hosted by Board Member Peter Dugan and his wife.  Monsignor delighted us all at the piano with spontaneous selections ranging from carols to Broadway tunes and operatic selections with one of our choir members, Allyson Carvajal.

As a native born Italian, opera is part of Marco Frisina’s DNA!  During his visit, we were able to attend performances at the Metropolitan Opera of Aida and Salome. We share a dream of his to have one of his operas performed here in the States, if not at the Met then by one of our other fine regional opera organizations.

Along with a niece and nephew who accompanied him on this visit, we also had ample opportunity to see all the wonderful holiday decorations and of course the tree at Rockefeller center and take in all the sights and sounds of the season.

It was an unforgettable week of sharing bonds of mutual respect and understanding with Marco Frisina and his music.

For further information, please visit Music For Faith.

Rehearsal December 3 2016 at Our Lady of Consolation, Wayne, New Jersey - thank you to Father Michael Lombardo

Concert December 4, 2016 at The National Opera Center, Opera America, New York City

Interviews filmed at Pop's Diner, Madison, New Jersey

New Jersey filming by Brian Foran, B & B Productions

NewYork filming by Paul G. Sanderson, III, Our Town Films, Inc,