Era Tognoli was the founder and motivating force behind the Metro Lyric Opera Company, which presented more than 50 years of summer opera festivals at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, covering a vast repertoire.
An accomplished performer, Madame Tognoli had her own radio show at 16, and earned a master in voice from La Scala, Italy’s famous opera house. She performed there at the Arena di Verona, in the part of Liu in Puccini’s Turandot, with Maria Callas in the title role.
In the U.S. Madame Tognoli performed in numerous roles, at the Metropolitan and at other theaters, before settling in Allenhurst. In addition to founding Metro Lyric Opera, she was a beloved teacher to many, many students who went on to perform at opera houses in the U.S. and abroad.