Charles Prestinari is senior lecturer in music in collaborative piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He was invited to be part of the inaugural team that created the new collaborative initiatives at the Jacobs School in 2016.
Prior to his appointment, he served for five years as chorus master of the San Diego Opera beginning in 2011. During his final two seasons there, he was also music administrator for the company. Notable productions from his time in San Diego included the U.S. professional stage premiere of Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella Cattedrale and the West Coast premieres of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick and Great Scott, as well as Puccini’s Turandot, Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Verdi’s Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Messa daRequiem, and John Adams’ Nixon in China.
From 2004 to 2011, Prestinari was associated with New York City Opera, first as assistant chorus master then, from 2007, as chorus master, working on more than 50 different productions, including the double bill Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Chabrier’s L’Étoile, Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, the New York premiere of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, and an Emmy-winning Live from Lincoln Center telecast of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
In addition to his work for San Diego Opera and New York City Opera, Prestinari was chorus master and senior coach for Aspen Summer Music Festival Opera Theater in 2014, and again from 2017 to 2020.
Since 2019, he has served as chorus master for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s annual opera productions and has also prepared choruses for the New York City Ballet and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2013, he was invited by the New York City National Chorale to conduct Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana as part of its annual concert series at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center.
Prestinari has worked as an accompanist/coach for the Israel Vocal Arts Institute’s Summer Opera Program in Tel Aviv, Carmel Bach Festival in California, Brevard Summer Music Festival in North Carolina, Opera San Antonio, Opera New Jersey, National Chorale in New York City, and the University of San Diego.
He earned his D.M. and M.M. degrees in choral conducting, with minors in organ and sacred music, from Indiana University, studying with Jan Harrington, Carmen Téllez, Thomas Dunn, John Poole, David Effron, and Larry Smith.
While completing his studies, Prestinari served as chorus master for four productions with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, as well as an opera coach. He also directed the IU Chorale and served as assistant director of the Singing Hoosiers.
Prior to graduate studies, he completed a B.M.E. degree at IU, studying piano with Karen Shaw.
An active church musician, Prestinari has also served as organist for churches in New York, New Jersey, and San Diego, and currently serves as director of music at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana.