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Music

Originally from Boston and now based in Dublin, Maria was groomed to be an English teacher from the time she could pick up a book.  After graduating with a 3.9 GPA and her BA from Boston College in Massachusetts in 1990, fate intervened and turned her Westward instead, and she found herself living the life of a childhood dream - wrangling horses on a ranch in Wyoming 40 miles from nowhere in the wilds of America.  For almost 10 years Maria uttered not a note of music nor stepped foot on a stage, making her way across the USA and eventually returning to Europe, where she had studied for a year at the University of Exeter, England in 1989.  After a an Irishman enticed her come to Ireland, Maria finally found herself on the West coast of Ireland in a little town called Galway.  She had £200 in her pocket and a guitar.  That was in 1998.

      After fighting for her Irish 'resident artist' status for 4 years, Maria was finally granted 'leave to remain' as an artist in 2003 and subsequently gained her citizenship in 2010.  This Italian-Polish American has steadily garnered acclaim as one of Ireland’s foremost and dynamic vocalists and critics have lavished praise for her live performances, interpretation of material, and original work.  She counts among her musicians members of bands as diverse as Van Morrison, Sister Sledge, Jools Holland, Lisa Stansfield, The Waterboys, and Paul Brady.  Her one-woman jazz cabaret shows and music gigs have played to packed houses all over Ireland, Europe, U.K., and the USA, highlighting the most engaging qualities of Maria’s

      She began her musical work in Ireland as lead singer and percussionist with members of Irish fiddle player and composer Charlie Lennon's music family, Sean and Ailish Lennon, in the Lennon Quintet and performed around Ireland and on Irish television. She then based herself in Galway and formed 'The Blow-Ins' with ex-Waterboys saxophonist and mandolin player Anto Thistlethwaite, a local band playing mainly acoustic folk and blues in and around Galway. Going more electric, Maria formed 'Ruby Blue' not long after, a jazzy, bluesy, R&B band playing at Galway venues and festivals. Maria began incorporating jazz into her music around this time and it became increasingly prominent in her sets. She put together The Jazz Exiles in 1999 with ex-Pat Dublin-based musicians and the five-piece band began playing small jazz venues around Dublin, graduating to larger festivals like Cork International Jazz Festival in 2000.
      In 2003, Maria landed on her feet in Dublin and began gigs in the rest of Ireland as she performed at top festivals, venues, and with the cream of Ireland's musicians. Maria quickly became a regular on the jazz scene and was considered by many to be Ireland's most respected and promising female vocalist and jazz performer. Not long after, Maria began chasing gigs at larger venues around Ireland and the U.K. and support slots for visiting international artists began to come up regularly for her.

      Maria was fast becoming a bright and fiery star on the cabaret scene as well, and her one-woman jazz/cabaret shows have been lauded by critics and entrancing audiences in Europe, U.K., and USA since 2003. Maria wrote "All About Love" for the Dublin Fringe Festival 2003 and was invited to create "Lush Life" especially for the opulent 'Spiegeltent' during the Dublin Theatre Festival 2003. Both shows played to packed houses and marry three of Maria's skills as a performer . acting, singing, and playing, and most impressive is the fact that Maria writes, designs, and produces all her shows herself. Other one-woman shows quickly followed, "Once Upon A Christmas" (2004), "Torch Song" (2005), and "Night & the City" (2006), "Viva" (2008), and the stunning "Strapless" (2010) for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  "Strapless" subsequently went on to tour internationally and was recently sold-out at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.  From New York's Lincoln Center to London's Westend, Maria has spellbound audiences in some of Europe and America's most beautiful capital cities and most historic and respected venues and festivals.  Paris, Dubrovnik, London, Rome, Prague, Dublin, Boston, New York... she's dazzled in them all.

In 2008 Maria began moving away from the straight ahead jazz genre of her previous gigs to incorporate Spanish, Latin, and Argentinian music as well as her own new compositions, thus creating a spring board for 'Viva' and 'Strapless'.  The shows were a resounding success and affirm Maria's dexterous versatility not only as a musician and singer but also as a performer, writer, and producer.  Her cabaret shows and straight jazz gigs have now headlined venues in Ireland, UK, Europe, and USA, packing venues and receiving rave reviews from critics and audience alike wherever she goes.

This tour-de-force performer has shared the stage with such diverse names as Dionne Warwick and the Irish legend Ronnie Drew of 'The Dubliners' fame and launched her first album "All About Love" in April 2003, followed by "Torch Song" in 2007, and "Viva" in 2010.
Maria performs an originals/acoustic gig as well which is folk and blues based, reaching back to her own musical roots in the U.S.. Live in-studio versions of two of Maria's original songs, "Go Back Home" and "This Love Is Through", are included on separate CD compilations featuring Grammy Award Winners John Prine, Bella Fleck, and Bruce Mathiske and Irish artists such as Juliet Turner, Damien Rice, David Kitt, Jack L., The 4 Of Us, Kila, and Mary Coughlan.
      Maria also has a passion for folk songs of other countries in their original languages and has a repertoire of Spanish, Italian, French, and Polish songs that she adds to and performs regularly; her fluency in Spanish definitely helps. (She's working on her Italian and Polish.) Voice is Maria's first instrument now but it wasn't always. She was a choral accompanist on piano for 3 years, a concert flautist in Boston for 5 years, has played guitar since she was a child, and also played saxophone in a jazz swing band for 2 years.
 

Acting

Maria began acting in Ireland in 1998 but her first work professionally as an actor was with Shakespeare & Company, a Boston-based theatre company producing both Shakespeare and modern works, and she then moved on to star with the Irish company The Sugan Theatre Company in 'Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off' by Scottish playwrite Liz Lochead. In the late 1990's she moved to Ireland and her first acting role was with Roger Corman's Irish-based company Concorde Anois/New Horizons. She acted in 5 of Roger's films (all speaking and featured roles) as well as Irish short films, feature films, and television commercials. Her stage debut came in the play "Eclipsed" in 2000 and she continued to perform on stage to Irish audience as with her multi-media company "extempo", where she was director and co-producer, composing, arranging, and performing in the productions.  Maria produced 3 shows in Galway under the 'extempo' umbrella at The Town Hall Theatre and site-specific venues. Maria also began collaborating with members of Poland's Gardzienice Theatre Company in 1999 and continues to work with them both in Poland and London.
      Maria founded the Bare Bards Theatre Co. in 1999, an improv and street theatre performance company, and gained a reputation in the West of Ireland as "innovative, wild, and highly entertaining" performance group that invaded the streets of towns all over the West coast during arts and cultural festivals, their slew of characters and scenarios ranging from filthy medieval street urchins to slightly remedial but sincere culchie cheerleaders from hell, and everything in between. Nothing was sacred and irreverence was the order of the day.
      Maria found an acting agent in Dublin not long after she began performing in Ireland and commuted back and forth between her base in Galway and Dublin for a stint of 3-4 years, during which Maria was cast in speaking roles in films with actors such as Angela Lansbury, Patrick Bergin, Mia Farrow, Keith Carradine, and Patsy Kensit. Eventually Maria found most of her performance and work opportunities were coming from Dublin companies and in 2002-2003 she moved her base from Galway to Dublin, where she currently resides.

      In January 2001 Maria landed her first television role in Ireland's most popular soap opera 'Fair City' as the nasty American boss from hell character 'Camille Barnett'. Although the character so far only appears in 10 episodes of the show it was more than enough time for her to create a stir and make her presence feared and loathed amongst the population of fictitious Carrigstown. Maria's TV debut was quickly followed by a leading role with the Cork-based Corca Dorca Theatre Company (who produced the smash hit "Disco Pigs" in 1998) in their highly acclaimed sell-out productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the summer of 2001.  Maria played the two main men's roles, 'Oberon' and 'Theseus', and was touted as 'mesmerizing'.
      Maria also co-starred as lesbian cowgirl 'Lee' in the European premiere of the Canadian play "Very Heaven" by Ann Lambert running in the Stalislavsky-based Focus Theatre in Dublin 2004. A role was especially written for her to act in the recent American re-make of "The Honeymooners", shot on location in Dublin in 2004 and stars the likes of Eric Stoltz, Cedric The Entertainer, and John Leguizamo ("Romeo & Juliet", "Moulin Rouge") and even Oscar award-winning director Jim Sheridan wrote her a role for his movie "In America" after meeting the actress in Dublin. Maria toured with Storytellers Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed and award-nominated “Dream of a Summer’s Day” (Ireland 2005), and starring in the Theatre Royal's new production of the German one-woman cabaret show “Tonight: Lola Blau” in (Ireland 2006) to ecstatic critical praise.  
       Maria co-starred in Big Telly Theatre Co.'s (U.K.) production of “The Country Boy” on its 2 month international tour in 2007 and in 2008 she was snapped up to play murdered wife Isabella alongside British star Martin Shaw in the new BBC television series 'Inspector George Gentley'  while also appearing in a cameo role as a cabaret singer in the new ITV television series 'Rock Rivals'.  2009 saw Maria as the leading lady in the originally spoof short musical film 'I Hate Musicals' with legendary cult Irish singer Jack L and co-starring in 'Roman Fever', an Edith Wharton adaptation by Irish playwrite Hugh Leonard.  Maria was invited to take a plum role in The Gate Theatre's 2010 production of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' as the feisty, saucy courtesan Emelie and playing alongside Nicolette Sheridan ('Desperate Housewives') in the Hallmark Channel's 'Honeymoon for One'.
      In 2011 fate decided to throw in a curve ball and Maria was approached by Irish comedy legends The Nualas to join them, as they were re-launching the act in Ireland that year.  She continues to perform with them as singer, actor, accompanist, comedian, co-writer, and musical director.
 

 

Experience

     

Theatre

     

Production

Role

Director

Producer

Afghan Lift

Molly

Gavin Robertson

Company Gavin Robertson, UK

Strapless

One-woman show

Aoife Spillane-Hinks

Maria Tecce/Divine Prod.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Emelie

Michael Barker Caven

The Gate Theatre (Dublin)

Viva!

One-woman show

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

Roman Fever

Alida Slade

Michael James Ford

Bewleys Café Theatre

La Marea

Maria

Mariano Pensotti

Dublin Theatre Festival

The Country Boy

Julia

Zoe Seaton

Big Telly Theatre Co. (U.K)

Torch

one-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions 2002

Tonight: Lola Blau

Lola Blau (1-woman show)

Michael Hunt

Theatre Royal (Ireland)

Night & the City

1-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions 2002

Dream of a Summer’s Day

Ensemble

Liam Halligan

Storytellers Theatre Co.

Torch Song

1-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

Very Heaven

Lee

Bairbre Ni Chaoimh

Focus Theatre

Once Upon A Christmas

one-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/The Helix

Lush Life

one-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

A Few Little Lies

Jane

Frank Shouldice

Andrew’s Lane Theatre

Songs From The Homeland

One-woman show

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

Slaughter

Ensemble

Karl Shiels

Pan Pan Theatre Symposium

All About Love

One-woman show/cabaret

Maria Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

Grainne Mhaol

Ensemble/McMahon of Doona

Kathi Leahey

Macnas Theatre Co.

Jazz Hot!

One-woman show

Liz Bracken/M.Tecce

Divine Productions/M.Tecce

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oberon/Theseus

Pat Kiernon

Corca Dorca Theatre Co.

Virginia Divine Show

Virginia Divine

Maria Tecce

Bewley’s Café Theatre

The Midnight Court

Ann Of A Thousand Ways

Frank O’Sullivan

Town Hall Theatre

Eclipsed

Rosa

Caroline Fitzgerald

Town Hall Theatre

Othello

Emilia

Tina Packer

Shakespeare & Company(U.S.)

Henry VI, Part 2

Queen Margaret

John Croy

Shakespeare & Company(U.S.)

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Helena

Tina Packer

Shakespeare & Company(U.S.)

Jesus Christ Superstar

Mary Magdalene

Chris MacGowen

Boston Contemporary Theatre

Mary Queen of Scots Got
Her Head Chopped Off

Queen Elizabeth/Bessie

Carmel O’Reilly

Sugan Theatre (U.S.)

 

 

 

 

Film/Television

 

 

 

Production

Role

Director

Producer

Honeymoon For One

Jenna

Kevin Connor

Big Apple Prod.

I Hate Musicals –
The Musical

Maria

Michael Lavelle

Tilted Pictured

Rock Rivals               

Jane Grey 

Various    

Channel 4 (UK)

Inspector George Gentley

Isabella

Euros Lynn

BBC Television

Rooflander

Hanna

Sven Werner

Independent Prod.

Speed dating

Business Woman

Anothony Herbert

2000ad Productions

The Honeymooners

Entertainment Coordinator

John Shultz

Fox/MGM

In America

Nurse Capellini

Jim Sheridan

Hell's Kitchen Productions

Fair City

Camille Barnett

Various

RTE

The Enchantement

Clare O'Hara

Mitch Claybourne

Merlin Productions

Bad Karma

Officier Marcia

John Hough

Merlin Productions

Day One

Girl in Queue

Lisa Mulcahy

Grand Pictures

Payback 2

Ed

Jeremiah Cullinane

Roger Corman/Merlin Pictures

The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax

CIA Agent

Anthony Landsbury

Greyshane Productions

Criminal Affairs

Lisa Anderson

Jeremiah Cullnane

Roger Corman/Merlin Pictures

Angela Mooney

Young Singer

Tommy McArdle

Merlin Pictures

Criminal Pursuits

Janet Belski

Howard McCain

Roger Corman/Merlin Pictures

The Seagull

Nina

Boris Kaminski

Maine Images (U.S.)

 

 

 

 

Training/Education

 

 

 

*Gardzieniece Theatre Company (Poland): Comedia Dell'Arte, acrobatics , movement, singing
*Shakespeare & Company (U.S.): Voice, Movement, Stage Fight, Text, Alexander Technique
*Roy Hart Theatre: Voice, Movement*Moscow Theatre: Stanislavski
*Abbey Theatre: Voice, Movement, Improvisation
*Schooling: BA Boston College
*Moscow Theatre: Plastiques, Movement, Improvisation Exeter University 1988
*MACNAS: Jacques Le Coq/Clown, Mime, Mask
*Linklater Voice Technique: 5 years

 

Special Skills

Dialects: American regions, British/Scottish/London regions, Irish &European regions, character accents
Horse Trainer/Rider:
Dana Hall Riding Center (U.S.) – Rider/Teacher/Trainer 1974-1985
Bitterroot Ranch (U.S.) – Horse Wrangler/Trainer 1990-91
Main Images (U.S.) – Equestrian Stunt Woman 1992

Musician (Professional) Vocalist - Mezzo Soprano/Jazz/Contemporary, guitar, piano, flutes, percussion

 

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