Rising Star Sets His Sights On Broadway
At 18, Middle Village Resident Joseph Gualtiere Already Has An Impressive Resumé
By Emilie Schneider
adrenaline is running, the abdominal butterflies
are buzzing, and the sounds of the overture are
resonating through the theater, it's time for
Joseph Gualtiere to transform into character as
he steps on to the stage.
This scene is typical for Gualtiere, of Middle
Village, who sings in musicals
Village resident Joseph Gualtiere plays many
and operas, a rare ability few performers exhibit.
No matter how many times he performs, he has the
same nervous feeling before each show, but to
him it is important to be nervous and have the
"When I am on stage I am not myself anymore,"
Gualtiere said. "Usually when I am about to go
on, I'm just trying to put myself in the character's
shoes. What is the character feeling in this scene,
how do I convey that emotion."
For only being 18 years old, Gualtiere is a very
professional and experienced young performer.
Gualtiere attended the competitive LaGuardia High
School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in
Manhattan, majoring in vocal music and performance.
He sang in choirs, performed in musicals and operas,
on top of taking regular music classes. He prefers
to sing classically over anything else.
"I pretty much performed in anything I was able
to perform in there," he said, adding that he
looks up to singers Luciano Pavarotti and Josh
Even before high school, Gualtiere displayed a
passion for music and performance. He always wanted
to take acting lessons and in seventh grade had
a solo in a show. Around that time, a cast member
from "Sopranos" heard Gualtiere sing and asked
him to perform at a celebrity event.
went to this sporting event for celebrities and
I sang for all of them and I got really good feedback,"
he said. "I realized it was something I wanted
Gualtiere has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln
Center, as well as on television. He has had the
opportunity to showcase his talent for celebrities
like Rosie O'Donnell, Zach Braff, Anne Hathaway
and Paul McCartney, but the best time of his life
was when he performed as a back up singer for
Elton John at his 60th birthday last year at Madison
"It was amazing," he said.
Gualtiere recently performed in the professionally
staged productions of "Fame," "Ragtime," and his
operatic performances include "The Mikado" and
"Pirates of Penzance." He was granted an award
from The Josephine Foundation for Best Male Performance
of 2007 in "Once Upon A Mattress."
"Fame" director Andrew Joseph Koslosky is someone
Gualtiere looks up to, who has helped him out
as a performer and as a person.
"He has done a lot of good work," he said.
Koslosky returns the praise. He said Gualtiere
is on the road to a successful career.
"He's one of these young men at this age who has
an unusual drive and the way he approaches his
works spells success," Koslosky said. "Joseph
handles himself well."
also has the ability to make the people around
him better and that is an important trait for
a performer, Koslosky added.
Gualtiere is furthering his career as a freshman
at the Boston Conservatory this fall, where he
is looking forward to growing as both a performer
and a person. He will major in classical voice
and opera and would like to continue performing.
He hopes to one day open up his own professional
theater company for teenagers, but his biggest
dream would be to perform on Broadway and at the
Gaultiere's advice for young performers is to
put themselves out there and get noticed. They
shouldn't be afraid to be who they are and show
an audience their talent. There are always going
to be people who are better, but a performer has
to work as hard as possible.
"That's really all that matters. That you work
as hard as you can to achieve you goals and that
you are happy with what you are doing," he said.
"And as corny as it sounds, follow your dreams."