The Canadian-born Italian soprano, Emilia Cundari, came with her parent back to Calabria as a very young child. When she was 7 years old, her father emigrated to Canada again, and there they lived in Windsor (Ontario), where she spent her childhood. She was educated at the Canadian Ursuline, and received her first singing lessons with the teacher Joan Clapp.
In 1953, Emilia Cundari began her stage career at the New York City Center Opera as Dew Fairy in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. Then she sang Micaela in Carmen. In 1955 she won a singing competition in New York. In 1956 she was engaged at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she appeared in the following seasons, performing smaller roles and Comprimario roles (inaugural role Modistin in Rosenkavalier), but also Mimi in La Bohème, Micaela in Carmen, Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Marianne Leitmetzerin in Rosenkavalier and Cupid in Orpheus by Gluck. She stayed at the Metropolitan Opera until 1959 and then went with her Italian husband to Italy, where she was appeared at Maggio Musicale in Florence in 1962 as Ilia in Mozart's Idomeneo, in 1965 at the Teatro Sociale of Como as Gilda, and also at the Opera of Rome.
At the end of the 1960’s, Emilia Cundari went back to the USA and took on an educational work at Mary Grove College. Almost more important than her career on the stage, was her concert work.
Recordings: on CBS label, the soprano solo in L.v. Beethoven's 9th Symphony; also on Harmonia Mundi, Victor and Music Guild. She can be heard in small roles on private recordings of opera performances, mostly from the Metropolitan Opera.