Graduated in Singing from the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples under the guidance of Tina Quagliarella Marchetti, Maria Ercolano later specialized with Elizabeth Smith and Anna Gaggiotti. She also attained a specialization in Vocal Chamber Music.
She made her debut in Palermo in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (De Tomasi and Rizzi Brignoli), followed by Malipiero’s Il Capitan Spavento (Gregoretti/Molino), Menotti’s Medium (Menotti/Molino). With Roberto De Simone she began a fruitful collaboration that allowed her to range from baroque to modern repertoire (Cicinelli, Paisiello, Massenet, De Falla, Kurt Weill). She made her debut in I Pagliacci at the Teatro Brancaccio in Rome following her victory of first prize in the Concorso Internazionale Città di Roma.
Her meeting with Antonio Florio led to a ten-year collaboration that took her to the most important Italian and foreign stages as a guest of national and international festivals and opera/concert seasons (San Carlo, La Scala, Petruzzelli, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Champs Elysees, Zarzuela, Konzerthaus, Berliner Philarmoniker, Accademia S. Cecilia, Chigiana, Ravello Festival etc). The protagonist above all of roles “en travesti” of the great repertoire of the Neapolitan School (Provenzale, Vinci, Leo, Piccinni, Jommelli, Di Majo, Pergolesi), she has recorded for Opus 111, Naive, Bongiovanni, Dynamic winning critical awards (Diapason d’oro); she also has to his credit numerous live recordings for radio and television broadcasters (Rai, Radio3, Radio France, Mezzo, Bayern Rundfunk). Her particular versatility in tackling varied roles and repertoires sees her as the protagonist of monographic projects dedicated to authors such as, for example, Poulenc (La Voix Humaine, directed by Corsicato) and then Gershwin, De Falla, Turina, Obradors, Ravel, Rossini,Tosti, Denza, Schumann and Schubert.
From an early age she showed particular inclination for teaching singing, an activity she still practices with considerable success.