Reviews

As an example of luxury casting, the Dallas Opera engaged the impressive American baritone Michael Chioldi for the relatively brief role of Abimelech.

Chioldi, who is usually entrusted with lead roles [see Michael Chioldi, Micaela Oeste Enrich Washington National Opera’s Theatrically Absorbing “Hamlet” – May 22, 2010] gave a solid performance as the embattled Philistine.

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William, Operawarhorses.com

The rest of the cast is equally strong (as Borodina and Forbis).  Michael Chioldi brings Abimélech to life.

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Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

Michael Chioldi, in the role of the vicious Abimelech, gives a spirited and naturalistic performance, but is dead by the middle of Act 1.

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Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

A very strong supporting cast matched the vocal qualities of Borodina and Forbis with baritone Michael Chioldi as Abimelech.

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Wayne Lee Gay, Texas Classical Review

Similarly did baritone Michael Chioldi (High Priest of Dagon)....... deliver impressively strong singing and solidly dramatic performance, helping direct adversarial thoughts about power and religion.

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John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

Michael Chioldi as the Priest offers an earth-rumbling baritone with peals of power and an artist’s precision.

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Andy Garrigue, Richmond Times - Dispatch

Michael Chioldi’s High Priest, by contrast, oozed confidence and vocal power to match Goeldner, giving the listener no doubts about who was really in love with whom.

 

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Charles T. Downey, Washington Post

Notables from the supporting cast include Michael Chioldi as the High Priest of Dagon and Stefan Szkafarowsky’s portrayal of an Old Hebrew. Chioldi is sonorous and strong like a trombone with a commanding presence.

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Brett Dodson, MD Theatre Guide.com

The baritone Michael Chioldi as the High Priest of Dagon has a powerful Act II show-down with Delilah and makes the character straightforward and unwavering.

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Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot

Michael Chioldi gave the High Priest of Dagon a lecherous interpretation with his commanding voice.

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Paul Kuritz, Paul Kuritz, Theatre and Film

Lending a great voice to tragedy -

Wednesday’s dress rehearsal at the Marble Museum proved a beautiful and deeply powerful experience, up close and personal.

But it was the storytelling that was most impressive. Chioldi, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1996 in “Andrea Chenier” with Luciano Pavarotti, is a big-voiced baritone with a broad palette of colors at his disposal.

Although this work is sometimes performed by three singers, Chioldi moved from one character to another. The text ranges from commentary by Knut Fraenkel, who chastises the leader’s ego, credited with the expedition’s demise. Much more personal are Strindberg’s letters to his beloved wife, Anna, from excitement to loneliness. And Andrée’s are more factual and, in their own way, more haunting.

Argento and, in turn, Chioldi created a dramatic and emotional arc that drew the audience into this intimate storytelling. Although the baritone was suffering a cold Wednesday, his expression delivered the intensity of the drama and the depth of the characters’ experience. It didn’t hurt that Chioldi’s diction was outstanding, making it very easy to follow.

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Jim Lowe, Rutland Herald
Falstaff - Opera Saratoga

Craig Colclough—also Arizona Opera’s Falstaff—repeated his grandly vocalized, specific and convincing portrait. His strong baritone was matched by the idiomatic, incisively sung Ford of Michael Chioldi. Chioldi and the wonderfully enjoyable Caroline Worra made a sexy couple, well matched in refulgent sound and pointed word painting.

David Shengold, Opera News

Baritone Michael Chioldi as Ford belted out arias in the second act that were memorable for their passionate intensity.

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Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette

Michael Chioldi, an impressive baritone whose rich tone and gorgeous, dark timbre, coupled with his soulful, honest approach to Sharpless, makes his my favorite performance.

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Michelle Haché, The Austin Chronicle

...a truly world class experience, from the first moments until the final heartrending notes, every breathless second holds the audience in rapt awe. The entire cast is magnificent, every note is perfection, a study in beauty and passion. Michael Chioldi as Sharpless, gives a heartfelt performance as a man caught between the two lovers.

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Lynn Beaver, BroadwayWorld.com

Michael Chioldi’s smooth baritone and stagewise presence made him a memorable Ondino, especially appealing when singing such nonsense syllables as “Brekekekex! Brekekekex!” and “Quorax! Quorax!”

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Eric Myers, Opera News

But everyone really sat up and took notice each time Michael Chioldi sang a few measures as the lizard Ondino. His two solos expressing his longing for Rautendelein pealed out in a huge, rich baritone that made one long to hear him take on the greatest of Italian baritone roles, from Verdi’s Macbeth to Zandonai’s Gianciotto.

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James Jorden, Observer.com

Michael Chioldi as her friend and later her husband, the lizard, has a big and beautifully colored baritone voice.

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Arlene Judith Klotzko, The Opera Critic

The outstanding exception was baritone Michael Chioldi, as l’Ondino, a water spirit. He was consistently audible, expressive, in character, spontaneous, and fully related to everything onstage. This was a lovely, deeply considered performance, all the more remarkable for being carried out in a reptile-suit, with a tail.

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Christopher Johnson, ZEALNYC.com

Standouts among the large cast include the baritone Michael Chioldi, who booms and blusters as Ondino, king of the frogs, covered in scales.

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Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

Baritone Michael Chioldi, a smooth, even tone with an aura of menace.

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John Yohalem, Parterre Box
La Campana Sommersa - NYCO

..and Michael Chioldi's stentorian baritone was heard to imposing effect as L'Ondino.

MusicalAmerica.com

One of the opera’s most amusing characters is L’Ondino, winningly played by Michael Chioldi, whose bold voice often announced his presence uttering “brekekekex,” an onomatopoetic word that librettist Claudio Guastalla borrowed from Aristophanes’ play, The Frogs. Chioldi also sports one of the most elaborate costumes—one of a handsome array designed by Marco Nateri—that seemed to merge The Creature from the Black Lagoon with the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

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Bruce Hodges, New York Classical Review

The best voices in this cast were Michael Chioldi as L'Ondino and Glenn Seven Allen as the Faun. Despite having to spend half of his stage time singing nonsense syllables ("Brekekekxet!"), Chioldi produced a noble tone and compelling presence. despite having to wrestle with claws, full head makeup and a long and unwieldy tail.

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Paul J. Pelkonen, Superconductor

The best voices of the night were Michael Chioldi in the role of Ondino, a rich and warm voice baritone, and Kristin Sampson as Magda, a good-natured lyric soprano who conveyed the disbelief and despair of the ringer's wife.

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Pedro J. Lapeña Rey, Codalario.com

Our lizard, Michael Chioldi, looks like he could catch flies, but his voice was stentorian.

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Harry Rolnick, Concertonet.com

In the title role, Michael Chioldi, who had a big success here two years ago as Macbeth, once more proves himself a genuine Verdi baritone – by definition a unique dramatic vocal type with a big, trumpet-like sound that can weather sustained singing in the highest part of the range. The very sound of Chioldi’s voice is quite thrilling, but he adds to this a three-dimensional characterization that has the viewer hating the jester’s cruelty at the start, yet feeling his anguish – notably in Rigoletto’s great solo, Cortigiani, where the clown lets down his defenses and implores the vicious courtiers to return to him his kidnapped and ravished daughter.

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Robert Croan, Palm Beach Daily News

A magnificent central role performance and some marvelous supporting voices made Palm Beach Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto one to admire and remember.

Returning to this 1851 mega-hit after an absence of nine years, the troupe’s A-cast mounting was led by baritone Michael Chioldi, who should be close to considering Palm Beach Opera his home company. His strong, rich, mellifluous voice keeps getting better each time he appears, and on Sunday afternoon at the Kravis Center, he unleashed an instrument that was huge and powerful from the beginning and that never lost one iota of strength.

Chioldi has been moving into the Verdi dramatic roles in recent years (he did Macbeth for Palm Beach Opera in 2104), and it suits him ideally. In his reading of the tortured man of mirth for whom his daughter is the only thing that keeps him donning the motley every day, Chioldi made Rigoletto’s anguish and fury plain.

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Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Artspaper

Michael Chiold’s warm and powerful voice and evocative acting made Rigoletto a believable character, whether mocking Ceprano and Monterone and when he himself is treated cruelly and suffers unimaginable grief. Rigoletto’s plea for the return of his abducted daughter, Gilda, Chioldi projected a gamut of emotions, from rage to sorrow, reduced to begging for pity. His outcry over Gilda’s lifeless body in the final moments was delivered with great emotional impact.

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David M. Rice, Classical Source.com

The baritone Michael Chioldi captured all sides of this complex character, in an affecting, powerful portrayal. At first, it appeared this would be a Rigoletto in which the character’s bitterness, darkness and aggression would predominate. As he mocked the nobleman Monterone, Chioldi drew out the notes, ramping up the derision in a manner that was more subtle than the usual clowning seen in opera. With his large voice, the aria “Pari siamo,” in which he meditates on what he does for a living, came off with cavernous dark tones. And he gave a thunderous cry of rage and horror, “Ah, la maledizione!” when he discovers his daughter Gilda’s disappearance.

He expressed his love for her through violence, pushing her maid around as he demands that he keep her safe. Later in the opera, as he pleads with the courtiers to return her, singing in the Duke’s cold court, he gave a deeply moving performance, singing “Marullo, Signore,” with melting warmth.

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David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review
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