Reviews
Gianni Schicchi - Chicago Opera Theater

Baritone Michael Chioldi, all done up in oversized glasses and a loud sport jacket that looked like something you have to plug into the wall at night, had an estimable success as Schicchi. He moved his ample, finely burnished voice with fluidity and employed some comical falsetto effects in his ruse as the dying Buoso.

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News
Gianni Schicchi - Chicago Opera Theater

COT has assembled an engaging cast for this rousing ensemble piece. Leading the way in the title role is baritone Michael Chioldi, who has singing strength and comic wit. His bluster is engaging as he happily embodies the idea of cunning chicanery.

M. L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald
Gianni Schicchi - Chicago Opera Theater

Michael Chioldi plays the slippery titular character with flamboyant joie de vivre. 

Barnaby Hughes, Chicago Opera Review
Gianni Schicchi - Chicago Opera Theatre

Schicchi, the clever rogue who outwits the relatives and grabs most of the inheritance for himself and his daughter Lauretta, was dressed like Austin Powers, complete with shades and smoking jacket. The character was strongly sung and winningly played by baritone Michael Chioldi.

 

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Tosca - NYCO Renaissance

The company’s other standout, baritone Michael Chioldi, unfortunately had no contact with Ms. Moore since he performed in an alternate cast. This ferocious artist, a standby of America’s regional opera companies, is quite simply a terrific Scarpia, conveying the character’s venomous evil while pouring out warm, virile baritone sound. His was by far the fullest and most detailed characterization of any performer in either cast.

 

James Jorden, Observer.com
Tosca - New York City Opera

As Scarpia, the baritone Michael Chioldi brought a powerful, gravelly voice to the role and seemed the most grounded of the leads, though his acting tended toward the melodramatic. There were moments when this production took off, like the surefire scene in which Cavaradossi is being tortured offstage while Scarpia tries to get Tosca to reveal where her lover has hidden Angelotti. Here, Ms. Sampson and Mr. Chioldi kicked this production into gear.

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Tosca - New York City Opera Renaissance

Baritone Michael Chioldi absolutely stole the show as a juicy-toned, lubricious Scarpia who relished his villainy while wallowing in the masochistic guilt of false piety.

Eli Jacobson, Manhattan Express
“tosca” at the séance

Yet the real star of the evening was Michael Chioldi as Scarpia. Vocally commanding, he was able to expand the role beyond the one-dimensional villain archetype, avoiding cliché and overacting. His Scarpia was both frightening and pathetic, and I’m pleased to report th at he successfully melded religious apostasy with sexual surrender.

Patrick Clement James, Parterre Box
Tosca - New York City Opera

The baritone Michael Chioldi held the three acts together from the middle, singing Scarpia’s Act II efflorescence of evil with a gusto that left his fellow cast members sounding pale.

Justin Davidson, Vulture
Tosca - New York City Opera Renaissance

NYCO fielded two casts for the production; among the opening-night principals, only Michael Chioldi, the Scarpia, delivered a convincing portrayal. His police chief was very much in the Tito Gobbi mold—sardonic, self-satisfied, amoral. An appropriate hint of a snarl colored his vocal tone. With Scarpia dominating, Act II was easily the most effective portion of the evening. At times, Chioldi may have scored his points too emphatically, but you had to admire his attempt to add some oomph to the lackluster proceedings.

Fred Cohn, Opera News
Salt Lake City Opera's Tosca

IN GIACOMO PUCCINI'S TOSCA (seen Oct. 12), the iconic arias go to the soprano and tenor but in many ways the juiciest role belongs to the baritone. Michael Chioldi, as Baron Scarpia in Utah Opera’s season-opening production, had plenty of meat to sink his teeth into, and he did so voraciously.
During the first act, Chioldi’s oaken-toned voice thundered menacingly as he bullied his way into the church and dripped with cunning deception, during the Te Deum. His characterization, aided by director Kathleen Clawson’s dramatic vision, was chilling, especially during the violent Act II victimization of Tosca. But what made Scarpia’s attempt to extort sexual favors interesting was Tosca’s singular defiance to the man before whom all others cowered.

Robert Coleman, Opera News
A passionate, enthralling Rigoletto - Filarmonica de Jalisco

...A great singing actor is needed to make the story (Rigoletto) believable, plausible. Great celebrities have given life to this personage, 'all too human' as Nietzsche would say, celebrated singers that we all remember and venerate. But in this performance a new and different character emerged. One who moved and captivated all who were present in the audience:

The Italian-American, Michael Chioldi, in his tenth Verdi role and at the age of 45, gave life to a passionate, enthralling Rigoletto. Michael in his Rigoletto debut at the Teatro Degollado, brought the audience to our feet. We were presented with a unique, emotive, and passionate artist who moved us all.

Manuel Yzizar Rojas
The Star of the Night - Rigoletto - Filarmonica de Jalisco

The star of the night was without a doubt the baritone Michael Chioldi, who redeemed the missteps of the others and made of the production something absolutely essential to hear.


Chioldi offered a powerful, virile and dramatic voice, to the Guadalajaran public. His Rigoletto gave me goosebumps. He fulfilled and went beyond expectations, even more when considering this was his debut in the role. The rendition of his aria 'Cortiggiani vil razza dannata' was a heartrending interpretation of the desperation of a father who has had his daughter snatched away from him. Without a doubt this singer was the icing on the cake in this evenings performance

Alfredo Rossetti, Le Nous Cultura

Maestro Marco Parisotto "gambled" entrusting the lead to Michael Chioldi. It was a privilege to hear him debut this role and who, I am sure, will inherit the baton of the great Rigoletto of our time, Leo Nucci. What a great, powerful voice and what an enthralling actor. It is the most emotional and compelling Rigoletto I've seen live.

 

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Lazaro Azar, Reforma
Superb Talent in Utah Opera’s Tosca

The highlight of opening night was the chemistry between soprano Kara Shay Thomson as Floria Tosca and Michael Chioldi as Baron Scarpia. Chemistry often implies flirtation or sexual attraction, but in the case of Tosca and Scarpia the chemistry was her palpable disgust at his touch, and his brutish lust. Chioldi first caught my attention in Utah Opera’s 2012 production of Il Trovatore. I had high expectations for his portrayal of Baron Scarpia and he exceeded those handily. He seemed to relish the opportunity to portray such a menacing character so well.

Sara Neal, The Utah Review
Tosca - Utah Opera - A Tour de Force

The fact that Thompson's Tosca holds her own with the savage police chief, Baron Scarpia — one of the most vivid villains ever to grace the opera stage — is no small feat, especially when Scarpia is played by as strong a singing actor as baritone Michael Chioldi. His performance on Saturday was a tour de force, so expertly shaded that listeners could hear as well as see the charm, the casual cruelty and the terrifying outbursts of brutality.

Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune
Le Cid - Odyssey Opera

Resplendent in tailored suit and red pocket handkerchief, baritone Michael Chioldi made a jut-jawed figure as the all-powerful but clueless King of Castile, whose arbitrary choice of Rodrigo’s aged father over the ambitious Count of Gormas for a prestigious position at court is the “insult to honor” that starts the opera’s chain of retributions. Although his character tended to defer to God or even to Chimène when deciding whether to punish or promote Rodrigo, Chioldi’s clear, powerful singing kept up regal appearances.

David Wright, Boston Classical Review
Le Cid - Machismo and Passion in Grand Opera Style

Michael Chioldi brought a fine strong baritone to the role of the King.

Steven Ledbetter, Classical Scene
Odyssey Opera’s “Le Cid” — Romantic Turbulence

As Don Fernand, the indecisive and rather oblivious King of Castile, Michael Chioldi sang with regal tone and vocal power to spare. His stentorian bass gave the illusion of anchoring the turbulent emotional action unfolding around his character, even as the King actually drove it, vacillating on making important decisions and ignoring (and offending) important ministers, thus setting in motion Le Cid’s dramatic trajectory.

Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse
Massenet's Le Cid

Michael Chioldi was an elegant and resonant King of Castile....

Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe

Michael Chioldi was a multifaceted Macbeth. There was colour and nuance in his big, sturdy baritone, and his acting left nothing to be desired.

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Arthur Kaptainis, The Chautauquan Daily

Chioldi sang a powerful version of the "Tomorrow and tomorrow..." soliloquy then fought a physically demanding battle which ended in his character's fatal wounding, then offered a dying aria which wrung the heart.  What an amazing treat to have such singing taking place in our county.

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Robert W. Plyler, The Post-Journal, Jamestown, NY
Michael Chioldi as Ford

Michael Chioldi as Ford and George Cordes as Page are smart and sympathetic, and Chioldi is especially moving in his “Pardon me” plea.

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Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Globe
Michael Chiold as Ford getting schooled.

The large cast that Odyssey Opera has assembled for Sir John in Love is filled with singing actors who project the music and the plot with charm, humor, and verve. The two married couples—Ford (Michael Chioldi) and his wife (Courtney Miller), and Page (George Cordes) and his wife (Mara Bonde)—are involved in the battle of the spouses, all clearly carrying their vocal parts and words. Ford has the largest serious moment in the opera when he contemplates the thought that his wife has actually accepted a private meeting with Falstaff; Michael Chioldi carried it off with energy and strength. Later on, he was suitably humbled when he realized that his jealousy was pointless and his wife refused, for a time, to forgive him.

 

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Steven Ledbetter, The Boston Music Intelligencer
Baritone Michael Chioldi was the vocal powerhouse of the night

As Lucia's villainous brother, Enrico, baritone Michael Chioldi was the vocal powerhouse of the night. Rich in tone and wide-ranging -- those top notes! -- Chioldi also proved to be a fine singing actor. Ever the cad, his Enrico showed a believable touch of remorse with the realizations of the cost of his wicked ways.

Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.Com

Michael Chioldi’s Enrico

I had admired Michael Chioldi’s work in another important role for the lyric baritone, the title role in Ambroise Thomas’ “Hamlet” [see Michael Chioldi, Micaela Oeste Enrich Washington National Opera’s Theatrically Absorbing “Hamlet” – May 22, 2010.]

Chioldi as Enrico displayed a large, dark voice with power. He inhabited this role, convincing us of the desperate straits of a man with the weight of an estate’s future on his shoulders, having to conspire against a sister he loves to shake her out of what he considers a disastrous relationship.

 

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Review: New Orleans Opera’s Spectacular Lucia di Lammermoo
New Orleans Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor

As Enrico, Michael Chioldi fit perfectly into the role of a man who becomes a villain not out of choice but from necessity.

Dean M. Shapiro, The New Orleans Advocate
Virginia Opera’s weirdly beautiful ‘Salome’ at GMU

A wonderful surprise in this production was sensational baritone Michael Chioldi as the mysterious prophet Jochanaan. Wild-eyed and radiating primitive energy and righteousness as you might expect from the fiery yet austere prophet who first proclaimed Jesus to the world, Mr. Chioldi backs up his character’s pronouncements of Apocalyptic doom with the force and vocal clarity of his clean, clear and authoritative instrument.

His stage presence in this production was immense and effective even though this part is relatively small. As a result, the end of the performance left the audience left with the clear sense that, while Jochanaan may have lost his head, he has clearly won the moral, philosophical and religious argument decisively when measured against Herod’s depraved court.

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News
Virginia Opera presents ‘Salome,’ a tour de force etched in love and death

Baritone Michael Chioldi’s righteous Jochanaan matched her (Salome) note for note with warm timbre and phrasing.

Grace Jean, The Washington Post
VA Opera Salome Review

John the Baptist-Jochanaan-powerfully sung by Michael Chioldi-was the prisoner of the tetrarch Herod, kept hooded and contained in a dark rusty tank from which his beautiful, powerful voice continued to rail at the sinful Herodias.

M.D. Ridge, WHRO-Radio
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