Reviews

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

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

Michael Chioldi was a force of nature as Iago. His is a true Verdi baritone: a big voice with wonderful legato and clear diction, dark-timbred but with shining high notes. He also has a magnetic stage presence.

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Ingrid Haas, Opera Magazine

But the one who stole the show was Michael Chioldi, a superb baritone whose large, and very well-toned voice as well as his huge and intense histrionic capacity gave us an Iago that would have delighted Verdi himself, who on more than one occasion thought that this opera should have been named for this character.

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Lázaro Azar, Sotto Voce

Also, making his debut in the role, U.S. baritone Michael Chioldi, did so on a great level. Iago is a role that requires the greatest sinuosity. Verdi and Boito sought to create the essence of evil, both perfidious and subtle. Chioldi handled his powerful sonorous instrument with intelligence, shading his singing, and interpreting step by step the development of evil until the crowning moment of his “Credo en un Dio crude!” 

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Federico Figueroa, Opera World

Michael Chioldi was a force of nature as Iago. Here is a voice of a true Verdi baritone: big, with impeccable technique, wonderful legato, dark timbre with shining high notes and a clear diction. He also has a magnetic stage presence and embodied Iago to perfection. One of the highlights of the performances was his "Credo in un Dio crudel", which he sang with Machiavellian flavour. His brindisi in Act I was also superbly sung and he knew how to create a rich portrayal of the character, full of nuances and colors, without falling into the confort zone of just being the "bad guy". His scene and duet with Savage's Otello "Desdemona rea?... Era già notte... Sì pel ciel marmoreo guiro" was another highlight of the performance.

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Ingrid Haas, Opera Click

“Another impressive singer was the American baritone Michael Chioldi, the embodiment of the evil and jealous Iago, whose powerful, masculine, robust and dramatic voice gave us a singing for the books.”

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Mauricio Rabago Palafox, Proceso.com

The Filarmónica de Jalisco presented an Otello to a full audience on a high level that has not been seen in recent memory in Mexico. Some highlights were the Credo and si per ciel of Michael Chioldi as Iago.

 

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Jaime Garcia Elias, Informador.MX
Es el Panuelo que le di como primers prenda de mi amor

The singer-actors were believable and eloquent. They thrilled and excited with their voices. They created their characters, gave them skin, body, soul and guts.

Especially the Iago of the American baritone Michael Chioldi, who adds one more to his Verdean villains, of which he is becoming one of the worlds specialist: Evil and hypocrisy are with him part of his terrifying being.

Manuel Yrizar Rojas, MYR Facebook Blogpost
Macbeth - New Orleans Opera

As the title character, Michael Chioldi's rich baritone voice powered relentlessly through the music, his earthy resonations packing a real punch. Ambitious and authoritative, he is the ideal portrayal of one of the most infamous characters put to page. Watching his psyche splinter as his paranoia increased in the second act was projected well. Overall, his character's development was exciting to watch as the intensity of his emotions came in waves, from his first spark of ambition, to the dismissal of his wife's suicide, to his lamenting death as he curses the witches who brought this fate upon him. This was an ideal portrayal of Macbeth.

Resonating off the walls of the theater, the audience made their appreciation known for the vocal deliveries of the singers, specifically during Macbeth's lamentation aria "Pieta, rispetto, amore" and Macduff's vengeful "Ah, la paterna mano."

Tara Bennett, Broadway World
Pagliacci - Virginia Opera

As Tonio, Michael Chioldi delivered the Prologue with startling impact, his burnished tone matched by dynamic phrasing. The baritone's singing remained impressively muscular throughout the opera.

Tim Smith, Opera News
Macbeth - New Orleans Opera

Michael Chioldi was a fine choice for the title role. With his deep, resonant baritone, he was able to project his dark, foreboding, haunted character in precisely the manner the composer intended. By the final act, with the audience fully convinced of his villainy, he nonetheless evoked sympathy with his lamentation aria, “Pieta, rispetto, amore” (Pity, respect, love), and his dying aria, “Mal per me” (Badly for me), in which he curses the witches who foretold his fate.

Dean M. Shapiro, The New Orleans Advocate
Pagliacci - Virginia Opera

The opening aria sung in front of the curtain by Tonio (Michael Chioldi), takes things to soaring heights right away, with Chioldi demonstrating world class power, tight control and harrowing emotion, setting the bar high for the rest of the show.

Andrew Garrigue, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Pagliacci - Virginia Opera

Soprano Kelly Kaduce sang Nedda, the adulterous wife who pays with her life for her romantic yearnings. She sang the role superbly, with a rich, powerful voice that soared and made the climactic moments thrilling.

Equally arresting was baritone Michael Chioldi as Tonio, who precipitates the tragedy with his lust for Nedda. He set a high bar in the opening “Prologue” with his theatricality and ringing voice.

Paul Sayegh, The Virginia Pilot - Pilot Online
Il Trovatore - Hawaii Opera Theatre

Both male leads were impressive, : Count di Luna (the younger Count) may not be very nice character, but baritone Michael Chioldi made him the most powerful – he has a beautiful voice!  (Chioldi) displayed impeccable vocal technique well worth making an effort to hear.

Ruth Bingham, Honolulu Star Advertiser
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
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