Utah Opera's 'Salome' offers chills and thrills
Baritone Michael Chioldi brought palpable charisma to the role of the unfortunate object of her affections, John the Baptist (called Jochanaan in the Oscar Wilde play on which Strauss based his opera).
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune
"By far the best of the three principal artists was Michael Chioldi as the relentlessly obsessed Giacomo, whose big, open baritone had the power, lyricism and, above all, the style needed to do justice to early Verdi. The father's forgiveness and benediction were among the vocal highlights of Saturday's performance." Read More...
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
"Place of honor, however, must go to baritone Michael Chioldi as Giacomo, Joan's father. Baritones have never been in short supply in opera; however, Chioldi's voice and his performance indicate that he would stand out, even in a distinguished group, which is not necessarily a description I would apply to any voice range in opera today. Mr. Chioldi possesses a voice of exceptional power and stamina; his performance was not merely special, it is one that I will not forget as long as I attend opera. I feel confident Chioldi could step into any baritone role with any opera company in the world and stand up not only any of his contemporaries, but also invite comparisons with great baritones of the past." Read More...
Adam Dahlgren, Los Angeles Splash Magazines
"Moreover, Michael Chioldi—an Emmy award-winning baritone/sect leader who plays Joan’s father—was my favorite of the night; I very much enjoyed Chioldi’s performance that is at the same time convincing, infuriating, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The final act gave me chills (it was so stellar I would love to experience it again)." Read More...
Anna Dron, Chicago Now
"The soloist that “literally” turned on the lights for the audience was Michael Chioldi in his outstanding performance of Joan of Arc’s father, Giacomo. During the few moments in the opera without some sort of distraction, one of his arias would arrive and quell the storm of Verdi choruses that proceeded. He acted not only as father to Joan, but also to the company of singers as they continued their religious activities."
Daniel Grambow, Chicago Opera Examiner
"...Michael Chioldi’s magnificent Giacomo is a force of nature, intoning Verdi’s soaringly aggressive arias as if they were written for him on the spot."
Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema
"Chioldi possessed the strongest voice, a powerful baritone that filled the hall."
Elliot Mandel,
"The veteran baritone [Michael Chioldi] sang with an ample, rounded baritone and a nice sense of Verdi style, bringing a humanity to Giacomo ..."
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
"But the real treat was baritone Michael Chioldi, who sang gorgeously as Joan's father, Giacomo, and was perfect as the sly, charismatic cult leader, pulling the strings for the whole shebang."
Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader
"Baritone Michael Chioldi was a standout as Giacomo, Joan’s reproving father, quick to judge and soaring in remorse, and he sang it as one who has inhabited Verdi’s other great paternal roles. One could have closed one’s eyes and come away with a legitimate Verdi experience."
Nancy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle
"Baritone Michael Chioldi offers a winning vocal performance as Giacomo, Joan’s father."
M.L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald
Ford (Michael Chioldi), and the men of Windsor search for Falstaff.
"The excellent, resonant baritone Michael Chioldi, was particularly impressive in making his words clear and telling. His key scene with Falstaff, very well vocalized with considerable nuance and shading, proved a highlight."
David Shengold, Opera News
Michael Chioldi (Scarpia) and Tracy Wise (Spoletta)
Baritone Michael Chioldi (Scarpia) was brilliantly cast. His voice is rich, clear and equally powerful, with a dark edge that made his threats real. Chioldi and Gardner (Tosca) fashioned the second act into the highlight of the evening: two perfectly matched adversaries, dueling for their lives.
Ruth Bingham, Honolulu Advertiser
Lending heft to this fine production was baritone Michael Chioldi, as Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father, who gave a sensitive performance. His flexible and lyrical baritone has creamy rich overtones even in delivery from top to bottom of the range. He won rapturous applause for his Act II arias, and his curtain call at the end.
Rex Hearn, Palm Beach Arts Paper
Baritone Michael Chioldi was a solid Giorgio Germont from his first notes. His voice was as powerful as it was expressive, and his charisma dominated whenever he was on the stage.
Marcio Bezerra, Palm Beach Daily News
The American baritone Michael Chioldi ... was an excellent Germont, and won the first warm applause of the evening with his lovely reading of Di Provenza il mar in Act II. His sturdy, big voice has a softness and flexibility to it that made his interpretation of Alfredo’s father less imperious than others, and it was in his duet with El-Khoury, Pura siccome un angelo, that this production of Traviata found its sea legs.

The two singers [Joyce El-Khoury and Michael Chioldi] melded expertly, and in their give-and-take one could hear how Verdi had moved away from the conventions of his time toward an expressive naturalism. Gone are the arias for each emotional arrival; in its place are urgent phrases that move the action along and build the tension gradually.

Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper
As Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, whose antique ideas of family honor spoil everything for the young lovers, the American baritone Michael Chioldi was an imposing, patriarchal presence, with a voice to match. His long dialogue with Violetta, as he tries to convince her to leave Alfredo, was one of the emotional high points of the opera, with his resonant cries of Piangi, piangi (Weep, weep). His Di Provenza, in which he reminds Alfredo of their family home, was performed with paternal ardor, with a natural feel for the aria’s long lines of melody.
David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review
... baritone Michael Chioldi portrayed Count di Luna with sonic virility. His larger-than-life persona dominated most scenes, but his shrewd restraint in Act IV avoided quashing the tender moment when Manrico learns what Lenora has sacrificed for him.
Robert Coleman, Opera News
Guest conductor Larry Rachleff’s lovingly detailed concert with the FWSO was a dramatic demonstration of what’s too often lacking from that very able orchestra. The Fort Worth Opera Festival mounted a gripping Tosca, with a powerful trio of Carter Scott (Tosca), Roger Honeywell (Cavaradossi) and Michael Chioldi (Scarpia). Read More...
Scott Cantrell, Dallas News
Baritone Michael Chioldi sang with power and menace, making Count di Luna a love-to-hate-him villain. Read More...
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune
The Kentucky Opera turned in a production of Puccini’s “Tosca” that opened this season with strong performances by the leads, notably Michael Chioldi as the villain Scarpia.
Elizabeth Kramer, Courier Journal
Puccini's enduring tragedy opened the Opera's season with a bang. Gorgeous costumes, haunting sets and amazing performances by Kara Shay Thomson, Jon Burton and especially Michael Chioldi as the chilling villain Scarpia made "Tosca" a thrill for opera neophytes and aficionados alike.
WFPL News 89.3 FM
Chioldi brings real menace and power to this interpretation with his commanding voice and presence. On such an auspicious night, the performances of the three stars of Tosca were exceptional. Scarpia is played younger than I've seen in other productions ... Chioldi's version is young, dark, and merciless, a Marquis de Sade of strutting and finger snapping authority, who can sing about death-dealing and lust against a background chorus of children singing "Te Deum" in the chapel.
Selena Frye,
Michael Chioldi's Scarpia was especially sinister in his quicksilver switches from aristocratic manners to leering to cool calculation to sheer sadism, his meaty baritone turning to a snarl just when needed. His Act 2 confrontation between Tosca was exquisitely terrifying. Read More...
Scott Cantrell, Opera News
The dapper... (Michael) Chioldi, could sing his part (Lescaut) on any stage in the world. All the singers handled the English translation pretty well, with Chioldi taking the prize for sharp diction.
David Shengold, Opera News
Michael Chioldi gives a nuanced performance as Scarpia with aristocratic manners one moment, leering lust the next, then cool calculation, then sheer sadism. His meaty baritone turns to a snarl just when needed.
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

Opposing the lovers is the villainous Baron Scarpia, a monster of lust and torture played with real physical menace by baritone Michael Chioldi. He strides the stage in his knee-high boots like he owns Rome. Chioldi's Scarpia is a controlling, vengeful tyrant whose desire for Tosca increases the more she resists him. His deep voice resounds effortlessly, conveying his greed and determination to trick Tosca into making love to him.

Chioldi's range and ease as a singer make credible the attraction of a powerful man—and his will to deceive and seduce Tosca is a terrible force opposing the heroine. He lies with smiling conviction, telling Tosca he will arrange a fake execution of her lover—and safe passage for them both out of the country—if she bows to his pleasure. The scene in Scarpia's rooms when he slams the gasping Tosca onto a table as if to rape her then and there is truly wrenching.

Martha Helmberg, Theater Jones
Musically, the principal singers were appropriately hall-filling in terms of vocal and dramatic presence. ... baritone Michael Chioldi as Scarpia delivered that role as close to perfection as possible—you almost hated to see him die at the end of Act II.
Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine
The most impressive of the male voices during the evening, was baritone Michael Chioldi in the role of the Baron Scarpia. Even from his first stage entrance, his booming baritone told you that he meant business. What Chioldi excelled at the most was the way he brought out the character. He made you love to hate him, which is exactly how you should feel towards Scarpia. Whether he was perfectly reveling in his sinister plot in Va Tosca! by honing in on a darker sound, or bringing down the house in the incredibly powerful and moving Te Deum to close out the first act, he embodied the roll of the sanctimonious political zealot. But even though the Te Deum might have been the best moment of the evening, Chioldi’s best performance came during his Ha più forte sapore aria. He beautifully played off of the orchestra to bring out the feeling of inner rage within his character, but it was within that show of anger that Chioldi’s voice was allowed to boom out like we heard in his opening lines in the first act, all of which underlined the sickening lines of conquest he was singing, and made you more than ready for him to receive that “kiss” from Tosca.
David Wueste,
Leading the cast is Michael Chioldi. Chioldi's strong baritone fit the virile nature of the roguish Count, and he played his frequent frustration at being outwitted at nearly every turn with laugh-out-loud seriousness.

His was a shining example of how important good, focused theatrical skill (not the hammy stuff of the less experienced) is to selling a character.

El Paso Times
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