Tosca - Fort Worth Opera 2012

Reviews for Michael as Scarpia:

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,

Posted: Jun-12-2012
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