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.

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.

David M. Rice, Classical

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.

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.

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.

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!” 

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.

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.”

Mauricio Rabago Palafox,

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.


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
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
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
Chicago Opera Theater - Gianni Schicchi

... it is Chioldi as Schicchi who offered my favorite performance. Bursting onto the stage like some bizarre love-child of Andy Warhol and Liberace, this version of Gianni Schicchi is nothing like anything Puccini dreamed up, and is all the more delightful because of that.


Colleen Cottet, Edge Media Network
COT's Gianni Schicchi

Michael Chioldi played the titular Florentine trickster with robustness and magnetism. His ample baritone added bite to Schicchi’s wry sarcasm, easily projecting over a sometimes unruly orchestra. I found his slapstick delivery at times exaggerated but generally entertaining throughout the performance.

M. J. Chen, The Chicago Maroon
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,
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

As the lecherous Scarpia, baritone Michael Chioldi fared noticeably as the best of the three leads, with a strong stentorian voice that captured the part’s vigorous evil.

Paul du Quenoy,
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

The real story of this production, though, is Michael Chioldi as the ultimate opera villian Scarpia. He’s easily the best actor in the cast, projecting a truly elegant surface under which murky waters roil. This was definitely a “love to hate you” kind of Scarpia, with vocal power, confidence and technique to back it up. Overall, a rock-solid Tosca, not at all a bad way to get NYCO back on its feet.


Jonathan Warman,
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
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