Michael Maniaci

Counter-tenor

 

Michael Maniaci

Counter-tenor

 

Acclaimed as “one of the greatest singers of his generation” (Toronto Globe and Mail), countertenor Michael Maniaci has been praised for his rare, thrilling voice and sensational stage presence. Following his overwhelming success as Tirinto in Handel’s Imeneo for Glimmerglass Opera, Anthony Tommasini stated in the New York Times, “Michael Maniaci…is headed for a major career.” He is the winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Houston Grand Opera Competition and ARIA Award.

Maniaci recently reprised his role of Xiao Qing in Zhou Long’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera, Madame White Snake with Beth Morrison Projects, appeared as Cecilio in Mozart’s Lucio Silla with Odyssey Opera, in concert with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and at the Joyce Theater, premiering a new work by composer Aleksandra Vrebalov for the Limon Dance Company. His season continued in the role of Arch Angel Michael in Julian Wachner’s new opera, Rev. 23 for the Time’s Arrow Festival at Trinity Church Wall Street. He repeated the role for the PROTOTYPE Festival at National Sawdust. In the fall, Maniaci will appear in the staged World Premiere of Rev. 23 for White Snake Projects in Boston, and will debut at BAM in the 2017 Next Wave Festival.

Career highlights include roles with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Teatro la Fenice, Gran Teatre del Liceu, L’Opera Montpellier and Royal Danish Opera. Maniaci has appeared in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, L’Opera Montreal, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Matheus, Fort Worth Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Beijing International Music Festival, on tour with the Shanghai Opera Orchestra throughout China and Singapore, and with the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to being featured on DVD as the Title Role in Meyerbeer’s Il Crociato in Egitto for Teatro La Fenice, and as Nireno in Giulio Cesare for the Royal Danish Opera, Maniaci also appeared on the BBC Four Documentary Castrato, on the Discovery Channel Series, Sex Files, and on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts. Maniaci’s debut solo album of Mozart arias with Boston Baroque debuted at #13 on the US Billboard Charts.  

June 2016

 

OPERA

Handel Nerone
Ruggiero
Ariodante
Ulisse
Sesto
Tirinto
Medoro
Mirtillo
Serse
AGRIPPINA
ALCINA
ARIODANTE
DEIDAMIA
GIULIO CESARE
IMENEO
ORLANDO
IL PASTOR FIDO
SERSE
Humperdinck Sandman HANSEL UND GRETEL
Meyerbeer Armando IL CROCIATO IN EGITTO
Mozart Sesto/Annio
Idamante
Cecilio
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
IDOMENEO
LUCIO SILLA
Monteverdi Nerone/Amore/ Valetto
La Musica/ Speranza
L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA
ORFEO
Strauss, J. Orlofsky DIE FLEDERMAUS

ORATORIO

Adams EL NIÑO
 Bach MASS IN B MINOR (Second soprano solos)
  MATTHÄUS PASSION (Alto solos)
Bernstein CHICHESTER PSALMS
Mahler SYMPHONY NO. 4
Mozart MASS IN C MINOR (Second soprano solos)
Orff CARMINA BURANA

 

Beth Morrison Productions – Madame White Snake

“Lurking in the shadows like a disapproving duenna, Michael Maniaci’s Xiao Qing offered a silvery soprano timbre that emphasized the feminine over the reptilian. His serpentine nature emerged in sliding vocal swoops and dives, and even in moments of stillness his face radiated deep pain at being relegated to servitude”.
Opera News, Joanne Sydney Lessner 

Madame White Snake filled the afternoon slot. The only non-premiere, it brought back of the Pulitzer Prize-winning score and production first staged in 2010 by Opera Boston.  The solo highlight came at the outset, with Maniaci’s agonizing recitative prologue, a preview of the entire narrative. It was a tour-de-force of emotion, strength and drama, delivered in the most measured tones.”
WBUR.com, Keith Powers

Odyssey Opera – Lucio Silla

“Odyssey Opera wisely concentrated on assembling a stellar cast.  Cecilio, as sung by counter-tenor Michael Maniaci, projected ringing tones across a wide range, and effortless mastery both of Mozart’s written-out coloratura and of improvised ornamentation in da capo reprises. [In Act II] Maniaci gave us an affecting rendition of Cecilio’s Adagio expressing acceptance of his impending fate. The highlight of Act III was Cecilio’s farewell to Giunia…before he was killed, he would die of love for Giunia’s eyes (“pupille amate”).”
The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Virginia Newes

“Michael Maniaci brought a ripe, smooth-toned counter-tenor to the role of Cecilio, capturing the love-driven character to stellar effect. His voice flowered beautifully in the upper range, and he and Lindhart spun silky lines around each other in their graveside duet. Maniaci’s “Pupille amate” was especially gorgeous with both singers giving their farewells with poignant intensity.”
Boston Classical Review, Aaron Keebaugh

“The virtuosic singing of the principals carried the night….Michael Maniaci was a tender-voiced Cecilio.” Boston Globe, Jeremy Eicheler 

Cincinnati Opera – La Calisto

“The role of Endymion, beloved of Diana, was taken by Michael Maniaci, making his Cincinnati Opera debut. Endymion’s music is full of lovelorn declarations, but Michael Maniaci made the most of them, with exquisite tone and beautifully controlled singing.”
Opera News, Joe Law

“As the hapless mortal, Michael Maniaci was the most enthralling voice of the opera.”
Oakwood Register, Burt Saidel

“Michael Maniaci… made his Cincinnati Opera debut as Endymion. His gentle sincere voice made a perfect contrast to the hijinks of the other cast members, at the same time whetting one’s appetite for future performances at the Cincinnati Opera.”
Music in Cincinnati, Mary Ellen Hutton

“Michael Maniaci sings like a god, even though he portrays the sweet-natured mortal Endymion.”
Seen and Heard International, Rafael de Acha

“Maniaci, as the star-gazing mortal, sang with arresting tone and tender expression.”
The Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand

Fort Worth Symphony – Carmina Burana

“Maniaci equated himself marvellously…had to sit for a good while, stand and sing for three minutes, then return to his seat to wait out the rest of the performance. But what a three minutes it was. Maniaci splendidly showed off his countertenor chops with a crisp, pleasing tone that eschewed the harshness found in other countertenors.”
Theater Jones, John Norine Jr.

Garsington Opera – L’Olympiade

“…the countertenor Michael Maniaci, who brings his sweet, sizable and pliant voice to a demanding role.”
New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

“Two excellent countertenors dominate proceedings…and Michael Maniaci supplying virtuosity as the prince’s tutor.” The Telegraph, John Allison

“L’Olimpiade was nicely done and very nicely sung, especially by [Tim Mead as the long-lost prince, Licida, Emily Fons as Megacle], the extraordinary “sopranista” Michael Maniaci as Licida’s tutor and confidant [and Riccardo Novaro as Clistene] – all, for better or worse, world-class Vivaldians.”
The London Sunday Times, Hugh Canning

“Liceda’s tutor Aminta (Michael Maniaci) sees trouble in this, as he informs us in a telling commentary on the action delivered in an astonishing and beautiful soprano voice.”
Oxford Times, Christopher Gray

“Two notably butch but golden-voiced countertenors, …and Michael Maniaci, play the suitor and his tutor…”
Wall Street Journal, Paul Levy

“Michael Maniaci is headshaking-in-disbelief brilliant as he trills his way through a virtuosic passage at the end of Scene Four.”
The Australian Times, Will Fitzgibbon

Tempesta di Mare

“The primary attraction at Sunday’s ‘Italians in Vienna’ program was Michael Maniaci. And at every turn, his sympathy for the music ran deep, with a wonderful sense for shaping recitatives and making an aria phrase land with grace and confidence.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns

Opéra National de Montpellier – L’arbore di Diana

“This is certainly the occasion to discover, in the role of Cupid, the countertenor who will be talked about tomorrow: Michael Maniaci. Stage presence, virtuosity at every difficult passage, and above all an amazing high register make a true male soprano.”
Clasica, Vincent Borel

“The countertenor Michael Maniaci had an assured and brilliant voice and made a splash in the role of Amore.”
Midi Libre, Michele Rizaine

“For his agile and funny Amore, Michael Maniaci received a deserved ovation.”
Anaclase, Lauren Bergnach

Apollo’s Fire – Love and Rage Concerts

“The orchestra became a prime operatic collaborator when Maniaci was onstage wrapping his remarkable voice around arias from obscure Handel and Vivaldi works. Whether negotiating florid lines, leaping nimbly from low to high register (and back again), adding warm inflections to the music or intensifying phrases with ornaments on their return, he was a marvel of agility and elegance…The night’s encore brought Maniaci back to sing Handel’s beloved “Ombra mai fu” from “Serse”. Only one word will suffice to describe the performance: exquisite.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Donald Rosenberg

Fort Worth Opera – Giulio Cesare

“Among all those countertenors, Michael Maniaci in the role of Sextus proved the most adept at attaching a heroic male role to a high vocal range.”
D Magazine: Front Row, Wayne Lee Gay

“Julius Caesar was a vocal battle between the three counter-tenors…but in the end (as in the story), the unsung hero was Michael Maniaci in the role of Sextus. He proved that counter-tenors could have just as much power and resonance as any other voice-type.”
Fort Worth Examiner, David Weuste

Opera Atelier – La clemenza di Tito

“Opera Atelier’s audience is already well acquainted with Michael Maniaci from his three previous appearances with the company. In this production he portrays Sesto, Tito’s friend and would-be assassin. His male soprano voice-type is extremely rare – and about as close to an 18th century castrato as we are likely to hear today. Yet there’s nothing weird or off-putting about his voice: On the contrary, Maniaci sings with such security and flexibility that his audience is happily drawn into a willing suspension of disbelief.”
The Globe and Mail, Colin Eatock

“In a lesser cast, Toronto soprano Measha Brueggergosman would steal the show as Vitellia, who will stop at nothing to be chosen as Tito’s consort. But, here, she performs among equals: gifted male soprano Michael Maniaci…the depth and breadth of expression that each of these singers brought to their roles made each aria a showstopper in and of itself.”
Toronto Star, John Terauds

Debut Album: Mozart Castrato Arias with Boston Baroque for TELARC

“Maniaci, an American singer who has performed Cherubino and other pants roles, possesses a timbre all his own, as well as the flexibility to allow him to soar through every florid challenge Mozart places before him. The voice is beautiful, sweet…and he certainly seizes attention as he shapes phrases with natural, seamless grace. The assorted demands in arias from Idomeneo, Lucio Silla and La clemenza di Tito are formidable, whether Mozart is spinning long lines or sending the soloist on acrobatic flights. Maniaci betrays no terror, whatever the technical or expressive obstacle. In Exsultate, jubilate, Maniaci manages the joyous material as vibrantly as he caresses the tender sighs.” Gramophone, Donald Rosenberg

“Maniaci’s voice is truly extraordinary. The aria Il padre adorato from Idomeneo, tow from Clemenza di Tito and a pair from early Lucio Silla are delivered with assurance, their testing passages of coloratura negotiated with disarming ease.”
Sunday London Times

“With Maniaci’s warmly flickering vibrato, soprano-ish chest voice and extended upper range, his is a unique and exciting instrument. The tone he produces on soft, sustained notes is particularly ravishing.

And in the “Exsultate, Jubilate,” which closes the disc, he pops off vibrant, ringing soprano high notes that any countertenor could only despair at.”
Washington Post, Joe Banno

Boston Baroque – Xerses

“The impressive Michael Maniaci sang Xerxes with a confident presence and a strong, clear, and well-controlled voice.”
Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler

Opera Atelier – Idomeneo

“Making a welcome return to the company, Michael Maniaci nearly stole the show as Idamante, a departure from the usual mezzo in this role. It took a few moments to get used to his well-focused if somewhat other-worldly sound; usually sung by mezzo-sopranos.”
Globe and Mail, Paula Citron

“Reinforcing the piece’s otherworldly quality is the central performer Michael Maniaci, a male soprano. Where countertenors are able to sing in the treble range through a falsetto voice, Maniaci reaches the same heights with a full voice….This would be merely a curiosity if Maniaci didn’t also have an extraordinary technique and an inner core of humanity that he draws on in equal measure. His performance as Orpheus was haunting…The production marks the American stage debut of the score in

the Berlioz arrangement. That will surely draw a particular strain of opera enthusiasts but Maniaci’s performance is reason enough to make this opera a must-see event.”
Albany Times Union, Joseph Dalton

Metropolitan Opera – Giulio Cesare

“It was a night of four debuts – …and best of all, Michael Maniaci, who sang with clarity, passion, and hefty sound as Nireno.”
Opera News, Brian Kellow

“In his Met debut Michael Maniaci, a male soprano, was sweet-voiced as Nireno, Cleopatra’s confidant.”
New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

Boston Baroque – Concert of Arias

“Maniaci’s voice sounds like some beautiful, unknown woodwind. It has a white, disembodied sound and little vibrato, and it can sustain long phrases on even breath. He launches the tone easily, without hoisting; it just floats in from somewhere.”
Boston Globe, David Perkins

Teatro la Fenice – Il crociato in Egitto

Concert (performances) so far have cast the Velluti role of Armando with a mezzo-soprano, but La Fenice took the fascinating option of using Michael Maniaci, a male soprano (not countertenor) whose technique and artistry vindicated the choice triumphantly and must take us as near to the original as we’re going to get today without sacrificing a few unfortunates along the way. Maniaci has impeccable phrasing, excellent coloratura, a confident top and an effective stage presence. Matching him was Patrizia Ciofi’s Palmide whose soprano grows in strength without any loss of flexibility or sweetness – their Act ne duet (alas with phone obbligato in the cadenza) was exquisite.”
Opera Now, Francis Muzzu

Video

O tu divina fè by Meyerbeer. From a production of Il Crociato in Egitto recorded at Teatro La Fenice in Venice

Chi perde un momento by Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto from a production at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen

NEWS

TRINITY WALL STREET

rev-_23_show

Counter-tenor Michael Maniaci sings the role of Arch Angel in Julian Wachner’s REV 23. at Trinity Wall Street this weekend and again next weekend at National Sawdust as part of the Prototype Festival.

https://prototypefestival.org

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY
Michael Maniaci sings in “Celebrated Cantatas,” and “Joyful Bach: Choral Celebration” concerts with the Grand Rapids Symphony on March 9 and 11.

https://grsymphony.org