Acclaimed as “one of the greatest singers of his generation” (Toronto Globe and Mail), Michael Maniaci has been praised for his rare, thrilling voice and sensational stage presence. Mr. Maniaci “possesses a remarkable voice, that marries trumpeting high notes with a warm and supple middle voice and secure bottom” (Washington Post). Following his overwhelming success as Tirinto in Chistopher Alden’s staging of Handel’sImeneoforGlimmerglass Opera, Anthony Tommasini stated in theNew York Times, “Michael Maniaci…is headed for a major career.”
This season finds the countertenor making his debutwith the Milwaukee Symphony as soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana.Highlights of recent seasons for Mr. Maniaci include appearances withApollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, for a program entitled “Love & Rage: Opera Fireworks from Handel & Vivaldi,Opéra National de Montpellier, for Amor inL’arbore di Diana; theStaatsoper Unter den Linden, as Ferdinando Cortes in Graun’sMontezuma; theGarsington Opera, for Aminta in Vivaldi’sL’Olimpiade; in concert withTempesta di Mare; in a debut with theFort Worth Symphony(Orff’sCarmina Burana); and Endymion in Cavalli’sLa CalistowithCincinnati Opera.
Michael Maniaci’s 2010-2011 season included: Unsuk Chin’sCantatrix Sopranicawith theLos Angeles Philharmonic, Vivaldi’sMontezumawithMercury Baroque Ensemble, a recital withCon Gioia Early Music Ensemble, a subsequent tour ofMadame Whitesnaketo theBeijing International Music Festival, Sesto inGiulio CesarewithFort Worth Opera, and Mozart’s Sesto inLa clemenza di TitowithOpéra Atelierin Toronto.
Mr. Maniaci made an impressiveMetropolitan Operadebut in Handel’sGiulio Cesarein 2007, in which he “sang with clarity, passion, and hefty sound as Nireno” (Opera News). Mr. Maniaci also made a last-minute debut to critical acclaim atTeatro la Fenicein Venice performing the role of Armando d’Orville in the first modern-day production of Meyerbeer’s rarely performed operaIl crociato in Egitto, which is now commercially available on DVD. In January 2010, he released his first solo album of Mozart Arias forTelarc, recorded withBoston Baroqueand including such works as Mozart’sExsultate, jubilateand arias fromLucio Silla,La clemenza di Tito, andIdomeneo, which debuted at #13 on the US Billboard Charts. Mr. Maniaci recently debuted at Barcelona’sGran Teatre del LiceuinL’arbore di Dianaas Amor and also took part in the world premiere ofOpera Boston’sMadame Whitesnake. The latter half of Michael Maniaci’s 2009/2010 season featured performances of the works of Handel and Vivaldi at theLudwigsburger Schlossfestspieleand a concert of his Mozart Arias album withBoston Baroque.
In recent seasons, Mr. Maniaci performed the title role inXerxeswithBoston Baroqueand returned toOpéra Atelieras Nerone inL’incoronazione di Poppea, after successful performances as Idamante inIdomeneo. He was also heard in concert with Jean-Christophe Spinosi’sEnsemble Matheusin a program of Farinelli arias in St. Petersburg, Russia. He appeared atGlimmerglass Operaas Orphée in the Gluck/BerliozOrphée et Eurydiceand made his debut as Atis inThe Fortunes of King CroesusatOpera North(Leeds, England). TheBoston Globelauded Mr. Maniaci’s performance as Nerone in Handel’sAgrippinawithBoston Baroque, in which he “purl[ed] a long and eloquent line and click off coloratura with virtuoso aplomb.” Other engagements in past seasons included Speranza in Monteverdi’sOrfeowithOpéra Atelier, Lucio Cinna in Mozart’sLucio SillawithSanta Fe Opera, first performances of Cherubino in Christopher Alden’sLe nozze di FigaroforPittsburgh Operaand Nireno in Francisco Negrin’sGiulio Cesarefor theRoyal Danish Opera. Additionally, Mr. Maniaci brought his highly acclaimed portrayal of Nerone inL’incoronazione di PoppeatoCleveland OperaandChicago Opera Theaterwith Jane Glover.
Michael Maniaci has been seen atNew York City Operaas the Sandman inHänsel und Gretel, theGöttinger Handel Festspieleas Ulisse in Handel’sDeidamia, atGlimmerglass Operaas Medoro inOrlandoconducted by Bernard Labadie, and as Narciso inAgrippinawith Harry Bicket. He also appeared as Nerone inL’incoronazione di PoppeaforHouston Grand Opera(NPR World of Opera Broadcast),Opéra Atelier(Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination for Best Operatic Performance of the Year in a Leading Role/Toronto, 2003), andWolf Trap Opera, where he has also been seen in the title role ofXerxes.
Mr. Maniaci made hisCarnegie Halldebut in 2002 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Bernstein’sChichester Psalms. Other orchestral engagements have included appearances withTafelmusik, theNew Holland Baroque Orchestra, theBridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, a tour withAcademie Baroque de Montréalthroughout Canada and Germany, and in concert throughout Asia (Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore) with theShanghai Opera Orchestra, singing works by Handel, Mozart and Monteverdi. He has also been heard in concert withL’Opéra de Montréaland at theTanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.
Michael Maniaci trained at theJuilliard SchoolandCincinnati Conservatory of Musicwhile gaining experience with several important young artist programs, such asGlimmerglass Opera’sYoung American Artist Program,Wolf Trap Opera,Aspen Opera Theater, andTanglewood Music Festival, where he was the first countertenor ever invited into the training program. He is a winner of the 2003Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2002Richard Tucker Study Grantand took First Place honors in the 1999Houston Grand Opera Competition.