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 Christopher Alden’s staging of Handel’s Imeneo for Glimmerglass Opera, Anthony Tommasini stated in the New York Times, “Michael Maniaci…is headed for a major career.”
This season finds the countertenor making his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony as soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana. Further engagements include Veremonda for the Spoleto Festival USA, and concerts with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Catacaus Consort and Collegium Cincinnati. Highlights of recent seasons for Mr. Maniaci include appearances with Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, for a program entitled “Love & Rage: Opera Fireworks from Handel & Vivaldi, Opéra National de Montpellier, for Amor in L’arbore di Diana; the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, as Ferdinando Cortes in Graun’s Montezuma; the Garsington Opera, for Aminta in Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade; in concert with Tempesta di Mare; in a debut with the Fort Worth Symphony (Orff’s Carmina Burana); and Endymion in Cavalli’s La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera.
Michael Maniaci’s 2010-2011 season included: Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vivaldi’s Montezuma with Mercury Baroque Ensemble, a recital with Con Gioia Early Music Ensemble, a subsequent tour of Madame Whitesnake to the Beijing International Music Festival, Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Fort Worth Opera, and Mozart’s Sesto in La clemenza di Tito with Opéra Atelier in Toronto.
Mr. Maniaci made an impressive Metropolitan Opera debut in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in 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 at Teatro la Fenice in Venice performing the role of Armando d’Orville in the first modern-day production of Meyerbeer’s rarely performed opera Il crociato in Egitto, which is now commercially available on DVD. In January 2010, he released his first solo album of Mozart Arias for Telarc, recorded with Boston Baroque and including such works as Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and arias from Lucio Silla, La clemenza di Tito, and Idomeneo, which debuted at #13 on the US Billboard Charts. Mr. Maniaci recently debuted at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu in L’arbore di Diana as Amor and also took part in the world premiere of Opera Boston’s Madame Whitesnake. The latter half of Michael Maniaci’s 2009/2010 season featured performances of the works of Handel and Vivaldi at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and a concert of his Mozart Arias album with Boston Baroque.
In recent seasons, Mr. Maniaci performed the title role in Xerxes with Boston Baroque and returned to Opéra Atelier as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, after successful performances as Idamante in Idomeneo. He was also heard in concert with Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s Ensemble Matheus in a program of Farinelli arias in St. Petersburg, Russia. He appeared at Glimmerglass Opera as Orphée in the Gluck/Berlioz Orphée et Eurydice and made his debut as Atis in The Fortunes of King Croesus at Opera North (Leeds, England). The Boston Globe lauded Mr. Maniaci’s performance as Nerone in Handel’s Agrippina with Boston 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’s Orfeo with Opéra Atelier, Lucio Cinna in Mozart’s Lucio Silla with Santa Fe Opera, first performances of Cherubino in Christopher Alden’s Le nozze di Figaro for Pittsburgh Opera and Nireno in Francisco Negrin’s Giulio Cesare for the Royal Danish Opera. Additionally, Mr. Maniaci brought his highly acclaimed portrayal of Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea to Cleveland Opera and Chicago Opera Theater with Jane Glover.
Michael Maniaci has been seen at New York City Opera as the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel, the Göttinger Handel Festspiele as Ulisse in Handel’s Deidamia, at Glimmerglass Opera as Medoro in Orlando conducted by Bernard Labadie, and as Narciso in Agrippina with Harry Bicket. He also appeared as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea for Houston 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), and Wolf Trap Opera, where he has also been seen in the title role of Xerxes.
Mr. Maniaci made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2002 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Other orchestral engagements have included appearances with Tafelmusik, the New Holland Baroque Orchestra, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, a tour with Academie Baroque de Montréal throughout Canada and Germany, and in concert throughout Asia (Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore) with the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, singing works by Handel, Mozart and Monteverdi. He has also been heard in concert with L’Opéra de Montréal and at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.
Michael Maniaci trained at the Juilliard School and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music while gaining experience with several important young artist programs, such as Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, and Tanglewood Music Festival, where he was the first countertenor ever invited into the training program. He is a winner of the 2003 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2002 Richard Tucker Study Grant and took First Place honors in the 1999 Houston Grand Opera Competition.
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