Monday, April 4, 2011

Baroque Opera Superstar Singer Moves to Cincinnati

In October, 2011 Catacoustic performed a magical program with male soprano Michael Maniaci. It was a beautiful program of 17th-century Italian music with Daniel Swenberg on theorbo. Michael has a real command of that repertory, and is an effective performer. It was a concert that will remain in so many people's minds for a long time.

I first met Maniaci in Houston around ten years ago when we were performing Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea with the Houston Grand Opera and Opera Atelier. I was amazed the moment he opened his mouth to sing. The sound and delivery was so powerful and exciting! He has had an amazing career, including winning the Met competition, singing with the great opera houses, such as La Fenice, and just a few weeks ago a concert with the LA Phil. He has a recent recording of Mozart arias with Boston Baroque that has had huge success and critical acclaim. Since we first met, I began scheming on how to bring him to Cincinnati to perform with Catacoustic.

The perfect opportunity presented itself when I was asked by the Student Tribunal at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) to present a Catacoustic concert and masterclass there. Michael studied at CCM with David Adams and has family here in town. It was perfect! Michael graciously accepted my offer to present a concert and was a lovely collaborator. We had a great week preparing the program and sharing it with enthusiastic students and the Catacoustic family.

I was shocked when Michael mentioned that he was thinking of moving from his NYC apartment to Cincinnati. He is constantly on the road and wanted to move from the "concrete jungle" of New York to our beautiful "Queen City." And, he would be close to vocal coaches, his family, Catacoustic, and an international airport.

A friendly guy, and a world-class talent, it has been a pleasure and an honor to have him live here in Cincinnati, and it will be wonderful to share his talent with Catacoustic's audience many more times in the future!

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