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. He is lauded for “his natural male soprano [that] is probably the closest thing on earth to the sound of the castrati of long ago, and he uses it with a finesse that’s rare among singers so young.” (Toronto Globe and Mail).
Maniaci made an impressive Metropolitan Opera debut in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in 2007. He 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 No. 13 on U.S. Billboard Charts. 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 2009/10 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.
Michael Maniaci’s 2010/11 season includes performances of Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Vivaldi’s Montezuma with Mercury Baroque Ensemble, a recital with Con Gioia Early Music Ensemble, subsequent tours of Madame Whitesnake to the Beijing International Music Festival, the role of Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Fort Worth Opera, and Mozart’s Sesto in La clemenza di Tito with Opéra Atelier in Toronto. In the future, he prepares for appearances with Opéra National de Montpellier and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
In recent seasons, 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). 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, Maniaci brought his highly acclaimed portrayal of Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea to Cleveland Opera and Chicago Opera Theater with Jane Glover.
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, 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 was also seen in the title role of Xerxes.
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 male soprano or 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.