Verdi’s “Don Carlo” at the San Francisco Opera

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.12.38 PMFabiano: a Don Carlo to treasure
“Fabiano, already well-known to San Francisco audiences, gave an astonishing performance from beginning to end: mastering elements of both a lyric tenor and a heldentenor, Fabiano’s clear and powerful voice filled the 3,200-seat barn (which, huge as it is, does have decent acoustics). He handled the role’s complex and contradictory dramatic requirements well, expressing the character’s ardor, anger, despair.”

Dynamic “Don Carlo” dazzles at San Francisco Opera
“If opera lovers are looking for a good reason to see and hear the San Francisco Opera’s new production of “Don Carlo,” they need look no further than tenor Michael Fabiano. Singing the title role of Verdi’s epic melodrama for the first time in his career, Fabiano is nothing short of magnificent. . . Fabiano’s muscular, richly colored tenor is a marvelously flexible instrument; making his role debut as Carlo, he expressed the character’s anguish and intentions in forceful terms. He sang with firm tone in his scenes with his close friend and ally, Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa. Yet Fabiano was just as affecting in his love scenes; his tender, beseeching vocalism in Act II, when he declares his devotion to Elisabetta, was ardent and eloquently phrased.”
San Jose Mercury News

Powerhouse Cast Lifts S.F. Opera’s “Don Carlo”
“Tenor Michael Fabiano, making his role debut as Don Carlo, produced a seemingly endless stream of beautiful sound, richly colored, expressive, and with tremendous dynamic control. Could his voice have possibly grown substantially in size since last year’s Luisa Miller? It seems impossible, and yet his sound was hall-filling to a greater extent than previously.”
San Francisco Classical Voice

San Francisco Opera offers a riveting Don Carlo
“In the current SF Opera production of Don Carlo, two singers were consistently at the top of their game – tenor Michael Fabiano, who sang Don Carlo, and baritone Mariusz Kwiechien , who sang Rodrigo. Fabiano, who was previously heard here as Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia (2011), Rodolfo in La Bohème (2014) and Rodolfo in Luisa Miller (2015), has a powerful, resonant voice with ringing high notes. Kwiechien, who sang here as Don Giovanni in 2007, possesses a rich, plangent baritone voice capable of great expression.”
The Berkeley Daily Planet

“From the first moments of the pasted on first act, Don Carlo’s romance “Io la vidi”… we know that tenor Fabiano was born to this role, finding sufficient Verdi vocal heft and color to compete musically with kings and queens and a spurned woman while he sustained the character of a weak and troubled epileptic youth.”
Opera Today

“At the June 24 performance at SFO, the thirty-two American tenor Michael Fabiano masterfully restored Don Carlo to the title character. From his entrance, Fabiano sang with both power and great delicacy, offering one of the most exciting tenor performances heard in years. In the opening scene, he was charming in his gentle teasing of Elisabetta, and only minutes later, deeply anguished as he watches her accept her fate as Filippo’s queen. One of the triumphs of Fabiano’s performance was its mercurial nature; he caught the constant shifts of Carlo’s fiery temperament and obsessive nature; this characterization seemed closer to the historical Carlos, Prince of Asturias, said to be mentally unstable, than any other I’ve seen on the opera stage. Fabiano’s performance almost seemed designed as a long, sustained emotional breakdown, yet it never ceased to be involving for a second. The tenor’s scenes with Mariusz Kwiecien as Posa were deeply moving, plumbing the depths of the characters’ affection for each other. And the heroic sound Fabiano exhibited in the confrontation with Philip (a memorable René Pape) in the auto-da-fé scene won’t soon be forgotten.”
Brian Kellow’s blog


The opera extravaganza Thursday evening, June 16, featured a nearly three-hour, star-studded medley of opera’s greatest hits and greatest high-note-hitters… Yet perhaps nothing got the audience quite so jazzed as the incendiary duet from Massenet’s “Manon” by Fabiano (who had already blown everyone away with a devastating selection from Verdi’s “Luisa Miller”) and Sierra, a performance so vocally steamy as to amount to opera porn.”
SF Gate

… soprano Nadine Sierra sang an absolutely incendiary duet with tenor Michael Fabiano, “Toi! Vous! N’est-ce plus ma main? “ from Jules Massenet’s Manon. Nadine Sierra’s portrayal of the repentant Manon declaring her love for Des Grieux and seeking to win him back was riveting in vocal and dramatic intensity. Tenor Michael Fabiano also brought down the house with his aria, “Quando le sere al placido,” from Verdi’s Luisa Miller.
The Berkeley Daily Planet

“Michael Fabiano, the opera world’s hottest young tenor, sang “Quando le sere al placido” from Verdi’s “Luisa Miller,” and radiated sex appeal in a duet with Sierra from Massenet’s “Manon.”
San Jose Mercury News

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