The New York Times describes Michele Capalbo as having “a genuine voice, from a lower register she actually uses to high floating pianissimos”. Widely renowned as an interpreter of Verdi and Puccini, Michele excels in capturing both the vulnerability and strength of some of opera’s greatest heroines, a specialty that prompted Opera News to proclaim her “a world-class Aida”. Her impressive performance credits have taken her to stages across North and South America as well as Europe.
Rarely is the opera world treated to the talents of a genuine Verdian soprano. Michele Capalbo is that rarity. Whatever the role, Michele’s portrayal of her characters’ emotional and psychological journey are tempered by a remarkable discipline through the bel canto vocal tradition. Her consistently stunning performances make clear Michele’s talents include a devotion to classical singing’s inherent beauty and drama, a commitment that succeeds in creating an authentic emotional connection with audiences.
Recently, Michele debuted two roles considered by many to be at the apex of dramatic soprano repertoire, Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco, and the title role of Puccini’s Turandot. As she continues to expand into new repertoire, Michele is exploring some of the heroines penned by composers including Beethoven, Britten, Giordano, Mascagni, Poulenc, Strauss and Wagner. Her core repertoire continues to include Verdi’s leading ladies; Lady Macbeth, Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Desdemona (Otello) as well as Leonora in La forza del destino and Il Trovatore. Described by Opera News as “A statuesque beauty with strong stage presence” and someone who “may well be the verismo soprano we’ve been waiting for”, Michele’s verismo repertoire includes the titular roles in Puccini’s Tosca, Madame Butterfly, and Manon Lescaut as well as Minnie (La fanciulla del West).
No stranger to the symphonic stage Michele’s performances of Verdi’s Requiem, which she has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra amongst others, has been described by OperaOnline as sung “with expert control and tons of humanity and soulfulness”. Other international concert performances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Bergen, Norway; Poulenc’s Stabat Mater in Florence, Italy and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Michele’s career was effectively launched when she won the Liederkranz competition in New York City after which she was immediately offered her first professional role as Hélène in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes. The performance took place in front of tens of thousands in New York’s Central Park as part of the popular Viva Verdi Series. Her European debut soon followed in the role of Aida with less than a week’s notice at Le Festival de Musique de Strasbourg. Subsequent international successes in the role of Aida include Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico; French performances at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Opéra de Marseille and Opéra de Nice; the Teatro Municipal Santiago in Chile, Vlaamse Opera in Belgium, the Canadian Opera Company and San Francisco Opera.
Her performances of Puccini’s quintessential opera diva Tosca, have been praised by Opera Canada as both “noble and dignified”, with a “delightful voice…founded both on solid technique and a subtle musicality”. Michele has performed this role internationally with companies including New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
Michele has received awards from the George London Foundation, and the Vancouver Opera Guild, as well as several career grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. Her debut recording, the independently produced ‘Christmastide’, features Verdi’s rarely heard Ave Maria for soprano and strings, sacred songs, lullabies and new arrangements of classic carols. In 2018 Michele was certified as a teacher of the Alexander Technique. For more information, reviews, performance details, and repertoire please visit www.MicheleCapalbo.com.
|SOUND CLIPS / EXTRAITS SONORES
O Patria Mia
D'amor sull ali'rosee
Tacea la notte placida...Di tale amor
Tu che le vanità
Un bel dì, vedremo
Pace, pace mio Dio!
In Questa reggia
Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa
VIDEO CLIPS / EXTRAITS VIDÉO
…a real Aida. Michele Capalbo has a genuine voice, from a lower register she actually uses to high floating pianissimos.
— The New York Times (Aida)
Michele Capalbo performed a world-class Aida, passionate, subtle and vocally satisfying. Her “O patria mia” had the audience of several thousand screaming for more.
— Opera News (Aida)
Throughout the work Ms. Capalbo displays a rich and polished lyric voice full of color and fluidity. Her rendition of the work’s famous aria “Vissi d’arte,” is strikingly honest and varied, full of powerful waves of vibrato and soft tenuous lines that hang on the top of the scale, then descend in a flurry of passion.
— New York Sun (Aida)
The highest praise of the evening however, should go to Capalbo, whose delightful voice is founded both on solid technique and a subtle musicality. Her Italian diction was impeccable, and her noble and dignified Tosca evolved as the work progressed.
— Opera Canada (Tosca)
(Capalbo’s) voice, particularly in the upper reaches, is by turns warm, sultry, and brilliant.
— The Boston Globe (Tosca)
Michele Capalbo, the Desdemona, can be safely added to the short list of Canadian sopranos with true Verdian lustre.
— Montreal Gazette (Desdemona)
Soprano Michele Capalbo brought not unwelcome spinto weight and scale to the Governess’s part, always retaining enough lyric grace for some lovely halftones and skillfully applied high pianissimos. An attractive and affecting stage figure, Capalbo gave a nuanced, compelling reading of this challenging but wonderful role.
— Opera News (Governess, The Turn of the Screw)
Canadian lyric soprano Michele Capalbo is a rising superstar whose particularly luminous Leonora nearly stopped the show with her soaring bel canto aria “D’amor sull’ali rosee.” Her crystal clear voice floated easily up to its high Cs (and higher), enthralling the audience with her impeccable control and feather-light pianissimo.
— Opera Canada (Leonora, Il Trovatore)
Musically the production relies on two very strong lead singers. Michele Capalboʼs Lady Macbeth embodies the ambitioned schemer as well as the secretly insecure and guilt-ridden sinner with equal aplomb; her highlight is the sleepwalking scene with its huge dynamic and expressive contrasts. Her strong voice dominates her scenes as much as her singular colour…She enjoys acting as much as singing.
— Irish Theatre Magazine (Lady Macbeth, Macbeth)
Capalbo made a radiant Butterfly, the child bride gentle as porcelain who grows into maturity through disaster and heartache. And she has a voice to match, easily floating those stratospheric pianissimos once patented by Montserrat Caballe.
— The Houston Press (Madama Butterfly)