Massimo in press and media
“(…) Massimo Giordano is magnificent as Des Grieux, brilliant in his seduction vocally as physically. Flexibility, beauty and strength allow him to overcome the orchestra in a space that is cruel for softer voices (…)”
“The Italian tenor Massimo Giordano sings Des Grieux with crisp diction and, at his best, a ringing sound. His tendency to emote detracts from the buoyancy of his solos early on, but he is gripping in his aria imploring the captain of Manon’s ship to take him to America with her.”
“Massimo Giordano, visually and vocally the perfect Italian Tenor, blessed with a touching and easy flowing voice in all ranges, which sounds warm yet also virile, can here sob as his heart desires.”
Love in during the war.
“Massimo Giordano mirrored the wonderful rich colors, stimulated by Simon Rattle, from the Berliner Philharmoniker and sang more lyrical which showed the best sides of his vocal abilities (…)
(…) The obsessive passion that inspires Giordano and his strength, strikes and convince the audience. In fact, more than one spectator was in tears because of the emotions.. (…)
The picture of a big lover.
“But musically the Italian presents a remarkable role debut. Sometimes with a bit of short breath, but with rich colors, relaxed high notes and a golden shine.”
“Manon Lescaut” in Baden Baden.
“(…) With the Italian Massimo Giordano in the role of Des Grieux Mrs Westbroek has a magnificient Tenor at her side (…)”
(…) Massimo Giordano perfectly embodies Des Grieux’s character with elegance of phrasing and passion (…)
Adriana Lecouvreur Vienna Stateopera
“Massimo Giordano made his debut as Maurizio di Sassonia. Faced with the right balance of the colors of his purely romantic voice.”
Adriana Lecouvreur Vienna Stateopera
“Massimo Giordano presents himself as the charming and rough Maurizio with shining notes.”
“Tosca” Wiener Staatsoper
“Massimo Giordano is a virile strong Cavaradossi, who cultivates the role, noble and who sings with exact differentiation in his expression. In “Vittoria” he showed blaring force, in “Lucevan le stelle” deep lament.”
(…) Then she would have missed the very Italian, but very beautiful Tenor Massimo Giordano, who’s E lucevan le stelle sounds even more beautiful than his Recondita Armonia and who’s Vittoria calls sound very impressive. (…)
Whether he sang well, I do not know, but he seemed to have done it just as passionately as he like doing it. His favorites were supposed to be Neapolitan folk songs. This is all of the musical base that was placed into Massimo Giordano‘s cradle. So he’s not one of those, in who‘s biography you read, that he came from a very musical family.
Near Naples, namely in Pompeii, he was born in 1971. At that time his father worked as a stonemason in a marble factory. The fact that he gave up this position to work as a janitor at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste, lead the life of his son Massimo onto entirely new, namely musical tracks. First, he was taught the flute, because at the conservatory were two vacancies in the discipline of flute. So Massimo Giordano studied flute, until one of his friends, a blind pianist, encouraged him to sing to the piano. “You have to, have to, have to continue doing it!” was his advice, after he had heard Giordano’s voice. So the then 18-year-old enrolled in a singing class, and won a place against 100 competitors. He took part in singing competitions, thus securing first engagements.
This may sound very simple, yet nothing came easy to Giordano. Diligently and consistently he gained his place as Belcanto and now provides all those who have not had the opportunity to see him on stage with evidence how good it was to give up studying flute and to dedicate himself to singing, by presenting his debut album “Amore e Tormento” (BMG / Sales Naxos). Meanwhile Massimo Giordano acts and sings in the first Belcanto league. The fact that he has only now recorded a CD, may show how important it is to him to stand on stage and to have the direct contact with the audience. That alongside the sale of recorded music might also have brought a lot of money, didn’t come to his mind. People like to listen to him, but he couldn’t (yet) reach up to his famous colleagues, I read in a blog post.
Well, my dear colleague, I see and I hear this completely differently! Once again it becomes clear how much music is a matter of the heart and the soul. Massimo Giordano undoubtedly touches my heart and my soul. For me, he pours out those same special magic, yes, and this time I’m not afraid to make the comparison, he has the same magic spell, as Nicolai Gedda, Luis Mariano, Gianni Raimondi or even Luciano Pavarotti. Each of those tenors was wonderful in his own way and so is Massimo Giordano. He has that special something that gives me goose bumps and makes me love music. When I heard “Amore e Tormente” (love and suffering) for the first time, the incredible fear caught me again, that one day I could become deaf and that I wouldn’t be unable to hear such music which moves me like this.
His favorite arias on the album are “Come un bel dì di Maggio” and “Non piangere Liù.” I love them all, I’m unable to choose a favorite. I wish Vienna with its State Opera wouldn’t be so far away, so I could listen to Massimo Giordano singing Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Meanwhile I enjoy Massimo Giordano and his Italian arias at home. What crowns this enjoyment is the fact that “Amore e Tormento” not only exists as CD, but also as Vinyl! Amore yes, Tormento no!
Uploaded by: Rosmarie Schmitt
Neapolitan-born tenor Massimo Giordano has received strong notices for performances in many of Europe’s leading opera houses since about 1997, but not until 2013 did he release a solo album. Amore e Tormento is his debut release, as well as the first solo vocal release from the BMG label in some time. It’s not clear what caused the delay as numerous other singers were being heavily touted.Giordano certainly yields to none in terms of photogenic quality, and here he is splashed in various hipster poses across a substantial trifold. The booklet is devoted to archival images from the collection of the publishing firm Ricordi, minimally helpful to the non-Italophone listener, but relevant to the tail end of the classic Italian opera repertory from which all of these pieces are taken. Here lies the most distinctive and daring aspect of Giordano’s release, and the one that makes it impossible to write him off as simply another pretty face or big voice. Most operatic debut recitals include a variety of material, with several easy-on-the-ears tunes that everybody knows to rope new listeners in. Giordano’s program, by contrast, is strikingly homogeneous. All of the pieces are in medium tempo, covering, as promised, amore e tormento. There are excerpts from a pair of Verdi operas for which the term “aria” still makes some sense, but the rest of the pieces are sliced from continuous action. Several of them, such as Torna ai felici di from Puccini’s Le villi, qualify as obscure. And Giordano surmounts all of these challenges with ease. He has a voice that never seems to be straining and has the odd quality of seeming quiet even when the actual volume is quite loud. He has a conversational quality with the text even at the top of his range. And he has the elusive quality of moving the action forward that makes one anxious to hear him in new recordings where he has lead role status. Indeed, that’s what a debut album of excerpts is supposed to do.
With a gentle tear in his voice Massimo Giordano sings his way into our listening heart. His CD with Tenor hits from Italian Opera which was recorded in a studio in Florence sprays the charme and the sensual directness of a live recording. Very honest, authentic and unartificial the Neapolitan approaches his Puccini, Verdi and Cilea. For him personality comes before perfection and strong emotions before control. With the boyish charme of his bright lyric tenor voice he cleverly switched between vulnerability and seduction, chaste Mezza Voce and virile full voice. Thanks to his bright shining ability to project, the predestined belcanto singer – he is an ideal Alfredo, Duca or Rodolfo- can also sing Cavaradossi without any problems. One might almost dream about the “old school”. The retro look on his CD – the recording is also availlable on Vinyl – projects excatly this picture.
Amore e Tormento
Alfredo Kraus, one of the most astute artists in operatic history in terms of careful management of technique and vocal resources, once said in an interview that ‘you have to make a choice when you start to sing and decide whether you want to service the music, and be at the top of your art, or if you want to be a very popular tenor.’
Kraus was perhaps the last of the truly great tenors to enjoy a tremendous career in a repertory that was by the standards of most of his contemporaries quite small: Kraus’s understanding of the capabilities of his own voice was legendary, and he maintained the fluidity of his upper register and the agility of his voice to the end of his career by only singing rôles that were within his technical comfort zone. In this age in which operatic productions are conceived along cinematic lines, when the attractiveness of faces and figures sometimes take precedence over the quality of voices and techniques, versatility is perhaps the primary requirement for making a significant career in the world’s major opera houses. Too many of today’s promising young singers are squandering their natural gifts in pursuit of the sorts of fame and celebrity that are, except in the rarest of instances, elusive to opera singers, stretching their voices to fit whichever rôles they are told that they need to sing in order to achieve a well-publicized television appearance, a cover story, or that next high-profile engagement. Among all of this arrogance and cut-throat competiveness, it is gratifying to encounter a young tenor whose versatility is genuine, a product of artistic curiosity and exploration of the capabilities of his voice rather than an exercise in commercialism. The singing of Massimo Giordano recalls the open-throated, heart-on-the-sleeve style of previous generations, and his artistic versatility—a choice informed by his adherence to his own artistic standards rather than an act of necessity—is a refreshing recollection of great singers of the past who expanded the boundaries of their artistries without overextending their vocal endowments. Amore e Tormento, Mr. Giordano’s début recital disc, alluring explores nearly seven decades of Italian tenor repertory, ranging from Verdi’sSimon Boccanegra to Puccini’s Turandot. It is not uncommon for a modern tenor’s active repertory to include both Gabriele Adorno and Calàf, along with many of the rôles that were created between them, but it is rare for performances of the arias from many of these parts to be sung as beautifully as Mr. Giordano sings them on this disc.
Born in Pompei, Mr. Giordano has already lent his talents to performances in many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, where he débuted as des Grieux opposite Renée Fleming in Massenet’sManon in 2006. In subsequent MET seasons, he has sung Nemorino inL’Elisir d’Amore (in which rôle he had the unenviable task of replacing the indisposed Rolando Villazón, a favorite of New York audiences), Alfredo inLa Traviata, Rodolfo in La bohème, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. These assignments reveal the variety that has shaped the first decade of Mr. Giordano’s career. This variety is also in evidence in this recital, but few other performances of these arias have displayed the unbroken musical lineage among the works of Verdi, Ponchielli, Puccini, Cilèa, and Giordani with such clarity. Particularly in Europe, Mr. Giordano is celebrated for his portrayals of bel canto heroes, and he has been acclaimed in Europe and America in lighter Verdi rôles: Edoardo in Un giorno di regno, Alfredo in La Traviata, the Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto, and Fenton in Falstaff. In this recital, he takes on arias from heavier rôles; rôles that he is perhaps wisely reserving for later in his career or will ultimately forgo altogether. All of these arias are ‘chestnuts,’ but they offer tantalizing glimpses at how Mr. Giordano’s career may progress as his voice expands and darkens.
This disc was recorded in live takes, and Mr. Giordano’s performances of the arias benefit excitingly from the immediacy of these circumstances. The acoustic in which the voice is recorded is natural and avoids the closeness which inaccurately reproduces the voices of many singers and mars their recordings. The players of the Ensemble del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, instrumentalists associated with one of Italy’s most venerable musical institutions, have this music in their blood, and it shows in their spirited, idiomatic playing. The demands of the accompaniments of these arias are quite different, but the members of the Ensemble adapt their playing to every style. Also advantageous is the insightful leadership of young conductor Carlo Goldstein. With successes in Boris Godunov in Valencia and Carmenat Venice’s Teatro La Fenice to his credit, Maestro Goldstein is one of the most promising conductors to have emerged onto the musical scene in recent seasons, and his sensitive support of Mr. Giordano’s performances on this disc portends a notable career in opera.
Mr. Giordano pays homage to Verdi with performances of arias from Don Carlo and Simon Boccanegra. In Carlo’s aria ‘Io la vidi,’ Mr. Giordano finds especially congenial vocal territory, Verdi’s melodic line recalling the bel cantomodels of earlier generations. Mr. Giordano’s diction in his native language is excellent, and his phrasing is unfailingly musical. There is an audible element of aristocratic grace in his singing of ‘Io la vidi,’ but there is also a bracing dose of Italianate passion. Gabriele Adorno’s aria ‘Sento avvampar nell’anima’ from Simon Boccanegra is an explosion of fury that punishes the tenor with tessitura that centers in the passaggio. Traditionally, the rôle has attracted dramatic voices, but Mr. Giordano’s more lyric tone fills the vocal lines gorgeously. Mr. Giordano’s vibrato and method of producing an even, balanced tone across his range recall the singing of Giuseppe Campora, who successfully took on a carefully-selected handful of dramatic rôles with his essentially lyric voice.
Francesco Cilèa undeservedly remains in the shadow of Puccini, and aside from productions of Adriana Lecouvreur mounted for self-indulgent divas his operas are now seldom performed. Perhaps surprisingly considering the esteem in which he was held in Italy in the first decades of the 20th Century, Cilèa completed only five operas, two of which are represented on Amore e Tormento. Adriana Lecouvreur is Cilèa’s most popular opera and arguably his best: its synthesis of Italian verismo with elements of French Impressionism conjures a decadent musical setting in which an ambitious soprano can chew the scenery like a genuine luminary of the Comédie-Française. The tenor rôle of Maurizio, created by Caruso, received from Cilèa a number of pages of fine music, and Mr. Giordano here sings ‘La dolcissima effigie,’ an impassioned outpouring of Maurizio’s love for Adriana. The urgency of Mr. Giordano’s vocal expression is invigorating, and the spin of his tone is magical. The ‘Lamento di Federico’ (‘È la solita storia del pastore’) from L’Arlesiana receives from Mr. Giordano a similarly ardent performance.
The operas of Umberto Giordano, like those of Cilèa, are infrequently performed—with the exception of Andrea Chénier, of course. Few operas in the Italian repertory are more obvious vehicles for tenors than Andrea Chénier, but few performances in recent years have justified the faith shown in the drivers of this vehicle. His singing of ‘Come un bel dì di maggio’ suggests that Mr. Giordano’s Chénier will be unusually poetic. His phrasing of the aria displays a mastery of the text, and his placement of the tone as the vocal line builds to the climactic top B-flat is authoritative. Loris’s brief aria ‘Amor ti vieta’ from Fedora is a favorite number in many tenors’ recital and concert repertories. Like Adriana Lecouvreur, Fedora occasionally turns up on the boards when there is a soprano—a soprano of a certain age, in most cases—on hand who wishes to show off her histrionic command of theverismo repertory. It is a score with many felicities, however, and ‘Amor ti vieta’ is a refulgent eruption of Italianate melody. Mr. Giordano sings the aria spaciously, rising with fervor to the top A. Marcella is a veritable operatic ghost town: long uninhabited, it awaits a repopulation by singers capable of revealing its unique charms. Giorgio’s aria ‘Dolce notte misteriosa’ is included on Amore e Tormento as a ‘bonus track,’ and it receives the finest performance of any of the arias on the disc, Mr. Giordano’s voice glowing with subtle inflections inspired by the text.
Not unexpectedly for a recording by an Italian tenor, the music of Puccini is at the core of this disc. The arias that Mr. Giordano selected cover the entire span of Puccini’s creative activity, from Le Villi, the composer’s first opera, toTurandot, the final masterpiece of his maturity. Mr. Giordano opens the disc with ‘Donna non vidi mai’ from Manon Lescaut, the sort of flowing, melodic aria that seems so easy until one actually attempts to sing it. Mr. Giordani’s attempt is a triumphant one, his phrasing of the aria long-breathed and evocative of young love. Both of Cavaradossi’s arias from Tosca are included. ‘Recondita armonita’ is particularly successful: so artful is Mr. Giordano’s depiction of Cavaradossi’s hymn to picturesque beauty that the listener can practically smell the drying paint on his portrait of the Maddalena. The top B-flat is ringing but not over-emphasized, the note serving as the natural climax of the phrase rather than being sustained merely for show. The singer’s voicing of ‘E lucevan le stelle’ is moving, the sound of death in the voice even as recollections of Tosca’s love warm the vocal line. ‘Torna ai felici dì’ from Le Villi is, despite its early place in the composer’s output, a quintessentially Puccinian tenor aria: Mr. Giordano sings it broadly but with with rhythmic vitality. Pinkerton’s ‘Addio fiorito assil,’ added to the score to give the rôle greater balance when Puccini revisedMadama Butterfly after its lackluster première, is another aria that is typical of its composer, but the emotional directness that Mr. Giordano lends the number in this performance is very moving. Mr. Giordano is to be congratulated for preferring Calàf’s ‘Non piangere Liù’ to the over-familiar ‘Nessun dorma’ for his selection from Turandot. ‘Nessun dorma’ is a fine aria, undone to an extent by its popularity: musically, ‘Non piangere Liù’ is the superior number. Calàf might prove a perilous rôle for Mr. Giordano, especially in larger theatres, but his singing of ‘Non piangere Liù’ is gorgeous, the tone at once robust and carried on the breath. Dramatically, Mr. Giordano seems to connect with the sentiments of the aria on a very personal level, and he gives a scintillating performance with an unaffected morbidezzathat often eludes larger-voiced tenors who sing Calàf.
Enzo’s ‘Cielo e mar’ from Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda is also a gem of the repertory that is often included by tenors in their concerts and recitals. The irony is that, for so popular and musically straightforward a piece, it is frequently poorly sung. In this performance, the aria is anything but poorly sung, Mr. Giordano bringing rare mastery to the music and singing the aria as though it has been in his voice since birth. Something in the phrasing of the aria seems to unnerve many tenors, but its unhurried climax and ascent to an exposed top B-flat make it irresistible. While the aria is often the least successful portion of many tenors’ performances of the rôle of Enzo, Mr. Giordano’s singing of the aria constitutes several of the finest minutes on this disc. As in ‘Recondita armonia,’ the top B-flat crowns the aria not as an act of tenorial showboating but as an inevitable resolution of the penultimate phrase. Mr. Giordano encounters no difficulties with phrasing, and his timbre provides intriguing layers of richness to the performance.
In both the basic sound of his voice and the way in which he sings, Massimo Giordano is a welcome reminder of the tradition of Italian tenors that developed with Caruso and Gigli and has been lamentably endangered since the retirement of Ferruccio Tagliavini. There are minor imperfections in Mr. Giordano’s singing in this recital, but he shows the same wisdom and cognizance of his vocal abilities in his selections of the arias on this disc that he has thus far exhibited in his career in the world’s opera houses. Amore e Tormento offers an ambitious programme, and Mr. Giordano explores every vocal and dramatic nuance of the ‘amore’ and ‘tormento’ expressed in these arias with virility and sensitivity. Ample torment there is in these songs of men bolstered and betrayed by love, but no torment is there to be had from hearing Mr. Giordano’s singing. His is the sort of voice, and this the sort of singing, that is balm to wounded hearts and ears offended by the vacuous performances of singers pursuing acclaim rather than art
Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.
The dashing Massimo Giordano lends an ideal blend of swagger, ardour and heroism to Cavaradossi. The youthful Italian tenor clearly luxuriates in his voice, which is something of a gilded monster (‘Recondita armonia’ in Act One was low on finesse, and the running jump to his high notes was akin to the one Tosca takes to her final Fosbury Flop); nevertheless he found a steel in the character’s backbone that rendered Tosca’s adoration entirely plausible, and he sang – and acted – the immortal ‘E lucevan le stelle’ in Act Three with magnificent conviction.
Massimo Giordano is one of the most energetic performers of Cavaradossi to come to this stage, a huge presence, with a ringing, clarion tenor to match.
He is a decent man, who rails against the injustices imposed by Scarpia and his regime, and that defiance, in the face of (supposedly faked) death, was vivid. His Act Three encounter with Tosca was interesting: he knew that he was doomed, despite Tosca’s assurances, and so was living every moment for all its worth.
Cavaradossi’s Act Three aria was exquisite and subtle, a true evocation of longing and distance, of want and love, it rose from nowhere and soaked up the Rome morning.
All around excellence in the Royal Opera House Tosca
(…) Massimo Giordano has a mellifluous, lyrical voice and sang the music with grace and ease. (…)
“Italian tenor Massimo Giordano is no stranger to the character of Cavaradossi, having performed the role in Paris, Berlin, Munich and San Francisco. Giordano brings a light and supple tone to the painter’s first aria, Recondita armonia (“hidden harmony”). His performance as a young bohemian lover, persuading Tosca of his fidelity, is charming without being cloying.”
Tosca – Royal Opera House
(…) In the third act he delivers the goods in ‘E Lucevan Le Stelle’ and together with Echalaz lifts the evening to a memorable vocal and dramatic conclusion.” (…)
(…) Italian tenor Massimo Giordano sang and acted the role of Cavaradossi with an impressive mixture of power and tenderness. (…)
Anja Harteros as Tosca, has the right partner in Massimo Giordano, a young, handsome and an internationally sought-after tenor. “It’s really worth a sin,” a friend said during the intermission.
In all, the star on Sunday was Italian tenor Giordano and the performance soared from the moment he climbed the scaffold in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle and sang “Recondita armonia” while working on his portrait of Mary Magdalene. As he compares the fair beauty of Angelotti’s sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, upon whom the portrait is based, to that of his darker lover, Floria Tosca, he captured the audience. Giordano was well-matched with Gheorghiu as both are natural actors as well as consummate musicians and from their very first love duet, it was clear they had the chemistry that can ignite a performance. His voice! It’s powerful dramatic, impassioned and capable of great tenderness and he delivered them all in spades on Sunday. His solemn Act III aria “E lucevan le stille” (“And the stars shown”) sung while Cavaradossi waits on the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo for his execution, was fraught with apprehension.
“Massimo Giordano as Cavaradossi and Roberto Frontali as Scarpia. Both the hero and the supervillain sang and acted their roles well enough to persuade a first-time operagoer that this was an art form well worth attending.”
“Angela Gheorghiu in the title role of the virtuous opera singer and Massimo Giordano as her equally virtuous lover, the church painter Mario Cavaradossi. They were a joy to behold as the two performed with a natural grace and young energy at the matinee on Sunday, this Tosca and Cavaradossi enjoying a flirtatious and loving interlude in the church where an escaped political prisoner has tried to find sanctuary.”
“The duet sounded great and the music just flowed in the majestic church setting, although not with the soaring arias of a Verdi masterpiece. Tosca’s jealousy seemed gentle, flirtatious and sweet and so did Giordano’s Cavaradossi with his gentle responses, hapless smile and eye contact, probably with twinkle or a wink. These two generated warmth and were easy to love.”
“Debuting with the company, Italian tenor Massimo Giordano was a charismatic Cavaradossi, youthful and fresh: his desperate final aria, “E lucevan le stelle,” was honeyed yet virile, tree-trunk strong, top to bottom.”
“The evening was the San Francisco Opera debut of tenor Massimo Giordano as Tosca’s lover, Cavaradossi. Giordano proved to have the vocal beauty and spinto power that the War Memorial Opera House effectively enhances.”
“I’ve already praised Giordano’s Alfredo (See A New Verdian Golden Age? – Poplavskaya, Giordano in Elegant Agostinucci “Traviata”: Los Angeles Opera, May 21, 2009), but am equally impressed by his performance of the vocally heavier role of Mario Cavaradossi.“
Tosca Opernhaus Zurich
“Especially in act three, Massimo Giordano develops colors, shows the quality of his voice and convincingly portrays the personality of the politically active painter…”
Festspiele 2012 – Tosca – Bayerische Staatsoper
„Massimo Giordano, an Italian tenor who presents his beautiful material musically and unpretentiously, who is able to act in a fascinating way, bringing out the discrepancy between the painter ́s work on the altar picture of Maria Magdalena, being a lover as well as the object of Tosca ́s enervating jealousy. Just as he is capable of playing the doomed man bidding farewell to life in his aria in the third act, for which reason it sounds rather reluctant, almost feeble. Even after that he is sensing that the following fake – assassination is a fallacy.”
“However, the moment the painter entered, in the form of tenor Massimo Giordano, it was a different story. Singing of his love of the soprano Tosca, he completely embodied his character visually, emotionally and musically. His opening aria was one of those heart-stopping moments which make opera so special. Giordano’s warm and smooth tenor soared easily over the top of his range, saturated with Cavaradossi’s youthful love, making time stand still.”
“Giordano’s performance of his final aria, a tragic farewell to life and love, was enough to move even the most jaded audience members to tears; rarely have I felt so moved at the opera.”
Festspiele 2012 – Tosca – Bayerische Staatsoper
“Massimo Giordano is the third in the enchanting row. The fact that he is pushing the top notes a little bit is irritating, but it doesn’t reduce his power of expression and persuasion. He is a worthy successor of Jonas Kaufmann.”