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James Maddalena

Baritone

(Updated February 2014. Please discard previous materials.)

 


The renowned baritone James Maddalena commands a large and varied repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to contemporary opera. He first gained international recognition for his notable portrayal of the title role in the world premier of John Adams’ Nixon in China, directed by Peter Sellars with Houston Grand Opera followed by performances at Netherland Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Washington Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Australia’s Adelaide Festival, the Chatelet in Paris, English National Opera, the Greek National Opera and most recently for his debut with the Metropolitan Opera.

His association with John Adams continued in two more recent roles: the Captain in Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, which premiered at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and received performances at the Opera de Lyon, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, San Francisco Opera, and at the Vienna Festival prior to being recorded by Nonesuch under Kent Nagano; and Jack Hubbard in Doctor Atomic for San Francisco Opera. 

Mr. Maddalena has appeared with many other leading international opera companies: New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Atlanta Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Boston, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Frankfurt Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as with the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the London Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent collaborator with director Peter Sellars and sang major roles in Sellars’ stagings of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas (the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte), as well as his productions of operas by Haydn, Handel and John Adams.

He has collaborated with many contemporary composers, including John Harbison, Gunther Schuller, Elliot Goldenthal, Robert Moran, Domenic Argento, Marc Blitzstein, and Michael Tippett, among others. He sang the world premiere of Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk with Houston Grand Opera, later heard at San Francisco Opera and recorded by Teldec under Donald Runnicles. He sang the premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter at San Francisco Opera in 2008. In St. Louis, James Maddalena sang Hobson in the premiere of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel. He sang the role of Gideon March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women at the Houston Grand Opera, and title role in the premiere of Kirke Mechem’s John Brown at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, where he returned in 2010 for the Nixon In China. He gave the premiere of Elliot Goldenthal’s Vietnam Oratorio Fire Water Paper with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Sony Classical and later performed with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and the world premiere of Harbison’s Four Psalms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

2009 brought his Santa Fe Opera debut in the premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Letter; he returned in 2010 for the premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s “Life is a Dream.” He made his Opera de Monte-Carlo debut in the title role in the premiere of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers, followed by US performances in Boston and Chicago. He sang the premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther for New York City Opera in 2009 and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Nixon In China in 2011. January 2014 brought the US premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger with Houston Grand Opera, which will go to the Lincoln Center Festival in July, and his debut with Odyssey Opera of Boston in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno.

An active concert artist, James Maddalena can be heard in repertoire ranging from Bach to Hindemith. He has performed The Messiah with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society; Hindemith’s Requiem with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santi Cecilia in Rome; the St. John Passion in Turin, Italy; Harbison’s Words from Paterson with the San Francisco Symphony; and Carmina Burana in Seville, Spain and Palermo, Italy. He made his Houston Symphony debut in fall 2010, singing Lawrence Siegel’s Kaddish, conducted by Hans Graf. He sang Schubert’s Die Winterreise at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Robert Spano as accompanist and the complete cycle of Bach cantatas with Boston’s Emmanuel Music.

James Maddalena has recorded for Decca/London, BMG, Classical Catalyst, Nonesuch, Teldec, Sony Classical, Harmonia Mundi, and EMI. He can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Nixon In China (Nonesuch) and the Emmy Award-winning PBS telecast, now on DVD. His performance of Mark Adamo’s Little Women was recently released on Naxos DVD.

 

Press comments:

 

Bach Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genug, Cantata Singers (Boston), David Hoose, conductor:

“Baritone James Maddalena tackled the demanding vocal part. Maddalena sang expressively and without the aid of a score. For the closing recitative and aria, his delivery was injected with power and energy.”                                            Boston Musical Intelligencer – September 22, 2013

 

“For the solo cantata ‘Ich habe genug,’ the group brought in the eminent baritone James Maddalena, who has given a slew of great Bach performances in Boston over the years. It was a fitting nod to Cantata Singers’ history. The performance was riveting, especially during the famous ‘Schlummert ein’ aria. Maddalena’s ability to plumb the text’s dramatic depths remains undimmed, and even seemed more poignant here.”

                                                                        Boston Globe - September 23, 2013

 

 “Oboist Peggy Pearson and baritone James Maddalena were perfection. It is an emotional tour de force propelled by some of Bach’s most poignant melodies. Performing this composition with a singer of Maddalena’s stature must be an oboist’s dream.” 

                                                                        Arts Fuse –-September 23, 2013

 

 “Baritone James Maddelena, long familiar on the world opera and concert stage, put the work across very effectively. Maddelena’s voice in the middle is still very beautiful — rich and mahogany-toned, and no purely vocal surplus — it is all human, just enough voice, it seems, for a man and the soul. Most importantly, Maddelena made an imposing figure standing on the stage, his face concentrated and sincere, with its large expressive eyes. It was as if the Count from The Marriage of Figaro had come to his deathbed, confronting us with his newfound seriousness, and his pain, vulnerability, and longing for the consoling vision and the peace that he almost — but not quite — grasps.”           NewYorkkArts.net – September 25, 2013

 

Nixon in Nixon In China, Lyric Opera of Kansas City:
Baritone Maddalena was in fine voice for the Saturday opening, and his performance beautifully captures the weird mix of banality and vision that makes Nixon a memorable figure.”                                                                           Kansas City Star - March 11, 2012

 “Perhaps due to Maddalena's expertise in playing Nixon, Nixon comes off in the production as an emotionally complex man thrilled with the potential of his China visit, but unsure how it will ultimately play out in the Cold War world.”            Shanghai Daily - March 12, 2012

 “The opening night of John Adams’ opera, Nixon in China, was nearly unblemished in all aspects. In fact, the two principals, James Maddalena (Richard Nixon) and Alan Woodrow (Mao Tse-tung) were top-notch as to vocal technique and sheer acting. These performers were quite obviously well-rehearsed and enthusiastic about their respective roles. Baritone James Maddalena, the originator of the role, sounded fundamentally polished as the anti-communist Nixon, particularly in the first act. He has mastered several of Nixon’s traits and behaviors too—using a handkerchief to treat his excessive sweating, hunching his back forward as he walked. Maddalena was Nixon in the Houston Grand Opera debut in 1987. This production of Nixon in China was quite extraordinary and exceptional.”

                                                                        PopMatters - March 28, 2012

 

Premiere: Falling Man by Kenneth Fuchs,Spartanburg Philharmonic,Sarah Ionnides:
“The vocalist’s speech-like rhythms and 12-tone melody are expanded, colored, and sometimes interrupted by orchestral interjections of great beauty and power and no small difficulty. Baritone James Maddalena, is among the world’s most prominent singers of contemporary opera, so it was little surprise that he was magnificent; his fine diction, paired with Twichell’s remarkable acoustics, ensured that every syllable of text projected throughout the auditorium. Under the sure hand of Ioannides the orchestra was just about as magnificent, handling a fiercely difficult score with aplomb.”                                                   Spartanburg Herald Journal- September 12, 2011

 

Tod Machover’s  Death and the Powers, Chicago Opera Theatre:

“Powers, sung with wondrous sensitivity to words and music by the firm-voiced baritone James Maddalena, exults in his newfound liberation from what he derisively calls ‘the world of meat.’ Maddalena, fresh from his performance of Richard Nixon in Adams’ ‘Nixon in China’ at the Metropolitan Opera, is superb. The singers were joined by the composer, conductor, director and members of the wizardly production team for a long and grateful ovation on opening night. ‘Death and the Powers’ is a must-see for anybody who cares about the exciting new techno-driven directions music theater is taking in the early 21st century.”

                                                                        Chicago Tribune - April 2

 

 “James Maddalena’s baritone sounded richer and more technically secure than in recent years, and he brought a firm and vivid characterization to Simon, even with spending most of the opera unseen offstage.”                                            Chicago Classical Review - April 4

 

 “So many folks behind the scenes make this work happen, but a particular standout is baritone James Maddalena, who originated the role of Nixon in John Adams’ ‘Nixon in China,’ which he recently reprised at the Met. Here, Maddalena is Simon Powers, the dying billionaire who seeks immortality by programming himself into various media in such a convincing way that he remains a vocal and visual ‘presence’ long after his physical body has expired. Extraordinarily, we see Maddalena only briefly onstage early on, and he then retreats to a soundproof booth in the orchestral pit where his voice and actions are morphed throughout the work in astonishing ways.”                                                                        New City Stage - April 4

 

 “On stage or as a voiceover, James Maddalena  (Simon) commands the stage as a powerful baritone. Maddalena's singing grows in strength as his fleshy self disappears from view.”                                                                                       Chicago Now - April 4

 

 “Veteran baritone James Maddalena has the title character Simon Powers down in all of his self-involvement.”                                                   Chicago Sun Times - April 4

 

Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers. American Repertory Theater:

Megalomaniac billionaire Simon Powers (the formidable baritone James Maddalena).”

                                                                        Boston Herald – March 20, 2011

 

Narrative centers on Simon Powers (Maddalena), a dying billionaire genius who seeks to defy the notion that you can't take it with you when you go. The on-stage presence of Maddalena does go with his character's demise with a cheery ‘See you later!’ -- but his spirit remains very much engaged as part of the ‘System.’ For much of the rest of the opera Maddalena sings unseen in a booth in the orchestra pit, wired to elicit changes in sound and light to the LED-programmed towers on stage.”                                      Variety – March 22, 2011

 

 “Powers is the last name of the protagonist, a billionaire businessman and inventor who uploads himself into ‘The System’ in the hope of transcending his failing body. Commandingly played by James Maddalena with the assurance he recently brought to the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s Nixon. Sensors measuring Maddalena’s physical reactions supply data that help determine the look of Alex McDowell’s decor. 4 stars.”
                                                                        Financial Times – March 22

 “Simon Powers, masterfully sung by James Maddalena, retreats to the orchestra pit after he has entered the System. To realize his nonpresent presence, Maddalena is outfitted with sensors that catch his gestures and his physiological states while singing and translate them into visual displays on three giant movable walls.” Boston Globe – March 21

It's a big risk when relying on cutting-edge computerization to help tell a story – not only for potential glitches, but for the emotional value. ‘Death and the Powers’ teeters on that fine line of having effects overwhelm the live performers. That it doesn't is thanks to Diane Paulus' tender and graceful direction and the poignant performances of Maddalena.”
                                                                        Cape Cod times – March 20

Metropolitan Opera debut as Nixon in John Adams’ Nixon In China:

“Making your Met debut in your mid-50s must be both gratifying and high-pressured. But it would have been impossible to bring any other Nixon to the Met for this premiere. Mr. Maddalena inhabits the character like no other singer, and he loves this outrageous and complex character, an affection that came through here. Mr. Maddalena was riveting in the long scene in which Nixon meets the frail yet feisty Mao.”

                                                                        New YorkTimes – February 3, 2011

 

“The operatic Nixon is Dostoevskian, his demons a lifelong grapple. Maddelena
struggles with some of the notes now, but not the wondrous music. The Nixon in him is the essence of the man. We do well to pay attention.”                              

                                                                        Los Angeles Times - February 13, 2011

 

 “As Nixon, baritone James Maddalena makes his Met debut in the role he originated. His overall characterization is rich and layered: his Nixon is fallible, idealistic, haunted by a past he’s desperate to recreate.”                               Time Out New York - February 12, 2011

 

 “James Maddalena, who was the original Nixon, delivered a nuanced portrayal of the president as a complex man—eager, paranoid, sentimental and calculating.”

                                                                        Wall Street Journal – February 8, 2011

 

 “In both looks and mannerisms, James Maddalena captures the familiar image of Richard Nixon in convincing fashion. It's no exaggeration to say that Maddalena has it all down pat. He ‘owns’ this part, and I cannot imagine anyone better equipped to drum up paranoia in the first-act number, ‘We live in uncertain times/Who are our friends/Who are our enemies?’”                                                                                              MusicalCriticism.com – February 20, 2011

 

 “In the title role, James Maddalena, in his long overdue Met debut, created an absolutely uncanny portrait of Richard Nixon. It was all there – the physical and psychological awkwardness, the self-pity, even the paranoia.” 

                                                                        ConcetoNet.com –February19, 2011

 

 “The cast was excellent. James Maddalena, reprising the title-role he created, bears a strong physical resemblance to Nixon and his acting skills effectively brought out the awkward stiffness and flawed humanity of his complex character. He was most effective in the Act One scene where he meets the decrepit but defiant Chairman Mao.”

                                                                        ClassicalSource.com – February 14, 2011

 

 “As Nixon, baritone James Maddalena makes his Met debut in the role he originated. His overall characterization is rich and layered: his Nixon is fallible, idealistic, haunted by a past he’s desperate to recreate.”                               GBOpera – February 11, 2011

 

“James Maddalena portrayed Nixon with the savoir-faire derived from 23 years’ experience in the role.”                                                  Financial Times – February 4, 2011

 

 “He gave a magnificent impersonation of the president, capturing facial expressions, gestures and intonations in uncanny fashion. When he uttered the lines, ‘Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?’ a look of paranoia flashed across his face that would seem familiar to anyone who remembers the Nixon presidency. Yet, true to the libretto, he never lapsed into caricature.”

                                                                        San Francisco Chronicle – February 4, 2011

 

 “When Nixon appeared at the top of the gangway, the audience broke into applause almost reflexively, as if responding to the idea of a presidential entrance, and Maddalena gave a politician's wave that broke through the fourth wall.  Maddalena did a great job portraying Nixon.”                                                  Washington Post – February 3, 2011

 

 “For whatever reason, the original cast for ‘Nixon’ was almost note-perfect, and no subsequent gathering of voices and actors will ever displace their hold on the mind. Only one member of that original cast is present -- James Maddalena’s Nixon -- and his performance has come to define the operatic role. He has assimilated more about the character over the years he has been playing it. Maddalena’s is the most rounded portrayal of the major characters.”                                                                                                                         Musical America.com – February 4, 2011

 

 “Nixon (sung as always by James Maddalena) was alive with history, aware always of the import of the visit. Maddalena embodies him perfectly, managing to sing somehow with a sense of Nixon himself, who it's hard to imagine ever singing at all much less an aria.”

                                                                        Huffington Post – February 3, 2011

 

 “It was a Met debut for James Maddalena, too, who sang Nixon, the role he created in 1987. In the intervening years – and over the course of some 100 performances – he has approached the age Nixon was on that visit to China, and his portrayal of the 37th president is now flawless. Every gesture, the facial tics, the angle of the stooped back are perfectly calibrated.”

                                                                    Classical Review – February 4, 2011



Handel’s Messiah with the American Bach Soloists:
“Maddalena retains an estimable facility with coloratura and expansive range. He knows how to use his voice for ultimate effect, can pull back when the music demands, and can still produce glorious sounds.”                                        SF Classical Voice – December 16, 2010

 

Todd Machover’s Death and the Powers with Monte Carlo Opera:

“I heard James Maddalena as Powers develop from careful exact utterance to eloquent, lyrical delivery of his lines.”                                                Opera – December 2010

 

 “The cast was led by the pungent James Maddalena as Simon Powers.”

                                                                        Opera News December 2010

 

Clotaldo in Louis Spratling’s Life Is A Dream at Santa Fe Opera:

James Maddalena as Clotaldo sang with a warmth that brought much needed light to a gloomy world.”                                                   Opera News – November 2010

 “James Maddalena brought a seasoned baritone and patrician assurance to the role of Basilio’s loyal vassal, Clotaldo.”                               MusicalAmerica.com – August 9, 2010

“The cast is uniformly top-notch. Standouts include baritone James Maddalena as Clotaldo, Segismundo's keeper.”                                     Denver Post – August 1, 2010

 “Santa Fe Opera assembled a remarkable and I might say brave cast that achieved miracles. The complex music must be very difficult to learn. The cast, all of them, turned in remarkably accomplished performances. James Maddalena: effective as the Prince’s mentor.”                                                                                                           Opera Today – July 26, 2010 

 “Baritone James Maddalena was earnest and endearingly baffled as Clotaldo.”    
                                                                        New York Times – July 25, 2010

 “All of the singers deserve more positive comment than I can provide here. Simply mastering such craggy, wide-ranging vocal lines is immensely difficult, but all of these artists invested their performances with rich characterization: baritone James Maddalena as kindly, concerned Clotaldo.”                                                           The New Mexican – July 25, 2010

 “The performances of the singers were all quite good, including James Maddalena as Clotaldo.”                                                                          Out West Arts – July 25, 2010

General Boum, Offenbach’s La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Opera Boston:
“The redoubtable James Maddalena, likewise in outstanding form, is General Boum, the duchess’s commander-in-chief.”                         Financial Times - May 4, 2010

 “James Maddalena was truly excellent as the irascible General Boum.”                                                                                                                   Boston Globe - May 1, 2010

Mordecai in Weisgall’s Esther, New York City Opera:

“James Maddalena made a strong, empathetic Mordecai.”

                                                                        Opera News – February 2010

 

“James Maddalena, the Mordecai, has made a virtue of American roles throughout his career, and is closely identified with any number of important new American operas. Maddalena was assured vocally.”                                                Opera Britannia - November 17, 2009

 

“Strong performances came from all cast members, including James

Maddalena as Mordecai.”                               New Jersey Star Ledger - November 11, 2009

 

“James Maddalena sang and acted sensitively as her uncle Mordecai.”

                                                                        New York Post - November 10, 2009

 

 “James Maddalena sustained sympathy as Mordecai.”

                                                                        Financial Times - November 9, 2009

 

 “James Maddalena was a warm-voiced, sympathetic Mordecai.”

                                                                        Musical America.com - November 9, 2009

 

“James Maddalena sustained sympathy as Mordecai.”

                                                                        Financial Times - November 9, 2009

 

“The baritone James Maddalena found the mix of fear and defiance in the character of Mordecai.”                                                           New York Times - November 8, 2009

 

“James Maddalena as a dignified, anguished Mordecai.”     

                                                                        San Francisco Chronicle - November 8, 2009

 

 

Howard Joyce in Paul Moravec’s The Letter, Santa Fe Opera:

“Maddalena was his usual strong, characterful self as the lawyer. This was probably the richest, most complex male character in the opera and Maddalena’s portrayal was faultless.”                                         

                                                                          Music Web International - August 18, 2009

 

“The cast is wonderful: baritone James Maddalena is superb as the ethically challenged lawyer, Howard Joyce.”                                     OperaWest - August 18, 2009

 

“Baritone James Maddalena lent eloquent voice to the conflicted feelings of the lawyer, Howard Joyce.”                                                             SFCV.org - August 11, 2009

 

“James Maddalena gives a masterful performance as Howard Joyce, the sympathetic but compromised lawyer.”                         Financial Times - August 10, 2009

 

“James Maddalena gives a masterful performance as Howard Joyce, the sympathetic but compromised lawyer.”                         Financial Times - August 10, 2009

 

“James Maddalena captured the attorney Joyce’s conflicted loyalties well as the friend of Robert who must betray his principles to obtain the evidence that will save the guilty Leslie. Maddalena possesses an ample resonant baritone and made the most of his soul-searching aria.”                                                                                              Chicago Classical Review - August 5, 2009

 

“James Maddalena, as Howard Joyce, Leslie’s deeply conflicted lawyer, was in good voice.”                                                                                New York Times - August 4, 2009

 

“James Maddalena as Howard Joyce, a Singapore lawyer who has no illusions about Leslie’s actions, provided a welcome vocal and dramatic counterweight to Racette’s power. He subtly conveyed his dislike for the task of saving a murderess while carrying out what he must do for the sake of a fellow colonial. A fortunate circumstance.”

                                                                        Albuquerque Journal - July 27, 2009

 

Kecal in Smetana’s Bartered Bride, with Opera Boston:

“Maddalena just as easily dug down to the lower registers, singing and acting in a way that thoroughly captured the role.”               Boston Herald - May 4, 2009

 

Art Kamen in The Bonesetter's Daughter, San Francisco Opera:

“Other standouts are James Maddalena as Art Kamen...”

                                                                        Dallas Morning News - October 4, 2008

 

“…and the singers, including James Maddalena as Ruth's well-meaning but befuddled American Jewish husband, were first rate.”                       Culturvulture.net - October 2, 2008

 

John Brown in Kirke Mecham’s John Brown, Lyric Opera of Kansas City:

“A cast headed by two powerful singing actors,  especially James Maddalena, whose John Brown evolves as a stern, compassionate, ultimately sympathetic figure of much complexity.”                                                                                    Toronto Star - May 17, 2008

 

“The Lyric could hardly have done better than casting James Maddalena as Brown. Maddalena, onstage almost without interruption, makes of Brown a towering and commanding figure.”                                                                                   Opera Today - May 12, 2008

 

“Mr. Maddalena is the very personification of Brown's righteous indignation, with a strong, sinewy baritone.”                                         Dallas Morning News - May 9, 2008

 

 

“As Brown, baritone James Maddalena declaims like God giving dictation. This Brown is not a wild-eyed fanatic but a family man of holy rage, pushed to extremes to right one of history's greatest wrongs.”                                             The Pitch - May 9, 2008

 

“Baritone James Maddalena sang well and acted strongly in the title role.”

                                                                        St. Louis Post Dispatch - May 7, 2008

 

“Brown’s heroism is enhanced by the bronzed-voice mastery of baritone James Maddalena. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in American opera who could more powerfully convey both the sympathy and the hardheadedness of Mechem’s Brown. His was one of the few voices in the cast that could always project over the busy orchestration.”                                    

                                                                        Kansas City Star - May 5, 2008

 

“Mechem's work is breathtaking, aided by the rich performances of Maddalena.”

                                                                        Anevibe.com – May 2008

 

Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, New York City Opera:

“What made the afternoon work, however, was Don Alfonso: James Maddalena's graceful stage presence, excellent diction and discreet humor rode herd on his exuberant young cast mates.”                                                                          New York Times – October 24, 2006

 

“It was a delicacy that Rudel made into magic, vastly helped by one of those special casts of brilliant young American singers that characterize New York City Opera at its best: James Maddalena as the older friend who cynicism rotates the plot.”

                                                                        New York Post – October 24, 2006

 

Tovey in Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur, Glimmerglass Opera:

“James Maddalena is his accomplice, Tovey, and he projects just the right degree of oily cowardice.”                                                       Opera News – November 2005

 

Jack Hubbard in Adams’ Doctor Atomic, San Francisco Opera:

“The elegant baritone James Maddalena (who created the title role in Mr. Adams’ ‘Nixon In China’) portrays the meteorologist jack Hubbard, who must suffer the tirades of General Groves.”                                                        New York Times – October 3, 2005

 

Oscar in Blitzstein’s Regina, Bard Summerscape Festival:

“‘Singing actor’ was a preferred term of description in the cast biographies and it proved accurate: James Maddalena was particularly fine as Regina’s bitter brother Oscar.”

                                                                        New York Times – August 1, 200

 

John Proctor in Ward’s The Crucible, Opera Boston:

“There in the center, with his deep, fully realized, effortless characterization and powerful singing, was baritone James Maddalena as John Proctor, adding yet another memorable role to his lengthy catalogue. ‘I got chills he second he walked onstage,’ a friend remarked during intermission, and she was right – Proctor was all there even before he opened his mouth. He was the only performer who rose above the simplistic, heavy-handed stage business. Even the other members of the cast applauded him during the curtain calls.”                                  

                                                                        Boston Phoenix – April 23, 2005

 

“Baritone James Maddalena embodied with passionate conviction the part of a sinful but truthful man, who accepts the consequences of his actions and will not compromise his conscience, and he backed it up with centered singing tone. This was a towering performance by a true singing actor, a complete operatic artist.”             Boston Globe – April 9, 2005

 

Colonel and Colette in Catán’s Salsipuedes…, Houston Grand Opera:

“Baritone James Maddalena lent his sweetly firm voice to the dula roles of the Colonel and Madame Colette. While Maddalena played the bumbling Colonel as a cross between Mitch Miller and Don Quixote, he was deliciously clunky as Colette. Never for a minute believably feminie as he lumbered around in red platform sandals and siny green sheath with matching turban.  He murmured a gorgeous pianissimo ‘O Captain, my Captain” to end Act II, took a final puff, threw the cigarette off the pier and salsaed off into the darkness.”                                                                                                                      Opera News – February 2005

 

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, The Cantata Singers, Boston:

“Magnificent James Maddalena, heartbreaking in that last bass aria.”

                                                                        Boston Phoenix – March 3, 2004

 

The Captain in Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, Brooklyn Academy of Music:

“James Maddalena was in perfect form as the captain.”

                                                                        Opera News – March 2004

 

“Of the singers, only baritone James Maddalena was a holdover from the original ‘Klinghoffer’ cast. He was superb in diction and manner as the weak-willed Captain who considers himself a peacemaker but is cruelly betrayed by the terrorists.”

                                                                        Chicago Tribune – December 7, 2003


 “The BAM cast served the cause handsomely, with James Maddalena calmly resolute as the captain.”                                                     MusicalAmerica.com – December 5, 2003

 

“The baritone James Maddalena who created the role of the captain, again gives a remarkable portrayal of a decent man who blames himself for his foolish innocence, singing with wistful warmth and crisp diction.”                                   New York Times – December 5, 2003