La rondine - Minnesota Opera

 Leonardo Capalbo and Celine Byrne in  La rondine

Leonardo Capalbo and Celine Byrne in La rondine

“But it was Act Three before the evening really caught fire dramatically, in the festering performance of Ruggero by New Jersey tenor Leonardo Capalbo. Unleashing a voice with marked baritonal colorings and muscular heft, Capalbo railed at the rejection of his marriage proposal to Magda, the raw emotion of abandonment flung despairingly out into the Ordway arena. It was a riveting conclusion to a production that seemed often prim and proper in its examination of what happens when sex and money form a fatal combination, and love itself becomes the victim.”

- Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 2018

“But it’s also a love letter to love, and the principal singers make that equally palpable… Leonardo Capalbo proved endearing in his infatuation and passionately stormy when his dreams started to unravel.”

- Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, October 2018


Les contes d'Hoffmann - Musikfest Bremen

 Leonardo Capalbo with maestro Marc Minkowski and mezzo-soprano Aude Extrémo

Leonardo Capalbo with maestro Marc Minkowski and mezzo-soprano Aude Extrémo

"There is Leonardo Capalbo, already looking like a Latin Lover from a magazine, who combines virile power with sentiment and tackles the big role with great naturalness and even greater insight into the psyche of Hoffmann."

-Ralf Döring, Neue Osnabrückerzeitung, September 2018

 

"The Hoffmann of Leonardo Capalbo looks slender, but with iron discipline he is very respectable and passionately portrayed."

Kreiszeitung, September 2018

 

Le Cid - Dorset Opera Festival

 Leonardo Capalbo in  Le Cid

Leonardo Capalbo in Le Cid

"What makes the evening worthwhile, however, is the terrific bravado of the young American tenor Leonardo Capalbo in the title-role...[He] sings with unstinting heroic grandeur and does full justice to the lovely aria “O souverain, o juge”: his clean, bright, firm timbre is very well suited to this school of music, and he should sing more of it."

- Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, July 2018

"Pride of place amongst a doughty cast must go to Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, who not only keeps going throughout the arduous title role of Rodrigue (alias Le Cid), but does so with the kind of ringing tone and old-fashioned heroic stance this piece of dramatic hokum needs to succeed."

- George Hall, The Stage, July 2018

"Le Cid, the name by which the Moors reportedly called Rodrigue Díaz de Vivar, was sung by Leonardo Capalbo who performed the role with complete assurance. Capalbo has a bold, ringing tenor and bristles with energy; his Rodrigue is an earnest, honourable man and Capalbo brought to life the confusion and distress that his need to defend his father’s honour at the expense of his own happiness brought him. Clear at the top of the voice and text passionately enunciated, Capalbo brought the spark to the production that gave it its edge."

- Dominic Lowe, Backtrack, July 2018

"[Le Cid] is certainly worth doing, with challenging roles for Rodrigue (El Cid) and his lover, Chimène, taken with punch and intensity by Leonardo Capalbo and Lee Bisset."

- Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, August 2018

 

Carmen - Polish National Opera

"Leonardo Capalbo’s characterization of the simple soldier whose moral decay leads to murder was a fascinating study in first-rate stage acting. Looking every inch a country lad cruelly victimized by an amoral, selfish seductress, Capalbo’s palpable emotional collapse was engrossing.  The American tenor is not just highly gifted dramatically, but has surprisingly strong projection also capable of capturing the lightest nuances of the score. The à capella fortissimo high G on “Dragons d’Alcala!” was flawlessly pitched and “non, jamais femme avant toi” sung with a fine legato and poetic phrasing.  “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” was a terrific tour de force with a timbre and squillo reminiscent of Mario de Monaco. Capalbo paid scrupulous attention to the dynamic markings and the pianissimo change on “Puis je m’accusais de blasphème” and splendidly graduated diminuendo scale to top B flat on “j’étais une chose à toi!” was very fine singing indeed. The final confrontation with Carmen showed the height of Capalbo’s acting and vocal prowess. “Tu ne m’aimes donc plus?” was unbearably fraught and “souviens-toi du passé” touching in its hopeless desperation."

- Jonathan Sutherland, Operawire, June 13, 2018

 Leonardo Capalbo with Rinat Shaham in  Carmen

Leonardo Capalbo with Rinat Shaham in Carmen

"The finale of the opera brought a moment of a truly moving musical theater, when against the background of the black curtain there was a meeting between Carmen and Don José which ended, as is known, tragically. This was achieved by the American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, who was advancing towards this throughout the entire evening, as if to show this most important moment, not only in voice, but also in the cultivation of his interpretation and acting skills."

- Jacek Marczyński, Rzeczpospolita, June 10, 2018

"Most convincing is the moment when Don José (Leonardo Capalbo) professes his love to Carmen (aria La fleur que tu m'avais jetée). Then you can see how they do not fit together: he is a sentimental dreamer, she is a seducer who perfectly controls her emotions."

- Anna S. Dębowska, Gazeta Wyborcza, June 8, 2018

"Don José in a sensational performance by Leonardo Capalbo, remembered on our stage as the Electrician in the Adès opera "Powder Her Face", plays a man who self-destructs before our eyes. He gives his heart to a woman who is unworthy. In the final duo, we saw how complicated the character was in his interpretation of Don José, who undergoes a transformation from a simple soldier to a murderer of a woman who fought against his jealousy."

- Wojciech Giczkowski, Teatralna-Warszawa, June 10, 2018

 

Gloriana - Teatro Real Madrid

 Leonardo Capalbo as Robert, Earl of Essex in  Gloriana

Leonardo Capalbo as Robert, Earl of Essex in Gloriana

"In the role of Essex, tenor Leonardo Capalbo made a major case for himself as a tenor on the rise...still young, the Italian American tenor is very much a star in the making...his voice displayed a strong sense of security and clarity...His anger and jealousy in the first scenes was palpable from the get-go and his frustration when talking to his wife about Elizabeth’s hesitations toward him added to his characterization of a reactionary being. He might have come off as a bit childish in this latter scene, but it also added to the overall complexity of the work’s interpretation...His interpretation of the Lute Song added to this as he tossed off Britten’s fioritura writing with élan, the voice floating effortlessly and the multitude of notes gliding. He was a man in utmost control for this one moment, adding massive contrast to other scenes where he had anything but a sense of control. His final scene with Elizabeth was the most riveting of the entire night, his previous explosiveness now turned to passionate begging at her hands."

- David Salazar, Operawire, April 13, 2018

"Leonardo Capalbo's Devereux is extremely convincing, striking in his performance, and vocally polished."

- Alejandro Martínez, Platea Magazine, April 13, 2018

"A very solid vocal cast where Leonardo Capalbo builds an Earl of Essex in which the character's growth captivates."

- Alberto González Lapuente, ABC, April 13, 2018

"Leonardo Capalbo was the perfect choice for the ambitious and hot-headed Essex. Charming and frank, he assailed the royal quarters with his mellow lyric tenor. He was perfect in duos and ensembles, with solid tone and flaming phrasing. His second lute song, a treacherous gift due to its long phrases and low pitch, was well sung."

- Fernando Remiro, Bachtrack, April 16, 2018

 

Macbeth - L'Opéra de Lyon

"With a virile squillo and technically impeccable breath support, Capalbo brought an exciting Italianate del Monaco/Corelli timbre to this relatively small role with a killer aria. Totally unfazed by the video cameraman literally in his face, the accomplished actor/tenor gave a passionate and musically outstanding interpretation of the show-stopper scena. A pristine top E flat-F natural on the opening “figli” was followed by a beautifully phrased “E me fuggiasco, occulto” with a powerful crescendo on “Possa a colui le braccia” rising to a spine-tingling top A. Unsurprisingly Capalbo received thunderous applause."

- Jonathan Sutherland, Operawire, April 2018

 

La bohème - Festspielhaus Baden Baden

 Leonardo Capalbo and Zarina Abaeva in a scene from  La bohème .

Leonardo Capalbo and Zarina Abaeva in a scene from La bohème.

"Leonardo Capalbo impresses with a warm timbre in the cantilenas and radiant high notes."

- Thomas Gehrig, Klassik.com, November 2017

"The Rodolfo of Leonardo Capalbo, a young tenor with generous mezzi voci, seems more animated by a youthful irrationality than by the fire of a typical lover."

- Stefano Nardelli, Giornale della Musica, November 2017

 

Carmen - The Grange Festival

 Leonardo Capalbo and Na'ama Goldman in  Carmen

Leonardo Capalbo and Na'ama Goldman in Carmen

"Don José, an assured and appealing Leonardo Capalbo, convincingly turns from good-natured lover to jealous murderer."

- Rebecca Franks, The Times, June 2017

"It’s left to Leonardo Capalbo’s José to make the strongest impression with a voice and personality that gathered dramatic intensity. Ringing tones informed the ‘Flower Song’ and by Act Four José’s implicit doom was a mixture of rage and hopelessness presented with nearly uncontrollable passion; a towering performance."

- David Truslove, Classical Source, June 2017

"Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo presents Don Jose’s disturbing disintegration with varied and purposefully expressive tone."

- George Hall, The Stage, June 2017

"American-Italian tenor Leonardo Capalbo was totally convincing in this role, a man hopelessly smitten in spite of his own better council, and that of Micaëla his child-hood sweetheart. Capalbo’s rendering of José’s,  “la fleur que tu m’avais jetée’” was reflective and lyrical.  But as José slides down a spiral of total enthrallment, Capalbo shifts his tone into the realm of the dramatic tenor, exploring José’s anguish and conflicting emotions."

- Mark Aspen, markaspen.wordpress.com, June 2017

"Leonardo Capalbo’s lithe, Byronically handsome Don José, packing a borderline dramatic tenor, is also more multi-faceted than usual: he comes across as so sociable and well-adjusted in the early scenes that I was beginning to wonder how on earth his metamorphosis into homicidal psychopath was going to play out convincingly. It turns, quite literally, on a knife-edge, in what was for me the production’s most shocking innovation. Rather than simply squaring up to Zuniga (Grigory Soloviov) when his assignation with Carmen is interrupted, he stabs him to death with almost prosaic detachment, and the blithe disregard with which the chorus step over the officer’s corpse as they celebrate José’s initiation into the smugglers’ underworld makes for one of the most chilling scenes I’ve seen in a theatre all year. He and Arden pace the long arc of the terrifying final scene superbly."

- Katherine Cooper, Backtrack, June 2017

"Capalbo, with his strong, expansive and aesthetically pleasing tenor, conveys the innocent corporal who cannot escape becoming infatuated with the ‘femme fatale’ very convincingly."

- Sam Smith, musicOMH.com, June 2017

 

Messa da Requiem - The Grange Festival

"Leonardo Capalbo’s tenor and Jongmin Park’s bass were both characterised by strength, security and aesthetically pleasing sounds in their respective ranges."

- Sam Smith, musicOMH.com, June 2017

 

La traviata - Polish National Opera

"The most successful performance came from young American tenor Leonardo Capalbo. His Alfredo was the only multi-faceted characterisation as he matured from a bashful, preppy stage-door-Johnny to a violently jealous lover. Capalbo has a solid vocal technique with a warm, full-bodied lustrous timbre which carried effortlessly into the large, acoustically problematic auditorium. Despite the golf balls, “De’ miei bollenti spiriti” combined impressive vocal assurance with an elegant melodic line and finely nuanced phrasing. The following cabaletta had fire and finesse while scrupulous attention to the dynamic markings and exemplary diction were impressive throughout."

- Jonathan Sutherland, Bachtrack, April 2017

 

Un ballo in maschera - Royal Swedish Opera

"The young Italian-American singer Leonardo Capalbo made his debut in the role of Gustav III, which suits his rich, round tenor very well. His middle and lower registers were very powerful and warm, giving depth and intensity to his singing. Capalbo's boyish good looks made him a credible mischievous youngster as he planned the escapade to the fortune teller's cave under disguise, and when he laughed at her gloomy vaticination of his imminent death. His breath control and well-set voice gave life to both a passionate lover and a distressed leader."

- Laura Servidei, Bachtrack, March 2017

 

Les contes d'Hoffmann -  Royal Opera Covent Garden

"...a beautifully honeyed, lyric sound suiting the young Hoffmann's naive innocence as he is duped into falling for Spalanzani's doll.  He rose to the challenge of the Hoffmann-Antonia duet splendidly, matching Sonya Yoncheva for spirit and passion. Capalbo is a more contained actor...a distinct advantage in portraying the inebriated Hoffmann of the Prologue."

- Mark Pullinger, BeckmessersQuill, December 2016

 

Carmen - Athens Festival Greek National Opera

"Deservedly at the side of Rinat Shaham was the Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo in the role of Don José. Capalbo incarnated a passionate and emotionally vulnerable Don José without trouble or hesitation, and with obvious dynamism and depth.  Where necessary he used impressive openings of his voice with tenderness and unique interpretation, especially in La fleur que tu m'avais jetée in the second act.  The striking duet with the toreador Dionyssis Sourbis in the third act was a match of male voices that one rarely hears."

- Nikos Xenios, Bookpress, July 2016

 Leonardo Capalbo with Rinat Shaham and Saoia Hernandez in  Carmen

Leonardo Capalbo with Rinat Shaham and Saoia Hernandez in Carmen

"Leonardo Capalbo interpreted a Don José that absolutely surrendered, humiliated and dragged behind Rinat Shaham who swept the scene like fire.  A couple with a unique chemistry that precisely interpreted the roles of the dominant woman who dominates the love-struck man."

- Katerina Anesti, Protagon, July 2016

"Leonardo Capalbo as Don José was ideal in his appearance and interpretation; reminiscent of a 1930's movie star."

- Nick Vatopoulos, I Kathimerini, July 2016

"We were lucky to have the Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, a vulnerable, passionate and heartbreaking Don José with a beautiful voice, pure timbre, and an interpretation full of intensity and emotion."

- Lena Ioannidou, Athens Voice, July 2016

"[Leonardo Capalbo's] noticeably youthful appearance, bright, lyrical voice and use of vibrato were perfectly suited to the unfortunate, vulnerable, and painfully divided corporal [Don José]."

- John Bolus, Efsyn.gr, July 2016

 

Nabucco - Royal Opera Covent Garden

 Leonardo Capalbo as Ismaele

Leonardo Capalbo as Ismaele

"However, debuting at the Royal Opera House, the promising Italian tenor Leonardo Capalbo made the audience sit up and take notice due to the suppleness of his voice and his distinctive timbre in the comparatively thankless tenor role of Ismaele. Next season, he will perform as Hoffmann alternating with Vittorio Grigolo."

Opernglas, August 2016

"American mezzo soprano Jamie Barton, [...] and Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo added a welcome touch of lyricism as the ‘star-crossed’ beloveds, Fenena and Ismaele."

- Claire Seymour, Opera Today, June 2016

"Tenor Leonardo Capalbo and bass John Relyea top and tail the male range in style as the Hebrews Ismaele and Zaccaria."

- Mark Valencia, What's On Stage, June 2016

"American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, gave an Ismaele performance that delighted the audience with youthful zest and passion."

Performance Reviewed, June 2016

 

Macbeth - Michigan Opera Theatre

"Amid the score’s weighty vocal demands, the flexible, brilliant tone of tenor Leonardo Capalbo’s Macduff was a breath of fresh air. Even clutching his murdered child to his chest, he delivered his heartrending Act IV aria with liquid line, conspicuously expressive among an often understated cast."

- Jennifer Goltz, Opera News, April 2016

 

Tosca - Minnesota Opera

"Leonardo Capalbo sounds better every time I hear him; his radiant tenor and clarion top made for an uncommonly ardent and engaging Cavaradossi. His cries of “Vittoria!” were breath-stopping; his “Recondita armonia” was an irresistible paean to eros—an ecstatic contemplation of feminine beauty as only a painter can see it—that set the tone for much of Act I."

- Larry Fuchsberg, Opera News, March 2016

"Leonardo Capalbo made a believably sympathetic and defiant hero out of the one-dimensional Cavaradossi. His duets with [Kelly] Kaduce — what an attractive couple — threatened to set the stage on fire. A true tenore di forza, Capalbo's outbursts were bright and ringing, and his third-act aria was tellingly nuanced."

- Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 2016

"Everything about Mr. Capalbo’s wry, throbbing tenor and winning stage presence is used to thrilling effect as the painter who becomes an unlikely revolutionary.  From the first notes of 'Recondita armonia' to his Act III jail aria 'E lucevan le stelle', Capalbo fully embodies the Italian romantic hero. And it must be said that there are sparks aplenty between Mr. Capalbo and Ms. Kaduce onstage who simply just look delicious together as the artist and temperamental muse. Even better, they sound great together in their Act I dueling arias and in the tricky a capella 'Triumphante' sequence in Act III, where there were in perfect lockstep unison."

- Todd O'Dowd, L'Etoile Magazine, March 2016

"Manson’s direction is finely paced and draws out some lovely moments during Leonardo Capalbo (as Cavaradossi)’s moving “E lucevan le stelle,” which was so beautiful and gripping that it moved some in the audience to tears."

- Basil Considine, Twin Cities Arts Reader, March 2016

"Yes, Tosca and Scarpia are legendary roles, but that’s less frequently said of Cavaradossi, the painter who is Tosca’s lover. Yet tenor Leonardo Capalbo may cause you to wonder why. He might just be the most passionate singer on stage, whether bringing palpable urgency to his love duets with Tosca or taking on the mantle of defiant revolutionary. And I’ve never experienced a production of “Tosca” that left  me thinking that the opening of the third act — when Cavaradossi composes a farewell letter from prison — might have the most beautiful music in the opera. (Kudos to both Capalbo and the orchestra.)"

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, March 2016

 

Carmen - Palm Beach Opera

"Leonardo Capalbo was a youthful Don José, callow and easily suggestible. His Act II flower song was well-sung."

- Karl W. Hesser, Opera News, January 2016

"[As Don José] tenor Leonardo Capalbo was an excellent foil. Virile yet vulnerable in his demeanor, he vocalized Don Jose’s lyrical lines with honeyed tone and technical security. His smoothly vocalized Flower Aria was a highlight of the evening, and he scaled the role’s more dramatic lines without fatigue or strain."

- Robert Croan, Palm Beach Daily News, January 2016

"Don José was the American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, and he was wonderful. Not only does he have one of those inimitable Italianate voices that define the opera-going experience for so many viewers, he acted the role beautifully.  His “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” was tender and then over-the-top passionate, with a carefully graded, easily achieved scale at the end, and his acting was a very persuasive portrayal of a man desperately in love who has the soul of a stalker.  It’s one of the few Don José’s I can remember seeing in which the tenor was equal to the role, and Capalbo made it look easy."

- Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper, January 2016

"[As Don José] Capalbo sang with a sweet tenor voice, the Act Two ‘Flower Song’ ardently expressive of José’s adoration for Carmen, and with his obsession for her coming through stunningly in the final scene."

- David M. Rice, Classical Source, January 2016

 

I due Foscari - St. Galler Festspiele

"The Jacopo Foscari of the American Leonardo Capalbo pleases with flawless pronunciation and a heroic youthful tenor."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 2015

"For scenic and vocal presence, there is no match for Leonardo Capalbo as Jacopo Foscari."

Südkurier, June 2015

"Leonardo Capalbo gives a sensational debut as Jacopo."

Schwäbische, June 2015

 

L'elisir d'amore - Minnesota Opera

"L’Elisir should belong to its tenor, and Leonardo Capalbo, in his company debut, did not disappoint. The man has both poetry and power; his multi-hued instrument, strongly supported, filled the room without apparent strain. Capalbo’s Nemorino was a naïf but no dunce. The role is hardly heroic, but the tenor, without violating its spirit, managed to inject it with a bit of charisma. Too tasteful to treat “Una furtiva lagrima” as a display piece, Capalbo nevertheless earned one of the most clamorous ovations I’ve heard in St. Paul."

- Larry Fuchsberg, Opera News, 2015

 

The Manchurian Candidate - Minnesota Opera

"The opera is strongly cast, and the singers give their all. The Italianate warmth of the tenor Leonardo Capalbo’s voice suits the role of the effusive, troubled Ben Marco."

- Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 2015

 

Candide - Berlin State Opera

"In the title role [of Candide] was the fantastic American tenor Leonardo Capalbo. He is the full package, attractive with a great voice and good acting skills. His rich rounded voice is a joy to listen to, but most notable is his perfect breath control, allowing him to spin phrases in ways most other singers simply can’t."

Bachtrack, 2014

 

Roberto Devereux - Canadian Opera Company

"Leonardo Capalbo's singing was as muscular, well honed and agile as his physique. His unusual voice had the dark, velvety timbre of a baritone even in his highest notes.  The tenor always emanated an intensity that commanded the stage. He received the greatest acclaim for his prison scene, sung with gorgeous legato and undeniable emotion."

- Christopher Hoile, Opera News, 2014

"Leonardo Capalbo plays the Earl of Essex (the Roberto Devereux of the title) and he possesses all those qualities one prays for in a tenor but doesn’t always get: a voice both sweet and powerful, an appearance both sensitive yet masculine, and acting which manages to combine intensity with believability."

- Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star, 2014

"The title role of Roberto [Devereux], the Queen's star-crossed object of affection, was brilliantly sung by American tenor Leonardo Capalbo.  A lyric tenor of the proper weight for Donizetti's elegant melodies and ringing climaxes, Capalbo was entirely believable as the roguishly charming earl.  Capalbo received sustained applause for Roberto's Tower Scene, with its plaintive cavatina. Dismayed and angry to find that he really was going to be beheaded, Capalbo's Roberto sings both verses of the fast- paced cabaletta."

Operawarhorses.com, 2014

"Tenor Leonardo Capalbo in the title role [of Roberto Devereux] looked and sounded the part of the daring romantic hero. His voice has a captivating mix of youthful vitality and rich color."

- Keira Grant, Mooney on Theatre, 2014

 

La traviata - Welsh National Opera

"There was already an extra edge to the performance with the announcement that tenor Leonardo Capalbo was a last-minute, unrehearsed replacement in the role of Alfredo. Yet the Italian-American threw himself into it with an amazing, instinctive passion. For once, it was perfectly possible to believe in the all-consuming nature of Alfredo and Violetta's love."

- Rian Evans, The Guardian, 2012

 

I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Caramoor Festival

"Tenor Leonardo Capalbo was a dashing hothead as Tebaldo, mixing incisive delivery and robust heft."

- Steve Smith, The New York Times, 2012

 

Candide - Berlin State Opera

"Leonardo Capalbo is a pin-up-boy Candide, lithe, sunny and effortlessly lyrical."

- Shirley Apthorpe, Financial Times, 2011

"Leonardo Capalbo, the fast-rising American tenor, embodied the titular naïf to life with his easy good looks and bright, yearning voice."

Opera News, 2011

 

Macbeth - Lyric Opera of Chicago

"Capalbo shows himself as a true, Verdian lyric tenor, with effortless and polished legato, secure top notes, and a skillful placement of diminuendo."

- Salvatore Calomino, Opera Today, 2010

 

Stars of the Lyric Concert - Lyric Opera of Chicago

"The American tenor also proved himself to be a model of Italianate sound and style in one of the Duke's arias from Verdi's Rigoletto."

- John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 2010

 

Macbeth - Opera Holland Park

"Leonardo Capalbo's Macduff makes a sound rarely heard, a true Italianate tenor making the rafters ring and frightening the peacocks."

- Robert Thicknesse, The Times, 2005