Press

 

For the last five years EMMY nominated and award-winning lyric tenor Panuccio has enliven the Christmas season with an annual mufti-city tour of holiday song, O Holy Night. Audiences have clamored for a recording, now here it is. It's not quite the extravaganza of music that the concerts are but the CD's 12 songs are a lovely souvenir and anticipation of those Christmas delights.

The songs are all religious devotions, no Rudolph here. There are two settings of the Ave Maria (Schubert and Massenet) and a Sancta Maria by Mascagni. The music's secular origins (the 'Meditation' from Massenet's opera Thaïs and the 'Intermezzo' from Mascagni's opera Cavalleria Rusticana) are warmly and lovingly adapted to the religious texts. Four traditional songs (Adeste Fideles, Tu scendi dalle stelle, What Child Is This, Still, still, still) balance more classical music (Comfort ye...Ev'ry valley from Handel's Messiah, Franck's Panis Angelicus, Schubert's Mille cherubini in coro). The exquisite Gesu Bambino reflects Panuccio's Italian heritage. And of course, Adam's O holy night is de rigeur.

Highlights are almost too numerous to mention. Panuccio's tenor is liquid silver, refined, delicate and robust as needed, with immaculate phrasing, and fine musicianship. The Handel aria is sung in proper Baroque style embellished with ornament ion like sparkling diamonds. Gesu Bambino is sung with almost baritonal coloring. Mille cherubini in coro is a little known expression of joy sung with delicate expression. Panuccio adopts a lively tempo for Panis Angelicus for holiday celebration.  O Holy Night is sung with stentorian command. The highlight is Panuccio's delicate vocal caress of Still, still, still, an intimate evocation of Christmas magic.

Of singular musical magic are the piano accompaniments of pianist Julie Spangler. Her rare talent provides solid support, delicate accompaniment, serious collaboration.

Texts are included.

CHARLES H PARSONS

CD Review - Christmas with Marco Panuccio
American Record Guide

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CHRISTMAS WITH MARCO PANUCCIO is a new CD out just in time for Christmas. Singing in flawless Latin, Italian and English a varied mix of classical and traditional selections appropriate to the season, Panuccio imprints each with clear musicality and an intimately warm delivery. 

The tenor’s voice is a supple, lyrical instrument that he places at the service of both music and text with unparalleled support from his accompanist, Julie Spangler. The results, greatly enhanced by the engineering of Rick Andress are thoroughly professional. 

The CD, available directly from Panuccio on his website www.marcopanuccio.com is well packaged and neatly annotated with the lyrics of the selections, making it a perfect gift for lovers of good music, especially at this time of year.

CD Review - Christmas with Marco Panuccio
Seen and Heard International

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The Florida sun is hot. The Florida sky douses us with rain. But who’s complaining? We’re in Florida! On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 4, we went to the University Club where tenor Marco Panuccio sang a program of Italian songs and opera arias called “O Sole Mio.” 

He showed us a voice that was pleasant and communicated the meaning of the words lucidly. He was robust, but not rotund, as many of his tenor colleagues tend to be. I, as an erstwhile concert and operatic tenor, heard only what I wanted to hear in his renditions. In the overall he entertained and pleased me.

He added a song to his program, “Rondine Al Nido” which supplanted an encore. The singer conversed energetically with his public along the way and told them all they needed to know about his songs, many of which they had likely heard before. Here were Italian songs galore that brought warm memories and happy recollections. Panuccio came back to “Sorrento” in song, and awakened us with “Mattinata,” had the audience join him in “Funiculi, Funicula,” and sang a rousing “O Sole Mio.” 

I think that Panuccio sold his wares attractively, and his audience showed him due appreciation. A particular favorite of mine was the great aria “Che gelida manina” from Puccini’s “La Bohème.”

Now that we have bid “adieu” to summer, we hail the fall that is acomin’. Music is our undying friend that will accompany us wherever we go, as long as programs such as these continue. 

“O Sole Mio” - Orlando Opera
Winter Park Observer

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The final concert in Opera Orlando’s “Opera in the Park” series will feature a tenor, Marco Panuccio. 

He will present an afternoon of Italian music, including such beloved standards as “’O sole mio” and “Funiculi, Funicula.” Also on the program: Lucio Dalla’s “Caruso,” and “Che gelida manina” from Puccini’s “La Boheme.”

Panuccio recently sang the role of Alfredo in “La Traviata” for Grange Park Opera, outside London in the U.K. For that performance, the Bachtrack classical-music website raved, “Marco Panuccio has a real sense of reach and depth in his voice. His ‘Parigi, o cara’ is bewitching and heartrending.”

The Italian-American vocalist also has performed at Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, with notable U.S. companies including Lyric Opera of Chicago, and in the televised “O Holy Night: An Evening of Holiday Song.” 

The concert will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. Robin Stamper will accompany. Tickets are $30. Call 407-648-0077 or go to operaorlando.org.

Give the tenor his due - Orlando Opera
Orlando Sentinel

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Tenor Marco Panuccio avoids excessive booziness but nevertheless seems as though he is thoroughly enjoying himself in his rambling bar-bore tales. For those who would generally go a long way to avoid a performance of Carmina Burana, this one could well be a factor in deciding that there is more to it than often meets the ear.

Carmina Burana – MDR Sinfonieorchester
Gramophone

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Panuccio's performance all class

"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen . . ."

Tenor Marco Panuccio began "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" straight Friday night at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. Then sopranos Youngmi Kim and Sarah Dorff Schmid continued in Gregorian chant – in Latin, complete with "Alleluia."
It was just one of the surprises on Panuccio's Emmy-nominated "O Holy Night: An Evening of Holiday Song," returning to Cincinnati for the fifth year in a row. It was the fourth stop on a seven-city tour, which has taken him to Lebanon, Ohio, Easton and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and next week, to Wheaton, Illinois and Augusta and Milledgeville, Georgia.

Panuccio's show, which he produces himself, is pure class, one of the highlights of the holiday music season in Cincinnati, where it began in 2010. Joining him was collaborative pianist Matthew Umphreys, the 17-piece O Holy Night Orchestra led by Jesse Leong and sopranos Kim, Schmid and Amanda Heisler, who also performed chants of their own.

There were three new "Ave Marias" this year and two selections for orchestra, including Gerald Finzi's sublime Eclogue, Op. 10. There were also favorites from previous years, including "Gabriel's Message," colorfully arranged by Julie Spangler, the extremely moving "Letter from Sullivan Ballou" by John Kander (a letter from a Civil War soldier to his wife) and, of course, Adolph Adam's "O Holy Night." The program spanned Baroque to contemporary music, with chant, traditional carols and a pair of audience singalongs. There were moments when one could close one's eyes and be transported to another world – of peace, harmony and love.

Panuccio, who possesses a voice of radiant, lyric beauty, began with the aria "Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet" ("Joyful shepherds, hurry") from J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio, accompanied by cello and flute, and marked by Panuccio's smooth, nimble coloratura.
Kowalewski's 2012 "Ave Maria" was one of the "new" "Ave Marias" and in it, Panuccio and the orchestra created an ethereal, almost otherworldly effect. Also new were "Ave Marias" by Camille Saint-Saens and Ruggero Leoncavallo. Saint-Saens' was fluid and gracious, while Leoncavallo's soared and had a dramatic cast.
Umphreys, soloist in Finzi's Eclogue, captured the slightly melancholic tone of the music (the word denotes a pastoral poem involving shepherds) and with Leong and the orchestra, rang out in the Cathedral's lush acoustic.
Also heard on earlier "O Holy Nights" was Pietro Mascagni's "Sancta Maria" and as encores, "A Prayer to St. Catherine" by Virgil Thomson and the wonderful, so-called Caccini "Ave Maria," performed, lights out, by Panuccio, the three sopranos, organ and orchestra.

Other highlights included Mack Willberg's gentle, caressing "Still, Still, Still" and a stylish arrangement of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Panuccio and Umphreys.
Panuccio addresses his audience, giving them information about the music and how he obtained it. To get the parts for "Sullivan Ballou," for instance, he contacted the composer's nephew, who is secretary of state of Missouri. He e-mailed Kowalewski – in Polish – to access his "Ave Maria." Taken together with the music, his remarks enhanced the show's intimate, engaging aspect.

One hopes that Panuccio (a Cincinnati resident) will continue to share his exquisite holiday show with Cincinnati audiences in the future.

“O Holy Night”
Cincinnati Enquirer

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Pinkerton, Marco Panuccio, was in strong voice and also able to follow Puccini’s melodic lines with elegance and grace.

Madama Butterfly - Grange Park Opera
Bachtrack, London

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Rutter's Pinkerton was Marco Panuccio, who sang the Duke in Rigoletto here last year and who recently sang the role of Don Pedro in Chelsea Opera Group's performance of Donizetti's Maria Padilla. Panuccio has a lovely tenor voice, which he uses freely throughout the range, with a nice willingness to sing quietly. His Pinkerton was a rather stiff, upright figure, naive and selfish rather than intentionally nasty. If his stage manner seemed a little stiff, this was in keeping with the character, conveying his uneasiness at being in a strange country amid foreigners. Only at the end does the character really come adrift and express emotion openly.

In the love duet, both Panuccio and Rutter created a gorgeous, full throated lyrical outpouring; rarely have I heard this sung so finely in the theatre. Visually, they were a little static with only careful touches of intimacy rather than the full blown eroticism of some performers, but then with singing like theirs all the emotion was in the music. (You feel that if you were transported back to Sadlers Wells in the 50's or 60;s, with Joan Hammond and Charles Craig then you would have seen the same open-hearted, open throated singing, slightly stately stage manner and cautious eroticism.)

Madama Butterfly - Grange Park Opera
Planet Hugill, London

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Panuccio's Alfredo was delightfully out of his depth at the party, there was a lovely moment after his introduction to Violetta when Panuccio sat down, a little boy lost as the party swirled around him…Panuccio was vibrantly ardent in his aria…Panuccio who gave a dramatically vibrant performance, producing some lovely hushed tones.

La Traviata - Grange Park Opera
Planet Hugill, London

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Marco Panuccio has a real sense of reach and depth in his voice. His Alfredo blossomed into a tender, devoted, passionate lover. The emotional intensity crackles in the first scene between Alfredo and his father, as Alfredo shrugs off the unwanted hand of consolation with a genuinely teenage gesture. Panuccio’s “Parigi, o cara” is bewitching and heartrending; his love for Violetta utterly believable from first to last.

La Traviata - Grange Park Opera
Bachtrack, London

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Tenor Marco Panuccio, in the title role, beguiled with tenderness and dazzled with ringing high notes.

Il Trovatore - Portland SummerFest
The Oregonian

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To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, many opera companies and orchestras are presenting revivals of the great British composer’s works. IN Cincinnati there was a stunning performance of the War Requiem at the My Festival, and this November the College-Conservatory of Music will present the seldom-performed Owen Wingrave. 

Another impressive tribute to Britten occurred on July 7 when tenor Marco Panuccio presented a concert at Cincinnati’s Calvary Episcopal Church of the composer’s works that are not often enough performed. The program offered a rare opportunity to hear all five Canticles written for tenor Peter Pears, plus additional songs and instrumental works.

The first (shorter) half of the program had three Britten realizations of sings by Henry Purcell, surrounded by the harp Suite and the ‘Fanfare for St Edmunsbury’ for three trumpets. The Purcell-Britten songs showed three distinct moods. ‘Let the Dreadful Engines’, sung by baritone Alex Hurd, turned out to be a sarcastic farewell of a jilted lover to his former love. Hurd displayed a nice lyric sound but could have worked a bit on his enunciation. In the final ‘Evening Hymn’, a simple song of praise, countertenor Michael Match displayed a beautiful sound and excellent enunciation.  Between the two, Panuccio sang ‘In the Black Dismal Dungeon of Despair’, a plea for forgiveness by ones suffering the torments of guilt. Here he showed his ability to bring out all the emotions inherent in his character’s plight. His control of vocal colors and dynamics showed not only his great ability to sing but his intelligence and care in finding the correct sound for each variation of feeling. His enunciation of the text was exemplary.

The two instrumental works served as an excellent frame for these songs. The fairly short Harp Suite, played by Alaina Graiser, supplied a pleasant, calm opening to the concert. Three trumpeters (Daniel Arute, Adrienne Doctor, and John Kilgore) played the ‘Fanfare’ as Britten specified, separated far as possible from each other, The three separate fanfares, pleasant in themselves but discordant when they first intersected, came together at the end for a thrilling sound. 

All five Canticles were performed in order. There is a symmetry to then; the tenor sings the first and last alone; he is joined by other singers in the second and fourth; and the third (here in its revised version) includes readings of other poems by Edith Sitwell (whose poetry supplies the text for the original Canticle III), ably read by Evans Mirageas and Charles Parsons. According to the publishers, this performance may have been the American premiere of the revised Canticle III. Most have piano accompaniment, but Canticle III adds a French horn (Jeremy Moon), and Canticle V is accompanied by only a harp.

The performances were outstanding. Marco Panuccio obviously loves this music. His crystal-clear enunciation and careful attention to every nuance of the text made clear his devotion. He could scale his voice down to a near-whisper or trumpet forth a forte passage, even sometimes sacrificing tonal beauty in the service of the text. IN Canticle IV he joined Math and Hurd to sing the very difficult setting of TS Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’, a fascinating musical version of this amazing poem.

Best of all, however, was the great Canticle II, a sort of mini-opera based on the story of Abraham and Isaac. Here tenor and countertenor take the roles of father and son, then combine to sing the voice of God. I have heard this sung several times before, but never more movingly than by Panuccio and Match, who chose to act out the story as well. It was the high point to an afternoon of great music making.

Britten at 100 - American Record Guide

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"We knew we were in for a treat from the start, especially when Marco Panuccio as Rodolfo the writer-poet soared through "Che gelida manina" with his great lyric tenor."


La Bohème - Bridgeport Symphony
Connecticut Post

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"All the singers were perfectly cast especially the highlighted performance of Marco Panuccio who played Anthony Hope."


Sweeney Todd - Teatro Comunale di Luciano Pavarotti
Recensioni di Modena

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"Lyric Tenor Macok Panuccio (Anthony) showed a magnificent voice."

 
Sweeney Todd - Teatro Comunale di Luciano Pavarotti
L’Informazione di Modena

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"The company was stylistically homogeneous yet well assorted especially accompanied with the expressive Marco Panuccio."


Sweeney Todd - Teatro Rossini
Il Resto del Carlino

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"Cincinnati audiences went wild for the triumph of Marco Panuccio's Edgard. Edgard's death has bel canto beauty. Panuccio held the audience in the palm of his hand as he softly yet strongly projected the young hero's dilemma through delicate pianissimos. His warm lyric tenor was a marvel of vocal magic."


Lucie de Lammermoor - Cincinnati Opera
Opera News

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"Panuccio achieved his own triumph in Edgar’s death scene, during which one could have heard a pin drop as he brought tears to the audience’s eyes."

 
Lucie de Lammermoor - Cincinnati Opera
Opera

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"As Edgard, Marco Panuccio was an impassioned actor…his singing was nuanced and deeply felt and his soft high notes had particular beauty."


Lucie de Lammermoor - Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Tenor Marco Panuccio was touching, even wrenching, as Edgard. His act I love duet with Lucie, where they exchanged rings, was as tender and well sung as any I can recall at Music Hall."

 
Lucie de Lammermoor - Cincinnati Opera
Music in Cincinnati

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"Rodolfo, Marco Panuccio has a brightly warm voice, able to take the aria in key…his acting and singing carried scene after scene: the reunion of Mimì and Rodolfo at the end of Act III was beautifully handled."

 
La Bohème - Cleveland Opera
Opera News

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"The lively cast headed by an enchanting Melody Moore as Mimi and Marco Panuccio as Rodolfo, brought a little slice of opera heaven to the State Theatre at Playhouse Square."

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La Bohème - Cleveland Opera
Cool Cleveland

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"Marco Panuccio made his debut as an impressive Edgardo with a sturdy voice full of lyricism and warm with a distinctive color. He was an ardent and loving Edgardo."

Lucia di Lammermoor - Arizona Opera
Pro Ópera

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"Tenor Marco Panuccio who is surely 'America's next great tenor,' delivered a knock-out performance of opera arias and duets, including what is fast becoming his signature aria, 'Nessun dorma.' "

 
Opera in the Amazon 'Una noche mágica' - Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Whalen shared the stage with a superb cast of singers that included tenor Marco Panuccio making his Arizona Opera debut in the role of Edgardo. Panuccio is blessed with an exquisite lyric tenor and dramatic sensibilities that were perhaps at their best in his death scene. This hopefully is not the last we see of him on an Arizona stage."

 
Lucia di Lammermoor - Arizona Opera
Arizona Daily Star

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"Especially interesting in this season opener was the singing of Marco Panuccio in the role of Edgardo. Panuccio brought to the role a truly fine Italian tenor voice with great range and dramatic color. Panuccio created a strong, masculine Scottish character which contrasted painfully well against the foppishly French portrayal of Arturo by Jason Ferrante.

 
Lucia di Lammermoor - Arizona Opera
Green Valley News and Sun

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"Tenor Marco Panuccio made a most impressive début with the company as Edgardo. He has a robust, warm lyric voice with distinctive colorations and he was an ardent, passionate Edgardo. It was easy to understand why Lucia fell in love with him."

 
Lucia di Lammermoor - Arizona Opera
Music & Vision

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"The high, screaming tessitura of Mao Tse-tung held no fears for Marco Panuccio, who sang with lyric beauty and ease."
 

Nixon in China - Cincinnati Opera
Opera

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"Musically the performances were as good as good could possibly be. Marco Panuccio actually sang the screaming tessitura music of Mao Tse-Tung with lyric beauty and ease, acting with genuine realism."

 
Nixon in China - Cincinnati Opera
Opera News

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"The evening's spectacular vocal heart was reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Mao, Marco Panuccio and Georgia Jarman. Panuccio's beautiful Italianate lyric tenor coped easily with the cruel high tessitura, as he sang with immaculate diction."

Nixon in China - Cincinnati Opera
American Record Guide

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"Here's the cast: (...) Cincinnati tenor Marco Panuccio (a rising star with a knockout voice) (...) Then we came to La Boheme, with Marco Panuccio and Lisa Daltirus. His 'Che gelida manina' was simply stunning. He displayed a bright Italianate tenor with the thrilling timbre of a young Pavarotti, and nuanced phrasing. (What a switch from the John Adams he sang last week!! This is his music.) Their duet, 'O suave fanciulla' took your breath away."

"Salute to Cincinnati Opera" - Cincinnati Symphony
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Marco Panuccio depicted the aged, infirm Mao as a leader who was still very much in control, even once spitting at Nixon. Panuccio's clear, ringing tenor navigated the role's wide leaps and high range effortlessly."

Nixon in China - Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Newly slim tenor Marco Panuccio (who had to wear padding as Mao) had the most difficult role visually, since he had to portray a feeble old man who needed assistance walking (...) Panuccio's bright, focused tenor served notice that he has an important career underway."

Nixon in China - Cincinnati Opera
The Cincinnati Post

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"Soft wisp or roaring, tenor's voice compelling - A great tenor voice is a rare gift, both to the singer and the audience. When that voice is coupled with acute musical intelligence and a stirring depth of emotion, the result can only be superb.

Friday evening at Memorial Hall, Marco Panuccio demonstrated to a wildly appreciative audience that he possesses all these musical qualities and will surely be recognized as one of the top tenors of the world. He is a product of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a protégé of the Cincinnati Opera, both institutions have a right to be proud of Panuccio.”

O Sole Mio - A Celebration of Italian Song - Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Tenor, Marco Panuccio, has a very sensitive and expressive voice well suited for the wide range of emotions in this work. As the message of the text changed Panuccio skillfully changed mood and vocal color like a chameleon. His marvelous voice and the artful accompaniment by the Chamber Orchestra made this an entrancing work to hear."

Britten's Nocture - Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra
Cincinnati Enquirer

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"Panuccio possessed a resonance rare with many tenors and delivered the upper register with a powerful ease."

Verdi's Requiem - Greensboro Symphony Orchestra
News & Record of Greensboro