Tosca, Teatro Comunale Bologna, January 2022

 

“The encore of “Vissi d’arte” blessed and catapulted into history the premiere of “Tosca”, the inaugural title of the Teatro Comunale which was staged last night at the very same time when another “encore” was being made official, that of President Sergio Mattarella. A theater full to capacity asked soprano Maria José Siri (and in another place the re-elected President) what is not normally asked in an inauguration evening, except for outstanding exceptions, just like it happened last night…”
La Repubblica 

“…Maria José Sii, who is by now at home in Bologna, after performing splendid Verdi characters here: Leonora in Il trovatore, a combative Odabella in Attila, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Elisabetta in Don Carlo. 
But the success she has just obtained in Tosca has perhaps exceeded all the previous ones, crowing a career that brought her to inaugurate one season of the Teatro alla Scala as Madama Butterfly. She attended Medical School for one year, and, with a past as a jazz saxophone player (she said she started studying voice because she was late for a saxophone lesson), Siri is a lirico spinto soprano with a bel-canto style training. And it shows: this allows her to remain flexible in her high register, but also incisive when Puccini requires it. And she has become a first-rate actress. Her “assassino” screamed at Scarpa froze the very blood in the veins of the Bologna audience, as well as the desperate search for the passport in the office of her stabbed persecutor (after a long search the cadaver was still holding it tight with one of his hands). This is all very known and seen thousands of time - after all we are talking about Tosca and not Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre”, but Siri presented it to us as if it were the first time.” 
La Repubblica 
 
“First and foremost her, soprano Maria José Siri, with a rich timbre and a vocal production as powerful as capable of unpredictable nuances…” 
Il corriere della Romagna

“Maria José Siri is a reference Tosca thanks to the dramatic strength she conveys to her character, here totally played on the psychological naivety of a young woman who finds herself involved in a situation bigger than her.” 
Il resto del carlino 
 
“Maria José Siri, a bona fide Puccini specialist, is an exquisitely lyric soprano with a bel-canto style vocal training, which allows her to remain flexible in the high register as well as incisive when Puccini asks for it (often). Siri never pushes and the “verismo” effects come to her with an impressive naturalness.”
Classic Voice

Maria José Siri and Roberto Aronica raised enthusiastic manifestations of approval from the audience, especially on the occasion of the two lovers’ popular arias (Tosca’s “Vissi d’arte” and Cavaradossi’s “E lucevan le stelle”)” 
Il giornale della musica 

“Tosca is Maria José Siri, a role the soprano has already interpreted in numerous productions and on some of the most important international stages. Her vocal line, characterized by a beautiful bright and sunny color, shows a total firmness and a fine flexibility, thanks to which the artist literally embroiders some very successful moments (honorable mention to a Vissi d’arte so sweet and at the same time imbued with poignant melancholy). It’s necessary to particularly highlight her high register, very steady and luminous without ever showing signs of fatigue, despite the length of the role. A successful performance also from an interpretative point of view, thanks to an elegant stage presence and a refined and tasteful phrasing” 
Opera libera   
 
“The soprano María José Siri offered us an intense Tosca with a strong personality, burning with love and prey to jealousy, determined in the most dramatic moments. She displays a voice of good timbre and volume, with powerful high notes.” 
Codalario 
 
“Protagonist and much appreciate interpreter of the title role is Uruguayan soprano Maria José Siri, who made her Bologna debut as Leonora in Il trovatore in 2012, returning as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera in 2015, as Odabella in Attila which inaugurated the 2016 and as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo in 2018. Love, jealousy and death are translated with her being a textbook Tosca, enriched with a perfect high register and a wonderful phrasing.” 
Arte Arti 
 
“Maria José Siri’s Tosca is by now a certainty, and not merely vocally, as the operation of psychological introspection that this fine artist has managed to give her character over the years now is able to captivate and engage the audience from her very first appearance on stage. Far from outlining the personality of a grand diva, the soprano is able to highlight her rashness, which contributes to the evolution of the drama, as well as the fears and weaknesses strongly conjoined in this powerful and still modern female portrait. Her Tosca is not a woman who knows all the certainties but an artist living in a difficult Rome, where working and loving become equally dangerous; she is a woman who had to learn to live among people in power without giving up her dignity, in a perennial balance between society and herself. Siri’s vocality has through time become rounder and more flexible, as secure in the high register as mellow in the lyrical pages; the cohesiveness with her characters turns out to be total and overwhelming.” 
I teatri dell’Est 

“Maria José Siri’s Tosca displayed a beautiful silken timbre and a good volume. The dramatic performance of the frenetic exchanges with Scarpia in the second act was very effective. The thunderous applause and requests for an encore for Vissi d’arte convinced her to grant one, acclaimed by the audience. One lady in the audience touchingly said: “I’ve heard aria so many times, but never like tonight.” She self-assuredly tackled even the fearsome “lama” with exceptional results.” 
The Blog Art Post 

“…Precise and gifted with a powerful voice…” 
“Next to him (Claudio Sgura) Maria José Siri also shines; the two artists seem to find, in the second act, that harmony necessary to credibility, scoring a fine string of dramatically believable scenes, supported by a passionate vocal interpretation.” 
Opera Teatro 
 
“The cast stars Maria José Siri, a favorite of the Bologna audience, as the protagonist. The soprano distinguished herself from the start for a full and homogenous timbre all throughout the range, the strong vocal production, secure technique and excellent interpretative approach, supported by good phrasing and clear diction (…) Siri wins and convinces. “Vissi d’arte” was sung with intimate and heart-felt emotion; her voice fluctuated together with the splendid sound of the orchestra, with which it seems to breath in a crescendo of intensity all the way to the final applause, so warm and long as to convince the artist and the Maestro to grand an equally successful encore.” 
Ieri oggi domani, opera

“With soprano Maria José Siri in a most appreciated crescendo in the third act, who doesn’t let such a great stage and vocal presence as Erwin Schrott as Scarpia overwhelm her (…) their duets have a very high cathartic effect (…) it’s Siri and Schrott who break the bank.”
Rete Luna

“The stage is all for Maria José Siri, who granted an encore of “Vissi d’arte”.
“Maria José Siri’s Tosca is delightfully jealous from the very first measures, irked with her lover when necessary, without losing sweetness and grace for the whole first act, and later capable to display strength, determination, ability to withstand Scarpia’s brutality in the second act.
If one of the most recurrent complaints in productions of Tosca is having singers who scream and snarl too much believing to intensify the dramatic effect, as Alfredo Mandelli writes in his essay “Tosca, one hundred years later”, such a flaw cannot be found in this self-restrained staging where Maria José Siri only in rare and precise moments allows herself to indulge in small vocal outburst on the finales, or in the most tempestuous moments, when the spoken voice prevails on the singing. For the most part she gives life to a clear-headed Tosca, calm even in the most dramatic moments, a woman in love but still able to reason and make quick decisions, to catch any chance to react. Her ability to tease her lover with delicate determination “give her a black eye”, referring to the portrait Cavaradossi is making, which seems to immortalize the beautiful blue-eyes Contessa Attavanti, is amusing. And thus in front of the horrible Scarpia she attempts all sorts of ways always with self-restrained composure and firm will not to yield to him. Siri is able to inspire tenderness, as a uselessly jealous and suspicious woman, as well as to move the audience for her stubborn obstinacy as she refused to yield. She was able to give her character many nuances without ever yielding to the stereotype of violence. Even in the third act, when she meets her beloved, Tosca is laden with dreams and hopes planning the escape, and with love and artist’s pride insists that he theatrically interprets his death when the guns are supposed to fire blanks. Shortly after it’s the pride of a deceived, but not tamed woman to give her the strength to denounce Scarpia before throwing herself off the castle. Each dramaturgic passage, even the most dramatic, is interpreted with precision, and in each moment, even the most dramatic one, Siri maintains a touch of elegance in her composure and her voice. The applause that greeted “Vissi d’arte” in the second act was very long, and so intense were the requests for an encore that she granted one, performed almost with a greater serenity and vocally even more successful that the first one.”
Radio Città Fujiko