(…) Max Jota's Don Josè makes justice to Merimèe's vision of the character who is the true leader of the plot. From the incertitude and lack of self-consciousness deliberately delivered in the first act to the consciousness of himself in the aria of "La fleur" is then a crescendo in drawing the descent to the hell among the outcasts, with firmly sustained and well projected top notes, homogeneity among the different registers so to underline how the ' the swing of life also includes the voids of human dignity (…)
F. Fornarelli (OPERAWORLD, September 2017)
(…) joined by a surprise godfather: the Brazilian tenor Max Jota, solar and addictive (…)
The powerful tenor Max Jota slips into programming singing with his partners, enveloping them in his mastering. His gestures are perfectly mastered both in self-deprecation and in amorous effusion, his projection seems capable of fulfilling the larger scenic spaces, while his timbre, opening up multiple sound perspectives, gives a lesson in dramatic construction and a moment of absolute (Tosca, La Bohème, Werther). His legato unifies the lyrical being until the final good-bye (…)
Florence Lethurgez (OLYRIX, August 16, 2017)
Successfully chosen the singer for Ismaele being Max Jota at his debut in the role (…) due to Verdi’s idea of the tenor (in this opera) it would have been simply a marginal character if not deeply felt and delivered by a voice by itself fascinating for color and musical pathos. With his homogeneous voice, perfect breathing and pitch, Max Jota with his voice and acting one of the most beautiful reality among today’s tenors worlwide, skipped successfully the trap delivering a noticeable and memorable Ismaele.
Onorato Guglielmi (OPERALIVENET, February 26, 2016)
Verona Lirica Concert Teatro Filarmonico - Verona
“between talent and emotions”
(…) in their performances De Liso and Max Jota have been the ones to present less common arias, also because of special vocal skills they require to, thus capturing the attentive and passionate audience. At the perfect execution proposed by De Liso of arias from Bianca e Faliero and Rinaldo, tenor Max Jota replied with arias from Fosca by Gomes and Giulietta e Romeo by Zandonai, highlighting a stunning voice of lyric tenor. (…) a touching “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca performed by Jota lead to the well known quartet from Rigoletto where soprano, bariton and tenor gave a singing lesson of the magic plot of this melody (…) a great evening, that if from one side confirmed the skills and value of Schillaci and Cassi, from the other hand put rightly under the spot, two outsiders such as De Liso and Max Jota we are sure to become in the nearest future two reference singers on opera world.
Emanuela Campanella (OPERALIVE, January 26, 2016)
Verona Lirica Concert Teatro Filarmonico - Verona
“of love and death”
(…) Fosca by Antonio Carlos Gomes, set always in Venice, thanks to the voice of brazilian tenor Max Jota, who performed with great passion Paolo’s aria “Intenditi con Dio..ah! Se tu sei fra gli angeli”
(…) “In un coupé” is by far one the most beatiful duets of Italian merlodramma and great have been Max Jota and Mario Cassi performing the chatting between the poet and the painter(…)
“Giulietta son io” aria by Zandonai, sung with such great expression by Max Jota. It’s with this same aria that, in 2012, he was awarded with the Zandonai Best Interpreter Prize in Riva del Garda(…)
(…) this of January 24th has been by far one of the most successfull matinee for Verona Lirica (…)
Andrea R.G. Pedrotti (L’APE MUSICALE, January 25, 2016)
IERI, OGGI, DOMANI, OPERA WORDPRESS
Concert Verona Lirica
(…) Max Jota presented arias not easy to be listened to, such as tha aria of Paolo from “Fosca”by Antonio Carlos Gomes and “Giulietta, son io” from Giulietta and Romeo by Zandonai. Afterwards he sang a cult of tenor’s repertoire “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca.
The tenor highlighted the really nice tone color of his voice and moreover demonstrated great intelligence in handling vocal tricks and controlling vocal emission (…)
Francesco Lodola (IERI, OGGI, DOMANI, OPERA WORDPRESS, January 24, 2016)
[...] In the version of Giuseppe Gazzaniga, the mocking has become a tenor. Bright, richly projected in his arias, truly incisive in his recitativi the Sevillian, starred by Max Jota sings like an angel unleashed [...] the vocalism of Brazilian artist is enhanced by attention to the study that allows his valuable dynamic range to arrive with a mastery of hell [...] all complemented by an acting surprising liveliness' […]
Bertrand Bolognesi ( ANACLASE, November 2015 )
"A Masked Ball on stage at Opera de Massy, a stunning duel of stentorian voices between Brazilian Max Jota, a tenor to follow closely at his debut in France and remarkable Romanian baritone Estefan Florin . Vocal strength, timbre, phrasing everything was there."
Francois Cavailles ( FORUM OPERA, March 22, 2015 )
“The title character has been portrayed by Max Jota (at his German debut) with tenor fire and vocal elegance (…) theatrically energetic.”
Christoph Zimmermann (ONLINE MERKER, 2015)
“The piece had in Max Jota (Hoffmann) and Eva Maria Günschmann (Muse) the ideal leading characters.”
Armin Kaumanns (RPonline, 2015)
"Brazilian Max Jota, a Latin tenor to the core, was a charismatic Hoffmann."
Matthew Rye ( DISTANT SOUNDS, March 12, 2015 )
The breathtakingly beautiful town of Lucca is renowned throughout the musical world as the birthplace of one of the most beloved opera composers, Giacomo Puccini. His immense popularity has inevitably overshadowed another talented but unlucky “lucchese”, Alfredo Catalani. It is therefore commendable that one of the most important local musical societies, the Circolo Musicale Alfredo Catalani decided to name itself after the composer of La Wally, his only opera to be occasionally revived (and I would also like to mention that the name of the local Conservatoire of Music is “Luigi Boccherini”, another illustrious son of Lucca).
One of the many events of the Circolo Catalani (held in the stunning mediaeval Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto in Lucca), is to present the “Targa d’Argento Luciana Pardini”, an annual award dedicated to the memory of the founder of the society, an indefatigable patroness of the arts. Such an award, bestowed on young musicians (singers, conductors, instrumentalists) on the verge of big careers, has over the years become a coveted prize as a well as reliable indicator of a secure future; past winners include names such as singers Francesco Meli, Veronica Simeoni, Paoletta Marrocu, Juan Francisco Gatell, as well as pianist/conductor Massimo Morelli and composer Aldo Tarabella. The artist chosen for this edition had all the requirements to deserve such recognition and can certainly stand comparison with his predecessors. Max Jota is a Brazilian born tenor of Italian training. I have already heard and favourably reviewed him on a number of occasions, most notably as Cavadossi in Tosca and particularly as the protagonist of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Regarding his vocal endowment, I can only quote what I wrote just a few months ago and describe him as “possessing a luxurious lyric tenor with a liquid, springy timbre, his high notes characterized by a meaty, juicy resonance, exuberant freedom and tonal refulgence.” This recital also confirmed my earlier impressions that he has a very good understanding of how the vocal mechanism should work: in other words, what is commonly called “a good technique”: I can only repeat that his voice sounds perfectly “in the mask”, and that he is one of the very few tenors around with a clear concept of the passaggio: as I said in my previous review, he starts to prepare it by slightly covering the notes immediately preceding it, which yields a top gifted with squillo.
The program of the recital, brilliantly “emceed” by musicologist/entertainer Daniele Rubboli, was eclectic, unusual, intriguing and culturally stimulating: while only three old chestnuts were present, the rest contained true rarities. As the tenor explained on stage (and that was the recital’s only flaw: it is not a good idea to force a singer to give lengthy speeches between arias), each piece was somehow connected to his life experience. As he represented Brazil in “I sing Beijing”, a program sponsored by the National Theatre of Beijing in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera House, he opened with a Chinese aria called “The Song of the Earth”, a demanding piece with impossible intervals requiring a very strong sense of pitch. “Una furtiva lagrima” (from L’Elisir d’amore) was sung with all the necessary chiaroscuros, lovely messe di voce and sincere pathos. Then he showed the security and ease of his high register in “Ô Dieu, de quelle ivresse”, from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, which is becoming one of his war-horses. He concluded the first part with an homage to his motherland singing Lundú da Marquesa by Heitor Villa Lobos, performed with nonchalance despite the difficulties of the piece.
He was fabulously (Jota described her piano as an orchestra, and he was on the mark) accompanied by Laura Pasqualetti, a renowned pianist and coach, who – as an intermezzo – performed the Suite Chaplin, a medley of Charlie Chaplin’s most familiar melodies in commemoration of the artist’s 125th birth anniversary.
Max Jota returned with a second tribute to Brazil, this time performing an aria from Fosca, by Carlos Gomes, an unjustly forgotten composer. Written on a libretto by Ghislanzoni (he of Aida fame), Fosca is a full blooded opera dealing with extreme passions as well as an exceptional vehicle for those dramatic or spinto sopranos eager to portray anti-heroines full of hatred and the spirit of vengeance of unrequited love. The male leading role, Paolo, also makes considerable vocal demands on the tenor, as his aria “Ah! Se tu sei fra gli angeli” (and even more the preceding recitative “Intenditi con Dio!”) clearly demonstrates. Jota threw himself into the piece with fierceness and intensity. After the almost inescapable “La donna è mobile” (Rigoletto) and its ringing high B, Jota performed an aria from Giulietta e Romeo (yes, in this order, because Italians have traditionally given to the heroine the honour of first mention) by Riccardo Zandonai. As a winner of a competition named after the abovementioned composer, Jota felt it was his duty to increase the awareness of this opera to a wider audience, and rightly so, because the whole work is of the same quality as Francesca da Rimini, and this aria in particular is an extremely dramatic and heartbreaking account of Romeo’s death. This is clearly no land for full lyric tenors, but Jota, at least in the confines of a small concert hall, was able to overcome the hurdles of an aria intended for a true spinto. The program ended with “Addio, fiorito asil” from Madama Butterfly, presented not just as a way to show off a high B flat, but with palpable pangs of remorse. This is Puccini territory, and the encore was “Recondita armonia” from Tosca.
Max Jota is a tenor to follow closely.
Nicola Lischi ( OPERA BRITANNIA, September 2014 )
“On the second evening, one was on a completely different planet with the performance of Max Jota, a Brazilian tenor I had already had the pleasure to review as the lead in Les contes d’Hoffmann just a few months ago on the same stage. Jota possesses a luxurious lyric tenor with a liquid, springy timbre, his high notes characterized by a meaty, juicy resonance, exuberant freedom and tonal refulgence. This is the consequence of a voice perfectly in the mask, a homogeneous delivery with an excellent understanding of how the passaggio works: he starts to prepare it by slightly covering the notes immediately preceding it, which yields a top gifted with all the above described qualities. In “Recondita armonia”,he managed to convey sensuality by a skilled game of tastefulritardandos on phrases such as “E te, beltade ignota”, using even the normally neglected acciaccaturas (“cinta di chiome bionde) to that purpose, the concluding B flat was full of squillo and the aria ended with an enchanting – and long – diminuendo on the F natural of “sei tu”, an expression mark that Puccini indicates for the orchestra. And this aria summarizes his vision of Cavaradossi: an aristocrat, a gentleman with courteous manners caught in a game much bigger than himself, something he shows at the fullest in his Act I duet with Tosca, in moments like “Mia vita amante inquieta…”, which he began with a dulcet whisper and then steadily increased the volume as written in the score. He is rhythmically alert, never losing a beat (the evening before, Profeta had seriously compromised his Act II confrontation with Scarpia by always entering late). The highlight of the evening was perhaps “E lucevan le stelle”, where he communicated true lacerating nostalgia without sobs or any sort of histrionics such as the unwritten stressing of “flagrante”. “O dolci baci”, was not the usual display of a tenor trying to show he can sing piano on a crucial note like the F#, but a real disclosure of regrets and pain of the soul. “E muoio disperato” was sung slightly dallying on each note so as to express the required stentato un poco, the A natural was perfectly nailed and the aria concluded with a skilled diminuendo that left the audience almost breathless. Then the ovation exploded, the real true applause of the two evenings combined, with people repeatedly asking for an encore that unfortunately the conductor decided not to grant.
On top of this, Jota, despite being at the beginning of his career, moves effortlessly on stage as a natural born actor, responsive to the words and gestures of his colleagues, and with the facial expressions of the most consummate Thespians, without ever overdoing it; his being attractive certainly does not hurt.
All in all, he has charisma to sell and a sympathetic personality. I will go out on a limb and say he is one of the very few complete Marios I have seen (and this was my 77th Tosca), with all the right credentials to become an “A Class” tenor in the near future, especially considering that he is only 28 years old: “ecco un artista!”
If only Jota had been placed in the first cast, he would have been the crucial contribution to a performance that would not have been out of place in any major opera house."
Nicola Lischi ( OPERA BRITANNIA, May 2014 )
"The surprise of the performance was Max Jota, who, a graduate of the Opera Studio and a good interpreter of the Les Contes d'Hoffmann co-produced by the opera companies of Livorno, Pisa and Lucca, stood out among the principals. The Brazilian tenor, endowed with the classic "beautiful voice" by the shining and virile color and an easy top, albeit still showing room for improvement, offered us a performance that we will not easily forget. The beautiful legato and the nuanced and colloquial fraseggio, always harmonious, induce us to believe that Jota has understood "how to sing Puccini"; aided by the undoubted handsome presence and an apparently inborn thespian ability, he appears now as an enamored Mario, now distracted and concerned without ever falling into histrionics. We believe we will not fall off the mark by predicting a brilliant career for him."
Marilisa Lazzari ( OPERA CLICK, May 2014 )
"The singers's acting remained within the parameters of tradition: the tenor singing Cavaradossi was truly good, with a performance in crescendo, without sparing mezzevoci and nuances worthy of a great artist, with a rich and penetrating sound. The warm audience generously applauded everyone, more intensely at the end of the first act and bestowed the tenor with the longest ovation."
Antonio Genua ( MICSUGLIANDO.IT, March 2014 )
"The most beautiful voice of international opera. Max Jota, born in Brazil but now Italian by adoption, is one of the most promising tenors on the world-wide operatic scene, ..a voice with a wide range of nuances, extremely talented and gifted with an extraordinary interpretative skill."
Michele Bulzomì ( LA NAZIONE, April 2014 )
"...an opera such as Les Contes, the vocal writing is quite demanding and certainly not easy, particularly for the tenor. Yet, Max Jota (Hoffmann) exquisitely succeeds in his task: the singer's voice, characterized by a pleasant timbre, maintains itself homogeneous in range and intensity, and can be considered excellent in relation to the global contest."
Roberto Del Nista ( L'OPERA magazine, March 2014 )
"The protagonist was Max Jota, a Brazilian tenor. Here he was squarely in his element and portrayed an excellent Hoffmann from every point of view. He exquisitely handled the many lyric parts requiring a nuanced, rich and supple middle register (for example “Ah! vivre deux n’avoir”) as well as the even more numerous moments that abruptly jolt towards the top, with very uncomfortable leaps incessantly hammering on the passaggio, and that create a vocal duality nearly impossible to dominate, often within the same aria. The classic example is the Kleinzac aria: from such a thorny tessitura that in a way represents a large part of the French musical tradition, Jota emerged with the firmness of his middle register well welded to a secure and ringing top, gifted with overtones andsquillo. In a similar way he conferred warmth to the wide expansions of the duet with Antonia, and dominated with silvery tone the swift and brisk ascents to the top, all the way to a roof-peeling high D flat, or the insouciant B flat crowning the very jagged writing of thecouplets bachiques. His musicianship allowed him to dominate the many passages where one’s sense of pitch is severely put to the test. He also proved to be a consummate actor, outlining a complex, multifaceted character, and effectively and minutely portraying him in his progressive descent from the youthful enthusiasm of the Olympia act to his bitter final disillusion. Such a refined delineation is possible only when the singer is confident with his technique, as Max Jota certainly is. After all, “c’est la methode.”
Nicola Lischi ( OPERA BRITANNIA, February 2014 )
GB OPERA MAGAZINE
“Max Iota as Hoffmann …incisively gave his character that disquiet necessary to represent the dismay of a generation facing the cultural upheavals that the Second Industrial Revolution caused in many people.”
Alberto Bartolomeo ( GB OPERA MAGAZINE, February 2014 )
“The young and talented Brazilian tenor Max Jota as Hoffmann showed a remarkable interpretative temperament”
Mauro Guidi ( TEATRO.ORG, February 2014 )
“Max Jota, a Brazilian tenor gifted with a fine instrument and precise pitch, was thoroughly engaged in the long and burdensome role of Hoffmann, offering a good performance that kept improving throughout the evening.”
Marilisa Lazzari ( OPERA CLICK, February 2014 )
“Max Jota, young promise of opera, as the Duke of Mantoa”
Vittorio Nona ( ABRUZZO24ORE.tv, December 2013 )