Vocalist - Baritone
Acclaim
 
A Big Spectacle with Voices to Match at the Met's "Aida"

“The most potent acting came from baritone Zeljko Lucic as Amonasro. He generated excitement in his fiery duet with Monastyrska in Act III.”

Barry Bassis, Epoch Times
Met star soprano Anna Netrebko lifts Verdi's Macbeth

“No less strong, and the ideal foil to Netrebko [Lady Macbeth], is the Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic, whose Macbeth, while superbly and lyrically sung, has enough vulnerability to show up essential weaknesses of character.... It’s worth it for Lucic and Netrebko. Make haste and see it while you can.” (HD Broadcast)

Michael Shmith, Sydney Morning Herald
Met Opera Live's Macbeth: Netrebko's singing stirred almost as much as her décolletage

“What made this the most stirring performance of Macbetto that I have seen was the strength of Zeljko Lucic’s performance in the title role. It is almost a cliché that the most interesting figure in the opera is ‘Lady’, as Verdi called her, but … the central tragic figure, with less to sing than his wife, and most of it less striking, remained the man who paradoxically commits his fearful deeds from weakness rather than from strength; and consequently elicits an unusual blend of feelings from the audience. Lucic is a singer we see far less of than we should: he is perhaps primarily an actor of great range and subtlety, but he has a large, firmly focused voice, the kind that is expressive in itself, though he is a fine user of the text, without being obtrusive; perfect, in fact.” (HD Broadcast)

Michael Tanner, The Spectator (UK)
Richard Tucker Benefit Concert Showcases Opera Vocalists

“The baritone Zeljko Lucic was … in his element. Less intense than he’s been … in ‘Macbeth’, he still sang with glamour and poise.”

Zachary Woolfe, New York Times
Belgrade Philharmonic makes an enthusiastic showing at Carnegie

“In between the two orchestral pieces, Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic joined the performance, adding a bit of star power with highlights from his operatic repertoire. Currently inhabiting the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera, he sang the character’s ‘Pieta, rispetto, amore’ with the rich honeyed baritone for which he’s known. For ‘Pari siamo’ from Rigoletto, he added a burnished quality with a touch of gravel to fully realize a portrait of the ill-fated jester. Even better was his encore ‘Eri tu’ from Un Ballo in Maschera, a great baritone vehicle that required Lucic to fluctuate between furious rage and melancholy repentance, and finished with a towering and effortless high G.”

Amanda Angel, New York Classical Review
MACBETH - Metropolitan Opera

“To hold his own, Macbeth must be a true Verdian baritone, with enough voice and enough hues in it to imply power-lust and terror at the same time, whether confronting Banquo’s ghost or the Witches’ apparitions. He must warm to his despair at the last, when Verdi finally gives him a melody worth filling the house. Zeljko Lucic possesses such a voice, sturdy and soaring, his arching phrases expressing the self-questioning of a man who commits crimes while knowing better.”

John Yohalem, Musical America
Met Opera: Netrebko Soars in the Hurly-Burly of Verdi's "Macbeth"

“Lucic is a forceful presence as Macbeth, singing the conflicted title role in a rich and powerful baritone that ranges from reluctant assassin to terrifying and bloodthirsty tyrant.”

Wilborn Hampton, Huffington Post
Macbeth at Metropolitan Opera

“Zeljko Lucic, the production’s original Macbeth, returns with new-found vocal and interpretive strength. A tense sotto voce delivery conveys Macbeth’s trepidation while firm, soaring phrases in full voice seem a means for disguising a troubled soul.”

George Loomis, Financial Times
A Malevolent Consort, Utterly in Command

“The admirable baritone Zeljko Lucic … who sang Macbeth when this production was introduced in 2007, is an elegant baritone with a distinctive voice, burnished, mellow, a little earthy. He has ample power and smooth legato phrasing.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Netrebko tears it up in Met's riveting, well-sung "Macbeth"

“Zeljko Lucic held his own as the over-reaching thane … delivering a dramatically compelling and vocally nuanced performance. His sound … was more than enough to fill the auditorium, and his gristly timbre was a perfect match for the production’s dark aesthetic. His final, rage-fueled call to battle was harrowing.”

Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review
Macbeth: Anna Netrebko's Sensual, Vicious Lady Macbeth Leads Outstanding Cast

“Vocally, Lucic brought his customary vocal elegance and filled it with a number of intense outbreaks that really emphasized the tormented and weak character of his Macbeth. One of the highlights was his act one monologue ‘Mi si affaccia il pugnale,’ in which he is tormented by the vision of a knife. Lucic shaped each line with detachment, emphasizing his indecision and torment. He stepped into the light and looked at his hands as if he was seeing a ghost. In the scene, where the witches warn Macbeth that he will be overthrown by another, Lucic exploded with a compelling full voice that would be juxtaposed later by pianissimo singing. It created a paranoia to the character and emphasized his remorse. By the end, one felt pity for Lucic’s Macbeth. In his aria ‘Pieta, Rispetto,’ he sang each phrase with delicacy almost as if he were whimpering. Even his final battle cry ‘O Vittoria,’ Lucic’s high G was not the sound of a heroic warrior. Instead it was the sound a desperate man.”

Francisco Salazar, Latin Post
The Macbeths triumph at The Met: Netrebko and Lucic reign in New York

“Despite Netrebko’s stellar charisma, Zeljko Lucic wasn’t outshone as Macbeth. Indeed, I enjoyed his performance as much, if not more. This was my first experience of Lucic live … and I was bowled over by his fantastic velvety timbre and the way he shapes phrases. The dearth of genuine Verdi baritones is a common complaint – and has been for decades – yet Lucic is the real deal. His warm, rounded tone was magnificent in his great Act IV aria ‘Pietà, rispetto, amore’. It made one regret that Macbeth’s death aria ‘Mal per me’, with which the original 1847 version of the opera concluded before Verdi cut it in his 1865 revision, wasn’t reinstated.”

Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack.com
MACBETH - Metropolitan Opera

“Lucic demonstrated why he has become the Met’s go-to Verdi baritone. His sound is intrinsically appealing, with plenty of bite, but a core of sweetness.... Lucic ended beautifully, with a reading of ‘Pieta, rispetto, amore’ laid out in grand, noble lines.”

Fred Cohn, Opera News
ANDREA CHÉNIER - Metropolitan Opera

“The character’s [Gerard’s] yearning and frustration came through well, thanks to the baritone’s [Lucic’s] smooth phrasing and mastery of nuance in quieter intervals.”

David J. Baker, Opera News
"Andrea Chenier:" A Rousing Italian Opera about a French Poet
“Probably the best singing of the evening came from baritone Zeljko Lucic as Gerard. He brought out all the complexities of the role and sang with a robust tone.”
Barry Bassis, Epoch Times
Andrea Chénier - Metropolitan Opera
“Zeljko Lucic offers some elegant, powerful singing as the revolutionary Gérard.”
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times
Noseda, orchestra and fine cast make a heroic case for the Met's "Chenier"
“Gérard is vital to the plot, the former servant who becomes a leading citizen of the Revolution, and Lucic seemed to literally grow in stature along with the role, the deep coloration of his voice expanding his form physically, even as he limped around stage, suffering from a wound from his brief sword fight with Chénier. His third act aria, ‘Nemico della patria,’ was imposing, and he managed the dramatically difficult feat of plausibly changing his thinking twice in the space of the same act.”
George Grella, Classical Review
'Andrea Chénier' Opens at the Met
“The frisson of true stardom shimmered around just one extended passage: Mr. Lucic’s burning yet elegant account of ‘Nemico della patria,’ the servant-turned-revolutionary Gérard’s guilt-racked Act III monologue.… Here both he and the opera seemed to enlarge.”
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times
Zeljko Lucic & Patricia Racette Shine in Umberto Giordani's Masterwork
“The big highlight of the night was undoubtedly baritone Zeljko Lucic as Gerard.... He dreams of a world built on the ideals of fraternity, equality and liberty. He does his best to uphold these values even if they go against his own emotions and desires. His famous ‘Nemico della patria’ brings this internal conflict to the fore. Lucic dominated this passage, his voice starting the opera with a sternness that exhibited his implacability. However, there was an increasing anger in the delivery that eventually turned into pain on the words ‘Sovvertitor di cuori e di costumi!’ The ensuing ‘Un di m’era gioia passer’ was filled with melancholy, portraying the fallen dreams of Gerard. His ‘uccido e tremo’ went from a impassioned cry on ‘uccido’ to a diminuendo that seemed to emulate a weep on the word ‘tremo.’ Instead, Lucic delivered the latter word with scorn and repressed fury. The ensuing phrases revealed a deep hurt; as the music built toward its apotheosis, Lucic’s polished voice ascended to greater heights. He ultimately managed to give Gerard tragic heroism. This was undoubtedly his finest moment, but Lucic’s performance was filled with a plethora of gems.”
David Salazar, Latinos Post
“Baritone Zeljko Lucic performed admirably as Giorgio Germont., Alfredo’s meddlesome father. Blessed with a strong, stable legato, he brought the role to life with the necessary gravitas tempered by compassion.”
Paul du Quenoy, Musical America
'Rigoletto' revisited
“Received wisdom has it that the home stretch of your typical Lyric Opera season is generally not the place to find important company debuts. So much for received wisdom. The company scored one such coup Thursday afternoon when Zeljko Lucic took over the title role of the humpbacked jester in Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto.’ In all respects the Serbian baritone proved more commanding than … his predecessor in the first cast. He earned the audience’s gratitude for investing so finely detailed a character study with such robust, idiomatic singing. Rigoletto is one of Verdi’s touchstone baritone parts and Lucic inhabited it with a large, powerful, incisive sound, supple phrasing and sure dramatic instincts. And he stepped with ease into the action scheme, from the father’s solicitous tenderness toward his beloved daughter Gilda to his bitter railing at the courtiers who have abducted Gilda for the Duke’s pleasure.... This was an impressive Lyric debut.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Three inspiring debuts lift Lyric Opera's "Rigoletto" out of the routine
“For the second half of its run of Rigoletto, the Lyric Opera has a new court jester starring in Verdi’s dark tragedy. Making his Chicago debut Thursday afternoon was Zeljko Lucic, who is singing the final five performances. The embittered Rigoletto is a signature role for the Serbian baritone, who comes direct from New York where he tackled the same assignment in the Met’s much-discussed ‘Rat Pack Rigoletto’ set in Las Vegas. … His baritone offers plenty of muscle when needed in the big dramatic moments. Lucic’s instrument had greater tonal refinement as well as flexibility, and he phrased the more interior moments with the delicacy of a lieder singer. Perhaps most strikingly … Lucic is a more engaged and incisive dramatic presence, and overall brings a wider range of emotion and expression to the role.”
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
“Zeljko Lucic has the sort of burly baritone one wants for Rigoletto.”
Peter G. Davis, Musical America
Bringing the Sinatra Style Out in 'Rigoletto'
“Mr. Lucic [Rigoletto] … is an unconventional but compelling Verdian who does not have the classic mellow, Italianate baritone sound. Still, his voice is big and penetrating, focused and true. There is a smoky quality to his tone, with a slightly nasal texture that lends humanity to his singing. And his phrasing is supple and elegant.”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Mayer's 'Rigoletto,' set in Vegas, opens at Met
“Zeljko Lucic let loose a fierce and pained baritone as Rigoletto, combining with Damrau for an unforgettable second-act duet filled with emotion, inflection and even tears.”
Ronald Blum, Associated Press
'Rigoletto' Hits The Jackpot With Insightful Production, Great Singing
“Zeljko Lucic is not your traditional Rigoletto. He is not a heavy baritone with tremendous projection; he is however an elegant one with a very delicate and sonorous tone. He used it to his advantage in his portrayal of the societal reject and made for a compelling performance. I liken his turn to that of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the German baritone’s interpretation of the role resonated with nobility and grace rather than brutality that is usually showcased in the role. Lucic’s Rigoletto is tame, collected, and incredibly introspective. During his ‘Pari Siamo’ monologue in which he laments his wretched existence, Lucic sang quietly throughout; it challenged the listener to draw nearer to him as if in cinematic close-up. As he sang the beginning of the duet ‘Ah! Deh non parlare al misero,’ his delicate singing sounded like a lament expressing heart-felt vulnerability. During the famous ‘Cortigiani vil razza dannata’ in which he rebukes the courtiers for kidnapping his [daughter], Lucic had his most impressive moment of the evening. In the middle of the aria, as he begs for help, Rigoletto cries out ‘Taci, ohime’ on a sustained high F. Lucic let the high note soar at full voice as a cry of despair and then slowly created a beautiful diminuendo that not only created a feeling of pain, but also emphasized Rigoletto’s sense of powerlessness. At the end of the work, he uttered glorious pianissimi on the words ‘non morrai’ that sounded like sobs; again his restraint and quiet approach re-iterated Rigoletto’s helplessness.”
David Salazar, Latinos Post
Metropolitan Opera: Rigoletto
“Baritone Zeljko Lucic brings a powerful, harsh sound to the title role. A hulking figure prowling around the stage, his singing and acting have the raw, unsentimental quality of a man in a lot of psychic pain.”
Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
RIGOLETTO - San Francisco Opera
“Zeljko Lucic, assuming the mantle of the deformed jester, offered a muscular, imposing and intensely committed performance in the title role. The Serbian baritone summoned an apt blend of corrosive anguish, pathos and raw rage, sharpening ‘Pari siamo’ to a lethal edge and lavishing grandeur on the outpouring of ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata.’”
Georgia Rowe, Opera News
RIGOLETTO - Metropolitan Opera (HD simulcast)

“Once the performance began, it became clear that this cast was, indeed, the right one for simulcasting. The various close-up shots, more often than not, showed the players to be deeply engrossed in the drama. Zeljko Lucic’s portrayal employed broad physical gestures, but also showed detailed expressiveness in close-up. It was a strong performance dramatically with a fantastic baritone voice to boot.”

Jeffery S McMillan, Bachtrack
Review: San Francisco Opera opens 90th season with a powerful 'Rigoletto'
“Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic, as the jester Rigoletto, has a voice that barbs and caresses his audience, but ultimately fastens it in a treacherous bear hug; his Rigoletto is majestic even when repellent, a lethal combination that goes to the crux of this complex character’s humanity. You feel his life force -- even when he is driven to his knees.”
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News
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