"From her Mama Rose-style entrance up the aisle, Victoria Livengood imbued Mme. Flora with her wonted theatrical energy. Her barrelhouse contralto suits the role's scary moments; but, admirably, she brought legato-based soft tone to quieter passages, furnishing welcome contrast. Livengood is a seasoned Menotti interpreter who worked with the composer on this opera and The Consul and has also appeared in Maria Golovin. Her phrasing of the disintegrating fraud's final soliloquy
"I was very pleasantly surprised with two other singers who were just as extraordinary in their roles. Victoria Livengood almost stole the show from her younger colleagues. Our dear "Dixie Diva" veteran, a North Carolina native with 80 roles in her repertory, who sang 120 performances at the Met and is still going (most recently seen there as the Fortuner Teller in Arabella), was simply excellent as Filippyevna, a role that is a lot more important in this opera than it seems.
"The cartoonishly masculine, granite-jawed Michael Mayes brought a shyster’s swagger and a robust sound as Escamillo. He and Johnson Cano beautifully matched as a musical and theatrical pair so much so that it seemed obvious that Carmen and José had been wasting time on each other from the beginning; Johnson Cano shared chemistry with Mayes to a degree that was never even hinted at in her interactions with Honeywell. The melding of Mayes’ dark chocolate baritone and Johnson C
"But the treatment of the central love affair was unfussy and sensitive: in the scenes between Mimì and Rodolfo, the work’s unbounded pathos came through. For this, Meeker must share credit with Glimmerglass music director Joseph Colaneri, the production’s conductor. His reading maintained a balance between taut and spacious; he gave his singers plenty of room for expression without ever letting the sentiment descend into mawkishness. When the Bohemians flattered Benoît, Cola
"Mezzo Susanne Mentzer is unexpectedly empathic as the maid and confidante Nelly. . . Conductor Joseph Mechavich leads the performance with unflagging energy and unusual sensitivity to the extremes of mood and style." -Opera News Read full review.
"With her Maggie Smith-like facial expressions, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer could hardly have been better as Augusta, conveying the character’s steeliness and hurt in both voice and manner. . .
But the most important aspect of any Tosca are the singers who portray the three key characters, and all of them were more than able. . . Baritone Michael Mayes clearly enjoyed himself as Scarpia; he has the imposing presence and vocal chops to embody the character’s villainy."
"Mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer’s delightful Marcellina, bass Peixin Chen’s affable Bartolo, tenor William Ferguson’s character-filled Don Basilio and Don Curzio, and soprano Alisa Suzanne Jordheim’s vivacious Barbarina, and Thomas Hammons’ comically drunken Antonio, were all beautifully constructed of ringing, polished voices and theatrical poise."
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Read full review.
"Susannah Biller in “Madame White Snake” came out with her character reincarnated as human, and her harvest-moon voice was the warmest and fullest of the three White Snakes. . . . She was splendid in her first scene exalting in her transformation, and pleading with Dong-Jian Gong’s imperious Abbot that she loved Xu Xian." -Boston Globe Read full review.
"In Madame White Snake, Susannah Biller enchanted us with a purity of tone that captured the mesmerizing essence of white
"The ensemble of the four – soprano Emily Birsan, mezzo Michèle Losier, tenor Andrew Staples, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn – was exemplary, and their solo passages eloquent – and audible. It was a rare privilege to hear all soloists, but I shall never forget the poignancy of Michèle Losier's penetrating solo passages in the Agnus Dei, or the limber power and sensitivity of Emily Birsan's soprano as it lofted over the walls of sound from chorus and orchestra." -Austral