Montiel brings "rich, sensual tones" and "easy confidence" to Florida Grand Oper

"Spanish mezzo Montiel in her FGO debut, appearing with a fall of untamed hair and a defiant décolletage, credibly portrays a woman who would choose death over the loss of independence. The audience members are goners the moment that saucy voice launches into the iconic melody of "Habanera" as if she were pouring some rich thick liquid from a silver chalice. Exuding a joie de vivre, Montiel's Carmen impudently rolls consonants as if her tongue were savoring a gourmet dish. Even if someone turned off the spotlight, she would glow."

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"First and foremost, of course, Carmen needs a formidable singer in the title role, and FGO has one in María José Montiel. The Spanish mezzo-soprano effortlessly produced rich, sensual tones in the famous Habanera and Seguidilla, lowering her voice in the final renditions of the Habanera melody, in a manner that made the aria less showy and more insinuatingly intimate. In her stage manner, she communicated Carmen’s sexual mastery subtly, in the easy confidence of her walk and gestures, without the over-the-top posing and exaggeration often portrayed." -South Florida Classical Review

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