In Review: Zabala and Ringle impress in Berkshire Opera's "Ariadne auf Naxos"

“As to Adriana Zabala, the Composer, Nicole Haslett as Zerbinetta and Marcy Stonikas as Ariadne, we cannot imagine, at least last night in that house, greater perfections. Zabala, lithe and trim in the pants role of (a male) composer, sang movingly (with perfect soupçons of adolescent cosmic angst) in her exquisite mezzo. Exiting the theater, glamorously accoutered as a real star, she confided to us how much she loves this role. Charming and disarming. . . Jeni Houser/Najade, Rebecca Ringle/Dryade and Christine Lyons/Echo were gorgeous in movement, raiment, gesture and song.”

Tom Schemmer, Boston Music Intelligencer

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“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala took the difficult first act role of The Composer and made it her own. Singing with vivacious expression her voice has a refined quality, so easy on the ear. A great performance, met by wild applause.”

Rex Hearn, The Berkshire Record, Aug 27, 2017

“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala as the Composer was the standout in the Prologue. Alternately indignant about the desecration of his masterpiece and excited about the idea of creating something new, Zabala commands the stage with feverish intensity. . . Jenny Houser, Rebecca Ringle and Christine Lyons blended their voices beautifully as the three nymphs who attempt to console Ariadne.

Walter Carroll, New England Public Radio

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“As the prologue’s Komponist, mezzo Zabala flung herself into her role, dialing up the parodic elements of the composer as navel-gazing solipsist, and mooning conceitedly over her score in the black leather jacket of a misunderstood hipster-artiste.”

Joel Rozen,, Aug. 29, 2017

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“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, in the trouser role of The Composer, gives a passionate, lithe…and utterly Byronic portrait of the artist as a young egotist. Her vibrant, throbbing, white-hot vocalism is ribbed with steel in the role’s moments of unsurpassed indignation, yet melts into translucent rapture as the character succumbs to the charm and blandishments of the coquette Zerbinetta…the ravishing Zerbinetta/Composer duet that climaxes the Prologue is here rendered sizzlingly memorable via the exquisite vocal chemistry between Haslett and Zabala. . . In other roles, the nymph trio of soprano Jeni Houser (playing Naiad), mezzo Rebecca Ringle (Dryade), and soprano Christine Lyons (Echo) provides what amounts to sonic nectar as their voices merge in sympathy with the long-suffering Ariadne."

Charles Geyer,

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“Zabala has the richness of the role to play, a young man whose talent is music and whose inclination is to love sopranos. She gives a strong and healthy impression with her strong mezzo-soprano tones to the firmness, and the finesse, of the unnamed artist. I have always felt that the authors were playing here with their own sense of unreasonable anonymity as creators of a work brought to life by the vocal artists they employ. Zabala brings that very sense of compassion to the role making her voice ring with the occasional hollow tone that expresses the loneliness he feels seeing his Diva and meeting Zerbinetta, queen of the comedians. This is a superb performance. . . Naiade (Jeni Houser), Echo (Christine Lyons) and Dryade (Rebecca Ringle) hover around the soprano diva playing Ariadne and croon narrative and express empathy and harmonize and counterpoint and lushly enhance the dramatic elements of the show. Each is lovely: lyric soprano, dramatic soprano and mezzo-soprano; each becomes ubiquitous, another instrument in the ensemble, but able to voice thought rather than just express it with tone.”

J. Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge

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