Wednesday October 18, 2017 5:57 am
FANFAIRE celebrates VIVICA GENAUX
BLAZING FIREPOWER + VOCAL VELVET + LUSCIOUS TIMBRE = SUPERMEZZO

OTHER TROUSER ROLES

What the critics said…

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Of her NERONE in Scarlatti’s OTTAVIA RESTITUITA AL TRONO

At Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini in San Sebastian, Spain:

The highest musical level of the evening was reached in the Second Act duets, which highlighted the superb qualities of the artists, particularly Vivica Genaux with her rock-solid technique.
- J.Á. Vela del Campo, El Pais, August 8, 2007

The singers shone brilliantly. Vivica Genaux, with her elegant, modest-sized voice, did not in any way let down her fans who have come to admire her from her many recordings.
- Mikel Chamizo, Gara.net, August 8, 2007

Vocally, it was a most fascinating night. The North American mezzo Vivica Genaux’s fame preceded her and she gave a most powerful portrayal of Nerone, supported by her outstanding technique…”
- A.U., DiarioVasco.com, August 7, 2007

 

Of her NEOCLE in Rossini’s L’ASSEDIO DI CORINTO

at Baltimore Opera [Photos: © DeFilippi] :

The singing of Futral, Genaux and Bruce Ford together created a rare and gripping synergy. Genaux’s dynamic range and show-stopping arias brought her gifts as an artist to the fore.
- Karyl Charna Lynn, Opera Now, March/April 2007

By chance, the cast assembled in Baltimore comprised two very high-flying Rossinians. With rare theatrical credibility, Vivica Genaux portrays a marvelous Neocle, effortlessly deploying impeccable line and vocalises that are as bold as they are meaningful.
- David Shengold, Opéra Magazine, January 2007

(Also) outstanding was mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux in the trouser role of Neocle, Pamira’s fiancé. Genaux owned the first part of the otherwise emotionally dead third act with magnificently sung praise of Pamira for returning to Corinth to die.”
- Mark J. Estren, The Washington Post, October 24, 2006

She was outstanding as the male suitor (pants role) with richness in her voice and all the mannerisms of a young man.”
- Nancy McCord, allartsreview4u.com, October 17, 2006

I was most interested in hearing her [Futral’s] co-star, American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, in the role of Neocle. I wrote glowingly of Genaux’s work on the recent recording of Vivaldi’s Bajazet, and she and Futral just shared the stage in the New York City Opera production of Handel’s Semele.”

Genaux does not have an overpowering voice, and recording may favor her strengths slightly over live performance on the stage. It did not seem to matter much Saturday night as Genaux delivered a convincing man-like performance of the trouser role of Neocle…

Genaux’s rendition of ‘Non temer’ – an aria from the Naples version of the opera, inserted into Act III for Neocle and made famous by Marilyn Horne — was rich and electric.”
- Charles T. Downey, ionarts.org, October 16, 2006

In Vivica Genaux, the role has a most persuasive proponent. Her voice, a little small, but beautifully rounded and agile, handled Neocle’s long Act 3 scene with technical aplomb and expressive flair.

Hearing Futral, Genaux and Ford sing the trios in Act 1 and, especially, Act 3 was a particular pleasure Saturday night, as much for the bel canto warmth of the vocalism itself as for the eloquence and depth of the expression.”
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, October 16, 2006

Vivica Genaux delivered a striking performance as Neocle. She did not make a big sound, but her voice an admirably rounded, backed by a firm technique, agility and, above all, expressive insight. She made the grand ‘Non temer’ in Act III quite gripping.

The tenor [Bruce Ford] blended eloquently with Futral and Genaux in the exquisite trios, which found all three singers really putting the bel in bel canto.”
- Tim Smith, Opera News Online, October 14, 2006

 

of her SESTO in Handel’s GIULIO CESARE

at San Diego Opera:

Cornelia and Sesto, the tragic figures in this story, were deftly portrayed by mezzo sopranos Suzanna Guzmán and Vivica Genaux. Genaux, who has incredibly precise coloratura, sang the arias given to Cornelia’s son, Sesto, with dazzling agility.”
- Maria Nockin, musicandvision.com, May 7, 2006

Acclaimed worldwide for such “trouser roles,” and well known to SDO audiences, mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux brilliantly sings her first Sextus, a young man bent on defending his widowed mother, Cornelia (mezzo soprano Suzanna Guzman). Scenes between Genaux and Guzman are rife with vocal beauty and touching filial/maternal devotion.
- Charlene Baldridge, La Jolla Village News, April 20, 2006

Standout musical scenes include the lovely first-act duet “Son nata a lagrimar” sung in beautiful harmony by Genaux and Guzman.
- Pam Kragen, North County Times, April 19, 2006

With Sextus, the American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux adds a role to her repertoire which fits her like a glove. With her androgynous looks, her lovely face, her precise singing with its own personal timbre, as well as her committed acting, she makes her character totally believable. In addition, her physique is perfect for the elegant costumes of Michael Stennett, which she wears with the ease of high-style fashion model.”
- Brigitte Cormier, Forum-Opéra, April 18, 2006

In terms of pathos, nothing surpassed the mother-and-son farewell scene by mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán (as the widowed Cornelia) and mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux (as Sextus). Their duet ‘Son nata a lagrimar’ was an emotional high point, radiating intensity.
- Valerie Scher, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 17, 2006

Genaux would be impossible to fault. It is safe to say, she energized the entire production every time she came on stage. Musically this artist is amazing. Her beautiful voice is even from one end of the compass to the other, and she does not aspirate à la Cecilia Bartoli. Genaux never sounds like a machine gun in those wildly rapid vocal passages. And Genaux passionately embodies her character – which is astounding in the case of Sextus, who, in any synopsis of the story, seems like so much irrelevant dead weight. Forget that! Genaux makes this two-dimensional, fiery, vengeful youth into a real human being.
- David Gregson, sandiego.com, April 16, 2006

 

Of her BRADAMANTE in Handel’s ALCINA

At the Opéra National de Paris – Palais Garnier:

Vivica Genaux was a Bradamante with impeccable coloratura.
- Philippe Thanh, Orpheus, Sep./Oct. 2004

Some of the most stylish Handel singing of the evening came from the light voiced Bradamante of Vivica Genaux, with thrillingly accurate coloratura and firm legato…
- Stephen Mudge, Opera News, August 2004

Only Vivica Genaux managed to escape unharmed: with coloratura, diction, evenness of tone, she embodied a youthful, determined and heartwarming Bradamante.
- Philippe Gelinaud, Opéra International, June 2004

Vivica Genaux as Bradamante has an impeccable vocal technique.
- Philippe Thanh, La Lettre du Musicien, June 2004

Vivica Genaux [sang] with consummate mastery.
- Pierre-René Serna, Scènes, June 2004

Vivica Genaux had confessed to Forum Opera that she adores both travesty roles and high heels. Thus she happily takes on the ambiguity of Bradamante, the loving woman disguised as a knight. Her virtuosity is impressive above all. Her ‘Vorrei vendicarmi’ could be included in the recorded homage she made to Farinelli. Her velvety timbre couldn’t possibly be confused with that of her lover, the inconstant Ruggiero, sung by Vesselina Kasarova.
- Christoph Rizoud, Forum Opera, May 2004

Genaux is a good foil to Kasarova, a drier, more even sound and phenomenal control at speed.
- NPW-Paris, May 31, 2004

…Vivica Genaux, a seductive Bradamante.
- David Stevens, International Herald Tribune, May 26, 2004

The pyrotechnics required of Bradamante hardly faze Vivica Genaux — ‘Vorrei vendicarmi’ is carried out with dazzling aplomb. She carries off her pants-role with rare elegance.
- Yutha Tep, Altamusic.com, May 16, 2004

Vivica Genaux is equal to herself; that’s to say she’s impressive every time one hears her, due to the spectacular quality of her coloratura, performed at a very rapid tempo and with meticulous exactitude. Her high notes never cease to shine and the florid passages are like rays of sunshine.
- Manon Ardouin, ConcertoNet.com, May 15, 2004

Luba Orgonasova as Alcina was ably seconded by Vivica Genaux, a seductive Bradamante.
- David Stevens, International Herald Tribune, May 26, 2004

 

Of her ORSINI in Donizetti’s LUCREZIA BORGIA

At Minnesota Opera:

It’s a strong cast all around. Vivica Genaux brings her customary vocal aplomb to the ‘pants role’ of Orsini, making him a more sensitive character than is customary in this part.
- Michael Anthony, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), January 26, 2004

Completing the quartet of outstanding principals are a sweet-voiced Bruce Ford and the always first-rate Vivica Genaux.
- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN), January 26, 2004

 

Of Handel’s ARMINIO

At the Concertgebouw – Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS

Before beginning her run of performances as Rosina at the Netherlands Opera [earlier this season], American opera star Vivica Genaux admitted that although she likes to sing Rossini, she was eager to return to the masters of the Baroque period. Saturday, her performance in the title role of Handel’s Arminio demonstrated why. Ms. Genaux possesses an exceptional virtuosity, particularly in the lowest register of her voice, and that, combined with her natural theatricality, makes her an ideal choice for such a role.

The mezzo Vivica Genaux, born in Alaska and already known for her recent appearances as Rosina at the Netherlands Opera, sings the title role of Arminio with great subtlety and ease.
- Aad van der Ven, Haagsche Courant, December 4, 2000

At Accademia Musicale Chigiana — Siena, ITALY

One could not have failed to notice the rising young American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who comes from Alaska. Her voice has a wonderful dark timbre, is exciting and electrifying with a well-balanced depth of tone. Her pitch is impeccable and she sings superbly in both aria and recitative.
- Renaud Machart, Le Monde, July 30, 2000

Particularly notable in this talented cast is the mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who is an Arminio of outstanding musical intelligence and sings with beautiful phrasing and a smooth musical technique.
- G.M., La Republica, July 28, 2000

As the protagonist Arminio, Vivica Genaux displayed excellent vocal abilities. She is truly outstanding.
- Giangiorgio Satragni, La Stampa, July 28, 2000

 

Of her ARSACE in Rossini’s SEMIRAMIDE

At the Minnesota Opera

Mezzo Vivica Genaux made an intense Arsace, singing with the agility and richness of tone that recalled the young [Marilyn] Horne
- Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/20/00

The skyrocketing young mezzo Vivica Genaux sang Arsace, Semiramide’s son. She delivered her several arias with grand effect and was the mainstay of every scene she was in, both dramatically and vocally.
- John Koopman, Opera, June 2000

Genaux has a fascinating voice and a bel canto technique that puts the rest of the cast in her shade. Her Act II duet with [Brenda] Harris [as Semiramide] was a lovely blending of voices.
- Jay Furst, The Post Bulletin (Rochester, MN), April 10, 2000

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