What the critics said…
There’s no beating Vivica Genaux’s Rinaldo
photo credit: Marc Ginot
At the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, August 10-16, 2002
For sheer heroics, there’s no beating Vivica Genaux’s Rinaldo. Genaux seems born to the great castrato roles, combining precisely the hermaphrodite appeal that the original interpreters must have had with an almost inhuman gift for vocal pyrotechnics. She looks and moves like a man on-stage, all strut and machismo, without for a moment losing her waif-like femininity. Her voice isn’t big, but she knows how to use it to its full advantage. A natural communicator and a riveting performer, she can only get more famous from here.
-Shirley Apthorp, The Financial Times, 21 August 2002
The big interest here was Vivica Genaux in the lead role. The up-and-coming Alaskan’s expressive mezzo is one of the most thrilling voices to emerge in recent years, and she rung every ounce of emotion from her brooding, powerful Act I aria, “Cara sposa”.
The production transfers to Berlin’s Staatsoper in January (sadly, without Genaux), but Jacobs and his team have recorded the opera for Harmonia Mundi. Both are well worth going out of your way for.
-Andrew Clarke, The Independent, August 2002
Vivica Genaux exploited her light, wonderfully even and flexible mezzo and revealed radiant stage presence as the stubble-cheeked, Christian freedom-fighter, Rinaldo. Her final Act II aria was a great piece of Handel singing, wide-ranging from her cavernous low register to a bright, ringing top.
- Stephen Mudge, Opera News On-Line, November 2002
Vivica Genaux in the title role, who after four hours of faultless performance, still succeeded in tossing off her faultless coloratura into battle against the four orchestra trumpets.
- Jutta Höpfel, APA/Austria Pressagentur, August 11, 2002
Vivica Genaux, who assumed the role originally conceived for a castrato, is a mezzo-soprano who sings with an unbelievable depth and fullness, and yet has the technique for the more feather light ornamentation the role also requires.
- Silvia Albrich-Warger, Innsbrucker Stadtzeitung, August 23, 2002
The Alaska-born Vivica Genaux is the new goddess of the Early Music scene.
Vivica Genaux conquers the many challenges of the title role with an attractive timbre, impressive sound, and deft mastery of all the role’s coloratura hurdles.
- Susanna Kuebler, Kultur, August 13, 2002
MOST MEMORABLE MUSICAL EVENT OF 2002:
René Jacobs led the excellent Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and a terrific cast, with star-making performances by Inga Kalna and Vivica Genaux.
- Shirley Apthorp, andante.com
The new star from Alaska has a Marilyn Horne-like bronze mezzo voice.
- Heinz W. Koch, Badische Zeitung (Freiburg), August 13
at the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier
The vocal cast is particularly praiseworthy. Vivica Genaux is magnificently accurate in her rendition of the title role. She boldly faces and superbly conquers the difficulties of the virtuoso parts of the score, written for the castrato Nicolini. She possesses a flexible, always full and round voice which she never needs to force, even in the lower register.
- Marco Gilardone, L’Opera, September 2002
Among the singers who stand out is Vivica Genaux (as the Crusader Rinaldo), who possesses a brilliant top and excellently dispatches the role’s coloratura demands.
- Jörg Königsdorf, Der Tagesspiegel, (Berlin), August 1, 2002
Vivica Genaux has a magnificent presence and sings with virtuosity that is hard to imagine: she is an ideal Rinaldo, valiant, very expressive in the wild musical passages, yet brings a luminous delicacy in the role’s more tender moments.
- Michèle Fizaine, Midi Libre (Montpellier), July 29, 2002
What was clearly heard was the praise by the audience (and, subsequently, the press) for the performance by Alaskan mezzo Vivica Genaux in the title role. Displaying a silvery, agile and expressive voice, she sang with freedom the dense coloratura of the role. It was indeed exciting to be witness to such an assured, bravado performance.
- Frank Cadenhead, OperaJaponica.org, September 3, 2002
Vivica Genaux is a singer whose technique is perfect – she is a precise actress with dexterous vocal ability.
- Pierre Cadars, Opéra International, September 2002
The performance was dominated by the mezzo Vivica Genaux in the role of Rinaldo, with her prodigious vocal and dramatic gifts, adapted to this role with absolute effectiveness, incorporating the personality with extraordinary luminosity, and shaping the role naturally without affectations.
- Cosme Marina, ABC (Madrid, Spain), August 1, 2002
It [the role of Rinaldo, as performed by VG] was all impeccably sung, blessed with that reassuring technique that jumps an interval to a low note and hits it fair and square.
- Francis Carlin, Opera Now, November/December 2002