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Selected Performance Reviews

ALCINA (Bradamante)
(Opéra National de Paris – Palais Garnier)
“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

“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

"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

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

“Vivica Genaux was a Bradamante with impeccable coloratura.”
Philippe Thanh, Orpheus, Sept./Oct. 2004

“She brings a spectacular quality to 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

“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


 

 

ARIODANTE (Title Role)
(San Diego Opera)
“As she was at the 1998 premiere [of this John Copley production] in Dallas, mezzo Vivica Genaux was on hand to do some of the best singing of her young career as the opera’s eponymous hero.  Her musicianship proved virtually flawless, and she was able to negotiate the most complex passages as if they were not in the least daunting.  Most impressive was the way she seemed to believe in her character, as if this stereotypical Baroque ‘trouser role’ possessed a third dimension.  Her Act II aria, ‘Scherza infida,’ was heartbreaking, and elsewhere she looked and sounded dazzling.”
David Gregson, Opera News, May 2002

HEADLINE:       Women Wow on Handel's Stage: Led by Vivica Genaux, the Distaff Element Shines in San Diego's Ariodante
“Genaux was a thrilling, vocally triumphant Ariodante.”
“The production in San Diego, by John Copley, was created by the Dallas Opera for exciting young singer Vivica Genaux.  That alone should be attraction enough for San Diegans.  An unknown when she made her debut with the company five years ago in Rossini's The Italian in Algiers, she immediately won over just about everybody and has been back often.  Now, the world knows the agile 34-year-old mezzo-soprano as a rising star.  Her singing Saturday was spectacular.”
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2002

“Genaux was dashing and endearing as Ariodante, a role she sang in Dallas in 1998.  Her agility and breath control were often exceptional, as in the challenging aria ‘Dopo notte,’ which inspired ‘bravas’ from the audience.”
Valerie Scher, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 11, 2002

“Ariodante was sung by Vivica Genaux, whose technical mastery and perky personality have made her a hit here in two Rossini comedies.  As was to be expected, she exhibited exceptional agility in Ariodante’s fabulously demanding fioritura; she was deeply affecting in the tragic arias and exciting in the exuberant ones; and her acting was tasteful and elegant.”
Jonathan Saville, San Diego Reader, February 21, 2002

“Vivica Genaux, justly renowned for her coloratura ability, carried off this trouser role with excellent Handelian style, singing with incredible agility as she brought her character from a naive youth to a mature, resourceful leader.  The second act aria, ‘Scherza, infida, in gremba’ was truly a gem that showed her ability to sing the most difficult ornamentation with apparent ease.”
Maria Nockin, OperaJaponica.org, March 2002

HEADLINE:       FLAWLESS! 
“Anyone who knows anything at all about music and singing will be thrilled by the level of excellence achieved by San Diego Opera's first venture into Handelian territory.  Ariodante boasts a flawless assembly of seven -- count 'em seven -- principal singers, all of whom are perfectly cast.  Some observers are saying this is the finest group of singers ever brought together on the stage at Civic Theatre.”
“Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux is utter perfection as the work's hero who is driven to despair by the apparent infidelity of his betrothedFabulous!  There is no other word for Genaux's performanceShe looks fabulous and sounds fabulousShe actually makes you believe in her character – a phenomenal achievement for any woman singing a ‘pants part.’  It is worth a 1000-mile drive to hear her heartbreakingly sincere second-act aria, ‘Scherza infida.’  Elsewhere she dazzles with her musicianship, and on opening night her final duet with Ginevra had my seat companion blubbering like a baby.”
David Gregson, sandiego-online.com, February 2002

“Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux returns to San Diego Opera in the pants role of Ariodante.  It’s obvious why Genaux loves playing these baroque roles formerly sung by castrati, as they allow her to show off her astounding coloratura fireworks, particularly in the first-act closer, ‘Qui d’amor,’ and the second-act showpiece, ‘Scherza infida’.”
Pam Kragen, North CountyTimes, February 14-20, 2002

“Although no one would believe that the beautiful Genaux was actually a man, her voice was up to the task to running this three-act marathon.  Every aria she sang was breathtaking.”
Tracy Landers, La Jolla Light, February 14, 2002


 

 

 

ARMINIO (Arminio)
(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.”
Hans Visser. Noordhollands Dagblad, December 4, 2000

“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

(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 Repubblica, July 28, 2000

“As the protagonist Arminio, Vivica Genaux displayed excellent vocal abilities.”
Attilio Botarelli, Il Corriere di Siena, July 28, 2000

“She is truly outstanding.”
Giangiorgio Satragni, La Stampa, July 28, 2000


 

 

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (Rosina)
"In its 50th season the company has assembled a Barber of Seville cast hard to beat anywhere.
In an opera too often reduced to Three Stooges shtick, this production has a rare, and delectable, lightness of touch, vocally, dramatically and orchestrally. We're constantly reminded that Rossini's humor and vocal pyrotechnics belong to a far quieter age, one that still prized subtlety.

Nimble-voiced mezzos grow on trees these days, but Alaska-born Vivica Genaux, Dallas' Rosina, is one of the best. It's not a big sound, but it's bright and so finely focused that it carries even through the vast reaches of Fair Park Music Hall. She tosses off coloratura with effortless, pinpoint brilliance, and, start to finish, is an absolutely irresistible presence. "
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, December 2, 2006

(Wiener Staatsoper)
“The US Mezzo, Vivica Genaux, made her debut as Rosina at the Staatsoper, a role she has performed over 150 times at the world’s great opera houses.  Miss Genaux looks gorgeous and displays the proper minx-like qualities.  Her mezzo voice is well produced, her vocal attack is always secure, and she sang the role’s coloratura roulades with much style and remarkable ease.”
Karlheinz Roschitz, Neue Kronenzeitung, March 10, 2003

“Miss Genaux’s beautiful, highly-cultivated voice, totally secure in the high notes, is tailor-made for the role of Rosina.”
P.J., Kurier, March 10, 2003

(Opéra National de Paris/Bastille)
“Vivica Genaux (Rosina), her warm tone wonderfully even up to an unstrained B, her coloratura easy and musical, her stage presence enchanting…”
Rodney Milnes, Opera, July 2003

“Of Vivica Genaux, one must emphasize her keenly-drawn portrayal of Rosina, her slenderness and feminine elegance, but also her flawless musicality.”
Jean Cabourg, Opéra International, March 2003

“The first night of this third revival of this production at the Opera-Bastille was of interest chiefly because of the Paris Opéra debut of young mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux as Rosina.  Genaux, who surprised everyone when her recent recording, Arias for Farinelli, became a run-away hit with CD buyers and critics alike, is, without a doubt, the most famous singer to emerge from Alaska.  Her new recording of Handel’s Rinaldo with René Jacobs conducting, a production of which recently toured various European cities, is also likely to sell well.  Singing with a prodigious technique and confident style, it was an impressive debut by any measure.”
“It has only been in the last decade or two that music schools have been turning out singers, schooled in historical informed Baroque technique, who have finally been able to do justice to the elegant, finely-spun vocal lines written by Rossini.  Vivica Genaux is one of the best of this new crop and her Rosina was masterful.  She does not sound like Marilyn Horne or Teresa Berganza, but the clarity of line and vocal grace was truly a marvel.” 
“He [Bruce Fowler as Almaviva] and Miss Genaux made an attractive, believable and convincingly sung couple.”
Frank Cadenhead, musicweb.uk.net, January 20, 2003

“From under her blue veil the stunning Vivica Genaux, a velvety mezzo, here embodies the future of the female condition, the hope of all oppressed women.  With vocal presence, agility and caressing clarity of timbre, here is a rare voice, indisputably fascinating.  Making her debut at the Opéra de Paris, the singer excelled, superbly sculpting the role that was composed by a master goldsmith.  Genaux, a Rossinian sparkler , knows how to be humane, tender and brilliant, thanks to the grain of her warm, supple voice, for which the clear coloratura passages become even bolder under the fire of exquisite articulation.  Since her Baroque debut on records under the Flemish conductor René Jacobs, a specialist in this material, (Arias for Farinelli and Rinaldo, both produced by Harmonia Mundi), one remains dazzled by her technical assurance and the musical instinct of which she gives proof.”
Alexandre Pham, Concertclassic.com, January 27, 2003

“Three artists made their debuts at the Paris Opera, most significantly Vivica Genaux.  The Alaskan mezzo-soprano here imparts a style wholly suited to Rossini’s comic works.  Her vocalization is both easy and fluid; her phrasing is a dream.  And as an actress, she achieves an ideal balance, with magnetic gestures and gazes, of genuine charm and cun­ning, a rare quality among those who sing the role of Rosina.”
Vincent Agrech, ConcertoNet.com, January 20, 2003

“The surprise came with the reprise of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, musically everything has changed. This cast’s singing proved to be better adapted, scintillating and dizzying, with an enticing Rosina from Vivica Genaux, who was making a sparkling debut at the Opéra de Paris.”
Pierre René Serna, Scènes, February 2003

“With these performances, Vivica Genaux confirms her reputation and virtuosity, never experiencing the slightest difficulty with Rossini’s ornamentation.”
Alessandro Di Profio, Il Giornale della Musica, January 31, 2003

The cast is musically perfect.  Vivica Genaux possesses wit down to the tips of her vocalises.  And as her beauty equals the art of her singing, one can say that she offers us a deluxe Rosina.
Luc Décygnes, Le Canard Enchaîné, January 22, 2003

“Above all there’s the beautiful Rosina of the American mezzo Vivica Genaux, whose voice possesses a luminous clarity.”
Claude Ollivier, Radio Notre Dame, January 19, 2003

(Metropolitan Opera - 2002)
“The Rosina, Vivica Genaux, was her usual brilliant self.  Her secure technique and burnished tonal quality made the role seem easy, as she tossed off her coloratura with aplomb and handled her comic stint with consummate skill.”
Maria Nockin, OperaJaponica.org, April 27, 2002

(Opera Carolina)
“But the stars of the evening were the two young lovers, Count Almaviva and Rosina.  Vivica Genaux, who has played Rosina more than 100 times, including with the Metropolitan Opera, actually lived up to her advance billing.  The tone is rich and sure, and coloratura pyrotechnics are simply no problem at all.”
Luther Wade, Charlotte Observer, April 6, 2002

(Baltimore Opera)
“Vivica Genaux's Rosina was a mezzo with both agile, fully supported coloratura flights and a low range of ruby-red depth.”
Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post Company, October 13, 2001

“Vivica Genaux's warm, sure mezzo suited Rosina perfectly.  The music had terrific vibrancy.”
Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, October 13, 2001

“Vivica Genaux has made a specialty of Rossini and with good reason. Her Barbie Doll figure and large, agile, dark timbred voice enable her to portray his most difficult heroines with seeming ease.”                                                                     Maria Nockin, operajaponica.org, October 2001

(De Nederlandse Opera – Amsterdam)
“The youthful and elegant mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux is very well cast as the innocent, cunning Rosina.  Making her debut at the Netherlands Opera in this role, Ms. Genaux uses her alto-like timbre effortlessly, performing music that displays her superb flexibility with coloratura, as well as her subtle elegance with more lyric passages.”
Mischa Spel, NRC Handelsblad, November 2, 2000

“[Her voice] is warm and beautiful in all registers and she allows the finely wrought details of her richly ornamented music to unfold beautifully.”
Hans Visser, Noordhollands Dagblad, November 3, 2000

“The main attraction was a cast completely new to Amsterdam, headed by the young American Vivica Genaux in her local debut.  She combined fresh, spontaneous acting and a somewhat veiled timbre with warm, mellifluous vocal lines and excellently delivered coloratura.  Four days after the performance I saw (Nov. 28), she displayed the same qualities during a concert performance of Handel's Arminio at the Concertgebouw, and immediately she was asked to return in the spring for a Rossini concert.”
Paul Korenhof, Opera News (On-line Edition), March 2001
(Festival Lyrique d’Été, Antibes)
“Vivica Genaux, in her French debut, won the public over with her dazzling interpretation of Rosina, which was brimming with playful and good-hearted life.”
José Pons, Opéra International, September 2000

(Seattle Opera)
“This Barber is more than a comedy; it is a feast of voices. The Rosina of Vivica Genaux is a particularly lovely discovery; a true mezzo-soprano with rich low tones, she tosses off spectacular and accurate coloratura flourishes, trills and embellishments of rare agility and evenness. Genaux is a winning actress, too, a real minx who revels in the disguises and the machinations of the plot.”
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times, May 8, 2000

“Vivica Genaux (an Alaskan despite that irresistibly Continental name) made a triumphant company debut as Rosina, convincing at every step.  What a winning voice – dark at the bottom and a bubbling fountain above.  She gets to show off both aspects aplenty in her opening aria, wowing everyone from the start.  This is where I probably ought to make some pronouncement such as ‘destined to be one of the great Rosinas of her generation.’  I mean, how would I know?  But it wouldn’t surprise me.  Even though we live in a golden age of mezzo-sopranos and Rosina is one of the pillars of their repertory, Genaux makes a strong claim to the role.”
Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly, May 11, 2000

“Vivica Genaux is that rara avis, a true mezzo Rosina, with a dark, amazingly flexible voice and mesmerizingly beautiful stage presence.”
Theodore Deacon, Opera, August 2000

“Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who has already made her mark as a Rossini singer, made her Seattle Opera debut at this performance.  Not only did she look and act the quintessential Rosina – slim, vivacious and very pretty – her voice encompassed her florid runs with clear ease, on pitch and with low tones as rich as an organ's and high ones as sweet as a bell.  Her voice has expressive depth and timbre.”
Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 8, 2000


 

 

I CAPULETI ED I MONTECCHI (Romeo)
(Pittsburgh Opera)
“...the hero is portrayed with the consummate artistry of Vivica Genaux, When Genaux and Claycomb sing their big duet -- Romeo unsuccessfully urging the timid Giulietta to run away with him -- their combined sounds are vocal heaven. The melodies are so beautiful in themselves, that Bellini was able to recycle some of them from his now-obscure earlier operas. It's up to the singers to infuse them with new meaning and emotion, and the present duo is expert at that. They provide an evening of gorgeous singing, appealing as pure sound but pertinent to character and drama.”

“Genaux gets the first chance to shine, entering Capulet territory disguised to plead forgiveness on Romeo's behalf. Genaux has a unique sound, quite unlike any other singer in memory, and her delivery of Romeo's opening recitative contains authority and a range of color from vibrant metallic low notes to thrilling, strong highs. The pleading lines of "Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio" (If Romeo killed your son) give way to a thrilling delivery of the cabaletta avowing a fight to the death for his love. In the final scene at the tomb, Genaux makes Romeo's grief all but unbearable.”
Robert Croan, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 5, 2008

“Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux offered an emotionally intense portrayal of Romeo, with some striking coloratura and a fabulously wide range from top to bottom. The youth of her Romeo was striking when serving as an envoy for his family in trying to negotiate peace with the Capulet men at the start of the opera.” Mark Kanny,The Pittsburgh Tribune, May 5, 2008

"Mme Claycomb’s co-star is Vivica Genaux, who has emerged as a pre-eminent artist in the trouser roles. Much of Romeo’s music lies high in the mezzo range and Genaux has a brilliant top. If she rarely seemed the bloodthirsty warrior that the libretto implies, she played a convincing young man of Romantic sensibility. Seeing Genaux perform a dramatic bel canto trouser role – Romeo in particular – is an experience to be treasured."
William Burnett, operawarhorses.com, May 5, 20

(Minnesota Opera)
“Without two strong vocal and dramatic presences in the [two] lead roles, this opera falls flat, and no amount of fancy direction or inspired baton-waving can save it.  Happily, this production boasts two compelling performers, the Alaskan mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux and the Korean soprano Sumi Jo, who command the stage in terms of both music and characterization, lifting the proceedings to some kind of higher level of interaction between words and music.  If the most admired pairing in these roles in recent decades was Beverly Sills and the late Tatiana Troyanos for the Boston Opera in the mid-1970s, surely Genaux and Jo are their equals.  Remembered fondly for her forceful Arsace in this company’s Semiramide last season, Genaux put forth an ardent Romeo, a fiery young warrior whose love for Giulietta takes over his life.  Showing no vocal strain at any point, Genaux sang with fresh tone and easy, unforced power, delivering even the role’s most florid writing clearly and evenly.”
Michael Anthony, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), January 29, 2001

“Romeo is the stunning American mezzo Vivica Genaux, who continues to give the Minnesota Opera some of its most memorable nights.  Genaux has exactly the right voice, with its strong duskiness and authoritative bel canto technique, to make this trouser role work.  It more than works – Genaux and [Sumi] Jo [as Giulietta] seemingly were born to sing this show together, which is reflected down to the final chilling moments in the tomb.”
Jay Furst, The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN), January 29, 2001
“Genaux is everything her previous appearances lead one to expect.  She sings with a distinctive timbre, bringing a real personality to the music, not to mention a facility for tossing off coloratura.  Her performing enlivens the whole production.”
William Randall Beard, The Pioneer Press (St. Paul), January 29, 2001

“The rapidly rising mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux sang Romeo and proved an ideal partner for [Sumi] Jo.  Their duet ‘Ah! Crudel, d’onor ragioni’ was exquisite.  Genaux is also petite and trim and a totally engaging actress.”
John Koopman, Das Opernglas, March 2001

“Genaux is well experienced in doing trouser roles and portrayed a convincing and polished Romeo”
Roger Steiner, Opera Actual, March/April 2001

“Vivica Genaux wielded total control of a range of more than two octaves, from booming low notes to a trumpet-like top, unfurling phrase after phrase of brilliant coloratura.  Genaux is known to the Met only as Rosina, which is too bad; it is a role she at least co-owns (with Kasarova), but it does not give her opportunity to show her immense talents as a dramatic actress.”
H.H. Morant, Parterre Box, Vol. 45 (Spring 2001)


 

LA CENERENTOLA (Angelina)
(Florentine Opera)
Best of ’05:  “Vivica Genaux’s great voice, warm musicality and irresistible stage presence raised the level of the Florentine Opera's production of Rossini's La Cenerentola
Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 26

“Vivica Genaux hasn't been singing long enough for the whole world to recognize it, but she is one of the greatest singers of our day.

Genaux returned Friday to the Florentine Opera, to sing the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola.  Her voice was huge, and as dark and rich as a profound red wine.  Rarely do voices with such weight come to roles such as this, which are loaded with quick, tricky ornaments and aerobatic coloratura tangents.

For all its power, Genaux's singing seems effortless, and her voice is incredibly agile.  She articulated every note with utter clarity and accuracy, even in the fastest runs and at the extremes of her range.

Genaux is unceasingly interesting, even a little eccentric, in her tone production.  You can hear her moving vowels around in the cavity behind that captivating smile, playing with timbre in the most fascinating and unexpected ways.  Her singing is beautiful, but not only that.  She packs it with burrs of coloration that make it impossible to listen to her casually.

On top of everything else, she is an attractive woman with big, expressive features that play well in a theater. Genaux is a thoughtful musician, but a natural actress.”
Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 27, 2005

(The Dallas Opera)
“In that production [of La Cenerentola mounted by The Dallas Opera in the 1994-95 season], a young mezzo named Vivica Genaux sang Tisbe, one of the silly stepsisters.  This time around, Genaux stepped into the lead and acquitted herself with elegance, bravura and dignity.  Genaux’s voice, a genuine mezzo, has a gleaming, metallic quality reminiscent of Marilyn Horne’s, and it handled Rossini’s elaborate ornamentation, especially the big drops from high notes to low ones, with ease and power.”
Willard Spiegelman, Opera News, March 2005

HEADLINE:  “Singer Is Entrancing in a Demanding Role”
“Rossini decorated this charming tale with some of his most skillful, appealing and well-crafted music; the only reason this masterpiece isn't done more often is that the title role demands that rarest of operatic birds, the bel canto mezzo-soprano, a female singer who combines a rich, low range with the agility to perform the rapid-fire trills and ornaments.

Alaska-born Vivica Genaux is, fortunately, such a singer. Opera lovers who want to be entranced by a magnificent performance by a beautiful woman and have a memory to brag about for decades to come should definitely make the drive to Dallas this afternoon.”
Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 12, 2004

“Even at breathtaking speeds, Ms. Genaux's coloratura is clean as the proverbial whistle.  Her lower register has something of Marilyn Horne's hot-mask quality, but the voice softens and sweetens at it ascends.  She brings genuine grace to the role, and she's breathtaking in the bridal gown.”
Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2004

THE YEAR’S BEST MOMENTS IN CLASSICAL MUSIC:
“Vivica Genaux as Cinderella, Dallas Opera – Having launched her career with a triumph at the 1993 McCammon Competition in Forth Worth, this mezzo-soprano showed why she won, as she flew through the vocal gymnastics of Rossini’s Cinderella while maintaining the wise innocence of the fairytale heroine.”
Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 19, 2004

(Teatro Municipal de Santiago)
“The mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux is an artist of exceptional musical and dramatic qualities.  The timbre of her voice has a very special and attractive quality and she possesses an astonishing natural agility which she uses with great intelligence.  On the theatrical side, her youth and enchanting presence have a refinement and simplicity which are both wholly appropriate to the character and provide a captivating effect.”
Francisco Gutiérrez Domínquez, El Mercurio, July 25, 2004

“Vivica Genaux is an artist of outstanding musical and acting abilities, who is visiting Chile for the first time.  Her technical skills as a classic mezzo are remarkable, with the vocal coloration of her middle range possessing a particularly individual and attractive quality.  As for her acting, she distinguishes herself by the refinement and great sensitivity she shows, which is particularly well-suited to the character of Angelina.  Her final aria, ‘Non più mesta,’ which rousingly concludes the opera, was splendidly rendered.”
Johnny Teperman A., operayre.com, July 25, 2004

“The arrival of the mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux to portray the title role was awaited with great anticipation, as she has had many successes on stage and on CDs.  Now she heads the cast of this production and astonished all with her lovely vocal gifts and a technique which was breathtaking, particularly in the opera’s concluding ‘Non più mesta.’ ”
Mario Córdova, Las Ultimas Noticias, July 25, 2004

“Vivica Genaux conquered the Santiago audience in the title role of La Cenerentola.  Her vocal timbre, particularly in the middle register, is of real quality and the voice possesses a totally captivating personal color.  She sings with a natural ease, due to a secure and enviable technique, which she displays in the hazardous coloratura passages, as she demonstrated most notably in the formidable ‘Non più mesta’ finale.  Her dramatic characterization, which is enchanting, is as fine as her singing.”
Víctor Manuel Muñoz R, La Segunda, July 25, 2004

“The US mezzo-soprano (born in Alaska) Vivica Genaux gave great authority to the title role in the 2004 production of La Cenerentola.  She is an artist of skilled musical and acting qualities, whose debut performance here lived up to expectations.”  “Her technique is notable; her voice has a very special and attractive coloration.  Miss Genaux further distinguishes herself by the refinement and simplicity of her acting, which go very well with the personality of the character.”
Johnny Teperman A., Pro Opera, August 1, 2004

(Theatre des Champs-Elysées)
“…a carefully picked cast, headed by media darling Vivica Genaux in the title role, that fulfilled its promises.  Vivica Genaux may sound like a mini Marilyn Horne but her virtuosity, musicality and precision are shown off in Rossini much more than in Handel.  We’re used to plumier voices in the role but Genaux’s Angelina had the advantage of never sounding matronly.”
Francis Carlin, Opera Now, September/October 2003

“Rossini's comic masterpiece is at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in a zany new production staged by Irina Brook and with Vivica Genaux in stunning coloratura form as the Cinderella figure.  Musically, matters were in solid shape.  Genaux, a mezzo coloratura of unshakable security, built to a dazzling climax in the rondo finale, all without slighting her stage business. “
David Stevens, International Herald Tribune, May 21, 2003.

“On stage Miss Genaux’s characterization invites sympathy and she sings with great aplomb; her spontaneity and vocal stylishness are most rewarding.”
Michel Parouty, Les Echos, May 19, 2003

“Vivica Genaux is stupefying!  Her vocalism is absolutely impeccable.”
Renaud Machart, Le Monde (Paris), May 22, 2003

"The star of the evening is Vivica Genaux.  She is a Cenerentola rock-steady in her vocal technique and with a sense of style always up to the demands of her role.  If in the past one might have harbored some doubts about the size of her voice, in this production she proves she can be perfectly integrated with the other singers and particularly with the Concerto Köln."
Alessandro Di Profio, Il giornale della musica, May 22, 2003

“The American Mezzo possesses a real stage presence, producing a quite touching Angelina, perfectly adept at dealing with role’s high-flying coloratura demands.”
Jean-Luc Macia, La Croix, May 20, 2003

“Now for the awards ceremony: after last summer’s Rinaldo in Montpellier and her Rosina in the Barbiere at the Bastille, Vivica Genaux has given us an ideal Angelina.”
Luc Décygnes, Le Canard Enchainé, May 21, 2003

“He [conductor Evelino Pidò] relies on an exceptional talent – Vivica Genaux’s amber-hued voice is an absolute delight.”
Olivier Olgan, La Tribune, May 20, 2003

“[The production] features a delicious and radiant Cinderella by Vivica Genaux, whose supple, warm and sincere voice is perfect for the role, which she portrays with finesse and great humanity.”
Claude Ollivier, Radio Notre Dame, May 2003

(Pittsburgh Opera)
“It’s taken 10 years, but Pittsburgh finally has formally met its newest opera star.  Pittsburgh, let me introduce Vivica Genaux.  Vivica Genaux, please meet applause.”
“The circumstances would prove invigorating for Genaux, who put on quite a show.  Control, precision and beauty could describe her voice as well as her acting.  She spun virtuosic lines with grace and might.  She sang arias with radiance and vulnerability.  And she played the part with convincing innocence and street smarts.  Most important, her singing technique matured as her character grew from daydreaming servant to enlightened princess, guided by Rossini’s evolution of the song style.”
Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 18, 2002

“Genaux’s brilliant portrayal of Angelina — who is Cinderella — emphasizes that this Pittsburgh Opera debut was long overdue.  Rossini wrote florid music for Genaux’s character, but her agile performance is far more impressive than just brilliant.  She makes the coloratura sound natural and expressive.  And the feeling she brings to the simpler lines of her little aria near the start of the opera, and which will be heard again, is remarkable for its poise and sincerity.”
Mark Kanny, Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA), November 21, 2002


 

GIUSTINO (Title Role)
(Opern Festival - Solothurn [Switzerland])
“The three leading roles were all cast prominently; Vivica Genaux (in the title role) sang her part with great flexibility and supreme naturalness.”
Eva Bachmann, Neue Mittelland Zeitung, July 22, 2000


 

 

GIULIO CESARE (Title Role)
(Washington Opera)
“Genaux, who has a richly colored voice with a bitingly masculine lower range, is a very fine Caesar.  She has an exquisite voice and rapid-fire technique.”
Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, February 14, 2000

“As the opera’s military and romantic hero, Handel’s Caesar gets the flashiest and most acrobatic arias in the opera, and mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux was more than up to the challenge.  Her plummy, well-supported voice executed Handel’s vocal arabesques nearly flawlessly, and her low notes possessed astonishing clarity: She didn’t make a bad Roman general, either, swaggering in and commanding authority in every scene in which she appeared.”
T.L. Ponick, The Washington Times, February 19, 2000

“The cast is strong, even by Washington Opera standards, led by two singers [Vivica Genaux and Hei-Kyung Hong] whose gifts have been overlooked by the celebrity machine.  Genaux’s handsome, nut-brown tone can stand comparison not only with that of the Italian superstar [Cecilia Bartoli], but also with that of the Met fave [Jennifer] Larmore.  Genaux, formerly a charming Rosina in Washington Opera’s Barber of Seville, swaggers convincingly through the title role – she looks pretty swell in male duds – confident in her acting, arresting in her phrasing, flawless in her coloratura.”
Joe Banno, WashingtonCity Paper, March 3, 2000

“Genaux was an ardent Caesar...and she executed the coloratura beautifully.”
Martin Mayer, Opera, June 2000


 

 

L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI (Isabella)
(Anchorage Opera)
“Anchorage Opera's current production features superb voices that make all those notes sparkle. Saturday's opening night audience was particularly eager to see home-state diva Vivica Genaux, in the title role of Isabella; though she had previously given a recital here, this was her Anchorage debut in a staged work.  The fans were not disappointed.

In Genaux's Act I entrance aria, ‘Cruda sorte! amor tiranno,’ she displayed her large and lively stage personality, attentive acting ability, athletic vocalism and surgical precision.”

“When Genaux took her bow, more than three hours after the show started, I saw something I had not seen before; a number of people didn't merely stand as they applauded, they leaped up as if thrust by a spring and, I think, briefly lost contact with the ground.”
Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News, November 13, 2005

“As Isabella, Alaskan mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux gave a peerlessly polished performance that combined extraordinary coloratura singing with charm and wit. Genaux's physical grace makes her seem to float across the stage, and her port de bras rivals a trained ballerina's.  Her extensive experience with the role lets her find the tiniest movements to illuminate Isabella - she knows just when to twirl her parasol beguilingly and when to stretch languidly upon the divan.  Arrayed in vibrant costumes by Daniel James Cole, Genaux's dusky beauty and clear relish of the role make her bewitching. And then there's her voice.

At intermission and afterwards, you could hear people trying to define Genaux's extraordinary instrument.  It's silky, velvety, and luxurious, but with control that belies its smoothness.  The richness and warmth of her lower range is extraordinary; her high notes are elegant and accurate.  She manages Rossini's difficult passages so seamlessly that there's nothing to distract from pure enjoyment.”
Kristina Church, The Anchorage Press, November 17-24, 2005

(San Francisco Opera)
HEADLINE – “Genaux revivifies 'Italian Girl'
“It's remarkable what effect one slinky, determined redhead can have on an evening.

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux soared into the War Memorial Opera House on Thursday night to take over the title role in Rossini's ‘Italian Girl in Algiers’ for the San Francisco Opera.  And as soon as she did, the production shook off its opening-nights doldrums to emerge as the sparkling, vivacious farce it is meant to be.”

.....”But the evening's true glory belonged to Genaux, the Alaska-born artist whose company debut was a masterpiece of vocal grandeur and theatrical whimsy.  Genaux's tone is not especially large, but it boasts plenty of potency, particularly in her muscular and slightly reedy chest voice.  Her singing projects with easy aplomb, and she can shape a lyrical phrase with winning tenderness.

Best of all, she delivered Rossini's rapid-fire coloratura with breathtaking virtuosity and precision, all without breaking a sweat.  To hear these vocal fireworks sung so cleanly and crisply is to realize how little we sometimes settle for in this regard.

But vocal majesty was only half the story.  Genaux is also a splendid singing actress, deploying her glamorous good looks and provocative stage presence with just the right mixture of self-confidence and self-parody.  In an opera about the power of womanly wiles to conquer even a peppery Eastern potentate, Genaux embodied the theme down to her toes”.
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 2005

“A true star doesn't behave like one.  At tonight's cast change for ’The Italian Girl in Algiers’ in the War Memorial, when Vivica Genaux in the title role launched into her entrance aria, ‘Cruda sorte!,’ she could have tried to blow the walls down and dominate the performance.  She didn't.  Singing the rapid Rossini ornamentation with impeccable technique, effortless agility and clear diction, Genaux focused on - and achieved - fitting into the evening's brilliant ensemble performance.

The season-opening performance of ‘L'Italiana,’ on Sept. 10, wasn't half bad, but tonight was twice as good: a whole.  The entire first act came across as one of San Francisco Opera's best Rossini performances, everything and everybody coming together in a rhythmic/comic/enchanting cohesion.”
Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, September 23, 2005

“The production acquired a burst of comic energy when, in her belated company debut, Vivica Genaux succeeded Borodina as the eponymous heroine, a brilliantly efficient impersonation and one that mined Rossini’s hemidemisemiquavers and roulades with fearsome accuracy.”
Allan Ulrich, Opera, January 2006

(Opéra National de Paris)
“Heading the cast was the svelte, sexy Isabella of Vivica Genaux, an Italiana who for once physically lived up to Mustafà’s feverish physical fantasy. Vocally, her performance was remark­able for its energetic diction and fluent coloratura, while ‘Per lui che adoro’ brought a newfound broadness to the middle of her voice.”
Stephen Mudge, Opera News (online edition), October 2004

"The mezzo Vivica Genaux’s irreproachable coloratura achieves marvels in the title role"
Jacques Doucelin, Le Figaro, September 13, 2004

“The American mezzo Vivica Genaux portrayed a petulant Italiana with a voice of velvet, toying playfully with the high and low notes of the Rossinian vocalises.”
Claude Ollivier, Radio Notre-Dame, Sept, 11, 2004

“There’s no helping it: when a singer arrives onstage to boos that tumble from the balconies and bravos that leap up from the orchestra seats, a phenomenon is born.  That’s what happened when Vivica Genaux took her bows as Isabella.  All along, enthusiasm and furor accompanied the performance of the young American from Alaska, with her unique timbre – ambiguous, masculine and hardy, which recalls the phenomenal sound of Marilyn Horne, former queen of Rossini mezzos, a type unto herself.  There are even the colors of a falcon, masculine and supple, endowed with a plunging lower register, impeccable coloratura and natural blending.  Her casting in André Serban’s amusing production, featuring an attack by a giant pizza, a shipwreck out of Tex Avery, and a sofa out of Dali, only serves further to confirm the rare and great quality of this singer, who is by the way as stunningly attractive as a femme fatale, and who is better known for her travesty roles (such as her sober Bradamante in a two-piece suit in Alcina, last spring at this theater). Moreover, our record collection boasts Donizetti’s rare Alahor in Granata, where, in 1998, she was already practicing her scales with a young unknown, Juan Diego Flórez.”
Vincent Borel, Opéra, October 2004

"The suitability of Vivica Genaux for the Rossini repertory needs no further proof.  Her vocalism demands admiration, as well as her comic verve and stage presence.”  “Particularly in the medium and high register, the singer reveals a magnificent instrument, powerful and rich in nuances: she knows how to be rebellious in the first act duet with Taddeo using sweet tones.  She also draws the character of Isabella as frank and energetic, not hesitating to play the vamp to seduce Mustafa.  This is a woman who knows perfectly how to manipulate Mustafa and Taddeo and Lindoro."
Manon Ardouin, ConcertoNet.com, September 13, 2004

“And then there’s Vivica Genaux - radiant, beautiful and generous with her coloratura.  She wraps up Rossini and hands him over to us – you have to see how she does it.”
Luc Décygnes, Le Canard Enchaîné, September 15, 2004