The DVD of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, performed on the 50th anniversary of its premiere, in Coventry Cathedral by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons, has now been released and can be ordered online in North America and in the UK/Europe. View a clip of highlights above!
Photo by Ken Howard.
Arabella at Santa Fe Opera was a rousing success! Reviews below:
"Richard Strauss’ “Arabella,” seen Aug. 1, was the week’s all-around high point. It offered conductor Andrew Davis at his best, with an intelligent production directed by Tim Albery and a gorgeously sung and acted portrayal in the title role by soprano Erin Wall." Click here to read the full review from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"We knew that Erin Wall was born to sing the Strauss heroines; that became clear from her incandescent portrayal of Daphne five years ago. And, simply put, her Arabella soars. The character could be seen (and sometimes is seen by her sister, Zdenka, and her assorted suitors) as aloof and cold. Not with Wall’s embrace of the role and her golden-hued projection of Strauss’ heartfelt vocal line." Click here to read the full review from the Santa Fe Reporter.
"Soprano Erin wall was a lovely, sympathetic Arabella." Click here to read the full review from the New York Times.
"Wall is an elegant Arabella, her radiant soprano caressing Strauss’ sinuous, soaring lines." Click here to read the full review from the Dallas Morning News.
"Wall brings keen emotional identification to the duets with Zdenka and Mandryka, and particularly to the heroine's rapturous monologues." Click here to read the full review from the Chicago Tribune.
"The role of Arabella, perhaps as effectively as any in opera, portrays the yearning for a stable, loving lifetime commitment to the kind of husband of whom she dreams. She ultimately meets and bonds with Mandryka, who is to be her life partner, but not without their relationship nearly being destroyed by intrigues and coincidences of which she is not part...She requires a beautiful lyric voice, that can sustain long periods of legato singing. Wall did this, and made the case that she is the Arabella for this generation, just as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was the Arabella for the last." Click here to read the full review from Opera Warhorses.
Click here to read a preview article from the Albuquerque Journal.
Erin recently made a highly acclaimed debut with the Canadian Opera Company in February 2012, singing Clémence in L'amour de loin.
"Erin Wall also brings amazing reserves of emotional depth to the Countess who finds love and death live side by side. And the richness of her vocal instrument, capable of suddenly slashing into searing pain, completes the picture." - The Toronto Star
"It’s a long show for the three principals: Rudel (baritone Russell Braun), Clémence (soprano Erin Wall) and the Pilgrim who mediates between them (mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabò). These three Canadians showed the best of their extensive art, singing beautifully and somehow managing to fill out characters that might in other hands have seemed like debating positions set to music...The final scene brought out the chorus, heard earlier and somewhat indistinctly from offstage, for a kind of Liebestod over the body of the dead poet. Wall was particularly compelling in this scene, her voice soaring out in a way that embodied the character’s pain but that also emphasized the opera’s unstated question: Were these people singing about longing for another person, or about a sacred love that can’t remain in the flesh?" - The Globe and Mail
"The three-person singing cast is as spectacular as the staging." - Musical Toronto
"...three hugely talented principals..." - Toronto Sun
"Erin Wall captured the tormented pathos and sublime loveliness of 'Clémence' with a flair that was exquisite. All three [principal singers] were pushed to the limits of their agility, range and volume and they responded magnificently. Their movements were executed with a feeling of aquiline grace." - No Rules, No Lights
"There are many fantastic things about this production - take the singing for a start. Russell Braun (Jaufré), Erin Wall (Clémence) and Krisztina Szabò (the Pilgrim) have the unenviable task of learning these three fiendishly difficult roles and execute them gloriously. Their singing is nuanced, mellifluous, and at times, transporting. They also act with dramatic intentions, and weave into one another beautifully." - The Charlebois Post
"Soprano Erin Wall, in addition to having a colourful and nuanced tone, also has remarkable agility. She executed some truly amazing pianissimos which remained light and free while reaching every corner of the venue. Achieving this effect is certainly not as easy as she made it sound." - Mooney on Theatre
"Erin Wall as Clémence displays an absolutely glamorous voice (happily she returns to the COC soon in Les Contes d'Hoffmann)." - ConcertoNet
"Of course the best reasons to feel good about any opera are auditory, and the warmly earnest baritone of Russell Braun was everything it needed to be. Soprano Erin Wall (Clémence) and mezzo-soprano Kristina Szabó (the Pilgrim) were also equal to their roles." - The National Post
Additional information, photos, videos and music can be found here.
Below are some recent rave reviews from Thaïs at the Edinburgh Festival (August 18, 2011).
"Erin Wall is the Thaïs of one’s dreams, wielding a soprano of radiance, pristine beauty and tingling top notes, which she hit with a conviction that only comes with stage experience and a solid technique. Singing without a score, she made us believe every word." - Andrew Clark, The Financial Times
"Revivals are rare, largely because of the immense difficulties, vocal and dramatic, of the title role. They were more than met, however, in this concert performance by Canadian soprano Erin Wall. Her glamour is magnetic: you understand why, at the start, men are prepared to bankrupt themselves for Thaïs. More important, however, is the extraordinary ease and sumptuousness of her tone, and a hovering, ecstatic quality in her singing that makes her so convincing as both sexual icon and saint...Ultimately, though, this was Wall's night. I hesitate to write "a star is born" after a single hearing, but she will unquestionably become one if she carries on like this." - Tim Ashley, The Guardian
"The singing was solid, led by an exceptional Thaïs from Erin Wall. Her lustrous, gleaming soprano had just the right colour for the legendary beauty of the courtesan but she portrayed a winning sense of vulnerability in the first scene of Act 2 when we first see Thaïs’ private reflections on growing old and losing her powers. The mirror aria showed the character’s brittle insecurity through exceptional runs and leaps, before she then pulled off the impossible feat of making Thaïs’ transition to the religious penitent almost convincing, and her duet with Athanaël at the oasis was lovely. After scaling the heights of the death scene she richly deserved the standing ovation she was given at the end." - Simon Thompson, MusicWeb International
"At its heart was a monumental performance by Canadian soprano Erin Wall as Thaïs. It was sensuousness, vocally mind-blowing, and sturdily supported by Quinn Kelsey's stoical Athanael..." - Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman
"Canadian soprano Erin Wall was a revelation as Thaïs, fully inhabiting the role and combining astonishing technical control with beautifully creamy, focused tone." - Hugo Shirley, The Telegraph