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Bill White
Fanfare, May 2018

This production gives us a fresh and quite wonderful Carmen in mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez. She has the smoldering dark good looks so advantageous in this sensual gypsy role, as well as a fine throaty mezzo that oozes sex appeal in both the Habanera and the Seguidilla. She carries the show, even when treading and shedding water. …Elena Tsallagova sings well enough as Micaëla, but I think every male in the audience would make Don José’s choice between the two. She does impress when standing high above the stage in the palm of the giant hand to sing her act III aria. The orchestra and actual chorus remain high and dry inside the auditorium next door, so sound remains pretty constant and pretty good throughout. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Allan Altman
American Record Guide, March 2018

Although vocal nuance is often sacrificed in this type of large-scale production, the cast is first-rate and the characterizations well defined. Gaelle Arquez sings with an effortless, glowing tone and vocal poise that is a rare pleasure in itself, but here particularly well suited to the role of the gypsy who follows her own will. Daniel Johansson’s Don José is sometimes vocally unwieldy, but the sound is always bright and powerful, and he sings with impressive abandon. Combined with his imposing physique and rugged good looks, he evokes more than usual the element of danger in José’s character. Soprano Elena Tsallagova points up Micaela’s toughness of spirit through her solid and clear timbre. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, November 2017

New productions of the two most reliable warhorses in opera are distinguished by their leading ladies’ star-making performances. The title role in Carmen is played by the darkly smoldering French mezzo Gaelle Arquez, who burns up the outdoor Bregenz Festival stage whenever she’s front and center. In La Bohème, Irina Lungu plays the pitifully sickly Mimi with immense strength and sympathy. Both productions also have top-notch hi-def video and audio… © 2017 The Flip Side

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