Review from The New Yorker, January 5, 2004

Read the full text of a recent review of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson by Richard Dyer of The Boston Globe.

Ms. Lieberson sang Melisande with the Boston Symphony in Debussy's opera "Pelleas et Melisande"

" ...And in Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's Melisande the audience experienced a miracle. Others on the story describe Melisande's voice - 'a voice from the ends of the world.' Lieberson, luminous in a simple white dress, alone fulfilled Debussy's dictum about never sounding like an opera singer - her timbre was as transparent and as fluid as water, and it always told the truth, even when Melisande was lying. She could communicate unhappiness and suffering, fear of darkness, love of light, and she suffused Symphony Hall with the rapture of her joy. She took us on a voyage of the soul, and when that soul left us, we felt a sense of personal and irreplaceable loss."

Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, October 17, 2003

Ms. Lieberson sang Dido at the Met in a new production by director Francesca Zambello of Berlioz's epic opera Les Troyens to observe the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.

"If speculation over this production has been focused inordinately on Ms. Zambello (director), it's because no one doubted that the Met had assembled a cast — headed by the tenor Ben Heppner as Aeneas, the soprano Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, and the mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson as Dido — that would do honor to this wondrous and challenging score. They did not disappoint. Nor did James Levine and the great Met orchestra."

"Originally the mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina was to have sung Dido. A pregnancy forced her to withdraw. We are lucky that the Met was able to get Ms. Hunt Lieberson for the role. Even before singing a note, when she appeared onstage in a lacy cream-white dress, this lovely singer embodied the widowed queen of Carthage, dedicated to her people, with whom she mingled naturally, regal yet approachable, wise yet wistful, confident yet not naïve. The plaintive beauty of her voice, the intelligence behind every phrase, the mix of subtlety and passion, all these qualities and more endowed her distinguished portrayal."

"Since 9/11 no New Yorker has taken for granted feeling safe in a public space, especially now, with the country on high alert. But nothing will take you out of yourself like hearing the enchanted septet of Act IV, when Dido, Aeneas and their coterie sing Berlioz's blissfully subdued music. I didn't want it to stop."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, February 10, 2003

"Lieberson, once Boston-based, created an extraordinary Dido, slender and radiant, regal, womanly, passionate, and ultimately full of tragic dignity as she mounted the pyre after Aeneas abandoned her for his destiny in Italy.

Her voice sounded luscious, but this was not a performance about voice or singing. Through singing she brought us into the white-hot core of feeling. Every word, every gesture, every tonal inflection was full of meaning. It is a rare privilege to be in the presence of such a complete, profound and selfless art. The audience recognized this, and so did Lieberson's colleagues, who stood there at the end and applauded her, too."

Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, February 17, 2003

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