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
"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
"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
"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
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, February 17, 2003
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