In the press


MImi, La boheme - virginia opera

"Elaine Alvarez, however, takes the show away as Mimi, the dying seamstress. Alvarez, a young singer making her Virginia Opera debut, has already made a name for herself singing this role, as others. She brings to the part a tender voice that is expressive and vulnerable yet bright. From her first aria: 'Si mi chiamano Mimi', to her sorrowful departure in the last act, Alvarez's role is one of sincere beauty, her performance lovely."

Sam Hall, DC Metro Arts, November 2015

***

"Soprano Elaine Alvarez was radiant as the consumptive seamstress Mimi. With long, silvery phrases and crystalline high notes, she enchanted her lover, the poet Rodolfo in Act I. Her dark, poignant tones as she struggled against death in Act IV were heartbreaking." 

B.J. Atkinson, Virginia Pilot, November 2015

***

"As Mimi, Elaine Alvarez revealed an ample, rather plush soprano. If her dynamic range didn't vary a great deal, the warmth in her singing counted for a lot, as did her impressive legato phrasing, notably in 'Donde lieta usci'. And there was a remarkable gleam in her spot-on off-stage top note at the close of Act I. Her spaciously paced 'Si mi chiamano Mimi' included a lovely, subtle physical detail when, as she sang the word 'poesia', she clutched a verse-filled paper that Rodolfo had handed her during his aria ." 

Tim Smith, Opera News Magazine, November 2015

***

"Soprano Elaine Alvarez and tenor Jason Slayden make willing suspension of disbelief easy as Mimi and Rodolfo. They share an achingly romantic chemistry early on. Their pure and effortless voices wash over the Carpenter Theater again and again. Alvarez made her mark as Mimi at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and she has continued to make the role her own. They're the brightest -- but hardly the only -- stars in the production." 

Roy Proctor, Richmond Times- Dispatch, November 2015


ELVIRA, ERNANI - OPERA ROYAL DE WALLONIE

"...Elaine Alvarez offers singing still somewhat young, lacking in maturity for this role, but the vocal color is beautiful and the technique much more accomplished than the tenor's...the lower notes are sumptuous and the phrasing remarkable. She excels especially in cabaletta's where her agility is particularly spectacular: an artist to follow."

Corinne Le Gac, Opera World Magazine, October 2015

***

Elaine Alvarez assumes the role of Elvira with a certain honorable placidity...her voice is radiant, her beautiful lower register and her splendid medium voice make her an artist rich with promise." 

Emmanuel Andrieu, OperaOnline.com, October 2015

***

"Elaine Alvarez has a promising, rich timbre and the right weight of voice for Elvira. The soprano sang with conviction, particularly in the last act..." 

J. Mudge, Opera News Magazine, September 2015

***

"Elaine Alvarez's Elvira impresses with her power and projection..." 

Nicolas Blanmont, La Libre, September 2015

***

"And in contrast, adorned with all the mysteries of femininity, with tender and dusky colors, is the imperious vocal interpretation of Elaine Alvarez, royal and serene despite the intensity of her suffering. She receives very well deserved cheers and enthusiastic applause during the numerous curtain calls." 

Arts et Lettres, September 2015

***

"To start with, the young Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez as Elvira, with a smooth and flexible voice that vocalizes with great naturalness, even if some notes are less powerful than others, is very promising for the future and in fact [General Director] Mazzonis has already signed her for another opera the following season. Without a doubt, the best on stage." 

Alma Torretta, Il Giornale della Musica Magazine, September 2015


TITLE ROLE, KATYA KABANOVA - BOSTON LYRIC OPERA

"Alvarez magnificent in BLO’s mixed premiere of Janacek’s 'Katya': The opera's throbbing heart is Katya... For much of the first act, Elaine Alvarez was a little stiff, and her soprano sounded pinched above the stave. The voice eased as the performance unfolded, and the fitful woodenness seemed to make dramatic sense: this was a woman who was so simple and so full of passion she could not quite figure out how to act. By the end, Alvarez had attained a level of magnificence, and was singing with breathless, full-throated abandon. Janacek's masterful and haunting portrayal of madness was especially well-executed in her hands." 

Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review, March 2015

***

"...soprano Elaine Alvarez bravely threw herself into the title role and by the final act ably conveyed the intensity of Katya’s roiling inner world..."

Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, March 2015

***

"In playing Katya Kabanova, Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez painted a tragic portrait of a desperately unhappy heroine... Her role required rapid switches from powerful, emotional outbursts to tender, reflective moments; she made these transitions feel natural and effortless. As is the case with many modern operas, the production infrequently placed complete emphasis on vocal performances alone and tended to integrate the singers’ voices into a greater symphonic sound. When Alvarez was unaccompanied, however, her vocal ability truly shone through. As she sang complex, dissonant passages from memory, her performance became only more electrifying and charged with emotion."

Eric H. Li, The Harvard Crimson, March 2015

***

"In the title role, Elaine Alvarez ably embodied the religious, superstitious Katya. Her voice is large but flexible and easily carried over the other singers on stage and the orchestra. Her tone on Sunday was nicely distributed across her range."

Jonathan Blumhofer, Arts Fuse Magazine, March 2015


Mimi, La boheme - opera National De bordeaux

"Originally from America, Elaine Alvarez has a different fabric: shimmering, warm, sumptuous. Perhaps velvet? No, rather one of those taffeta's whose shimmering captivates the ear."

Christoph Rizoud, ForumOpera.com October 2014


A concert for peggy - gotham chamber OperA at The Peggy Guggenheim Museum Venice, italy

"Most notably among the singers was the soprano Elaine Alvarez, who impressed the audience with both her voice quality and her experience as a performer. Her's is a voice that comes directly to the listener: powerful, clear, and rich in nuances. [Alvarez] was rewarded with the greatest applause of the evening, worthy of an encore."

Giovanni Greto, Il Nord Est Quotidiano Magazine September 2013


title role, la hija de rappaccini - gotham chamber opera

"Gotham Chamber Opera was able to assemble a superb cast of singers for this production. Soprano Elaine Alvarez clearly understood the mysterious allure of Beatriz, the title character; as in Hawthorne's story, one wished to know more about this lonely but enchanting young woman."

Arlo McKinnon, Opera News August 2013

***

"The cast was excellent, led by the tenor Daniel Montenegro as Giovanni and the soprano Elaine Alvarez as Beatriz, both with appealing quivers of emotion in their voices..."

Zachary Wolfe, New York Times June 2013

***

"Elaine Alvarez is a stunning young beauty with black hair, dark eyes, a strong voice, musicality and acting chops to make her someone to watch. In this role she conveys the innocence of a child mixed with the ultimate femme fatale, who's poisonous touch will doom both lovers... In her tour-de-force death scene, Alvarez shows off her control of voice and range when she asks Giovanni if his words were not more poisonous than her nature."

Humberto Capiro, Living Out Loud: Los Angeles Magazine July 2013

***

"The most intoxicating flower in the evening's bouquet of voices, however, was Elaine Alvarez in the title role. I had the pleasure of hearing the performance that launched the Cuban-American soprano into the international spotlight in 2007. Alvarez sang Mimi in the Lyric Opera of Chicago La boheme, stepping in for Angela Gheorghiu, who was fired for missing too many rehearsals. In Gotham's La hija, Alvarez was clearly in a class all her own and was perhaps the only singer who truly channeled the dark sensuality of Catan's score."

Stephen Raskaukas, Bachtrack.com June 2013

***

"His love interest and La hija was played by soprano Elaine Alvarez with the same mix of beauty and danger, the crucial theme to the opera. Ms. Alvarez has star appeal, pure and simple. The range of colors in her glorious soprano is electrifying. She sings with a controlled recklessness that is rarely found on operatic stages."

Minda Larsen, TheaterOnline.com June 2013

***

"Elaine Alvarez was Beatriz, and her sumptuous soprano soared in her passionate verismo duets with Giovanni, sung by Daniel Montenegro... Beatriz dies when she takes the antidote offered by Giovanni and asks the tree, her only friend, to cover her ashes: 'Tus palabras me laceran todavia'. Elaine Alvarez truly gripped the crowd and her 'inner Tosca' was revealed in her passionate and voluptuous singing in this final scene."

Nino Pantano, Brooklyn Daily Eagle June 2013


solo Recital - Orchestra miami

"The soprano Elaine Alvarez possesses a prodigious voice, not only for its potency, but for the richness of color and crystalline timber. The performance was practically irreproachable, abundant in its moments of brilliance. This young singer brought me to tears with a power rarely seen in concert halls during the Arias Baccianas Brasileiras No 5 by Villa-Lobos, sung precisely as the composer conceived, with the famous bocca chiusa humming passage, ending with a final high note which is written to be aspirated. I have seen many famous divas that refuse to sing this passage with a totally closed mouth and who will not sing the final note aspirated, as indicated. However Alvarez, not only accomplished these demands, she delivers them with a profoundly genuine sentimentality. Totally unforgettable."

Daniel Fernandez, El Nuevo Herald February 2013


Micaela, carmen - Lyric opera of chicago

"Alvarez brought an attractive timbre to Micaela, and made her as vital a creature as anyone does."

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News October 2010

***

"Ms. Alvarez applies vibrato and liquid notes sensitively to express the feelings she wishes to communicate when she finally locates Jose... [she] gives an accomplished performance of Micaela's prayer-like aria in Act III, her tendency to shade lyrical phrases alternating touchingly with urgent pleas for divine help."

Salvatore Calomino, Opera Today November 2010


micaela, carmen - Florida grand opera

"In tone and in stage comportment, Elaine Alvarez's Micaela was reminiscent of the young Maria Callas."

Robert Carreras, Opera News July 2010

***

"The role of Micaela saw the belated Florida Grand Opera debut of the soprano Elaine Alvarez,... her voice was pure and radiant in the middle, and her impassioned singing of 'Je di que rien ne m'epouvante', when she tries to gather her courage to reach Don Jose in the mountains, was a highlight of the night."

David Fleshler, The Miami Herald April 2010

***

"The Micaela of Elaine Alvarez is a luxury in this production. Having a singer of her stature - who has interpreted Traviata's and Mimi's - in a smaller role, is something that must not be missed, because the young soprano knows how to use every moment she is on stage and credit must be given to [Renaud] Doucet for his direction of the character."

Daniel Fernandez, El Nuevo Herald April 2010

***

"Miami soprano Elaine Alvarez shone in the thankless role of the goody-two-shoes Micaela. Her third act aria expressing her fear of confronting Carmen to save Don Jose was profoundly moving."

Bill Hirschman, The Sun Sentinel April 2010


Magda, la rondine - oper frankfurt

"At the podium was the ideal pairing of Elaine Alvarez and Joseph Calleja: two equally strong, extremely homogeneous and bright open voices, which literally ignited together. Excellent was the timbre of Elaine Alvarez with plenty of power in the top and a sparkling middle."

Bernhard Uske, Frankfurter Rundschau March 2010

***

"At his side stood Alvarez, an experienced Magda. She unveiled quintessential Puccini style and melded the idiom with a melting, voluminous sound."

Guido Holze, Frankfurter Allgemeine March 2010

***

"Leading the cast was Elaine Alvarez as Magda, a bountiful, focused and alluring bright soprano voice."

Andreas Bomba, Frankfurter Neue Presse March 2010


magda, la rondine - oper leipzig

"On stage there is the incarnation of femininity: Elaine Alvarez, a triumph of luxuriance and sensuality (same as her singing), totally dominating the stage. With finesse she played the depraved Magda; a kept woman who, greedy for luxury, sells herself to a Duke, but at the same time dreams of romantic, fulfilling love - a very dangerous mixture in women."

Wolf-Dieter Krönig, Bild Leipzig March 2009

***

"Elaine Alvarez's creation of Magda is outstanding. With subtle nuances she makes Magda's drama and inner conflict audible. This stylistic, sensitive and carefully elaborated comprehension of the role fascinated the public..."

Sebastian Schmideler, Leipzig Almanach March 2009

***

"Tiberius Simu, as the poet Prunier, preludes at the piano 'Chi bel sogno di Doretta'. With clear articulation and a sensual melodiousness, Elaine Alvarez brings it quasi improvising to its conclusion, with a superbly balanced messa di voce elegance. This is one of the most excellent scenes in La rondine."

K.G.v. Karais, Opernglas Magazine May 2009


La Contessa, le nozze di figaro - opera cleveland

"Alvarez's rich, even soprano was able to soar to the heights softly, but she still had the requisite strength to hold her own against the Count. Her 'Dove sono' was quite moving."

Alan Montgomery, Opera News December 2008


soprano soloist, rossini Stabat mater - Maestro Riccardo Muti and Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

"If one had to choose the most intense moment of the masterpiece that is the Stabat Mater of Rossini, the preference would almost certainly go to the aria 'Inflammatus' where the composer recalls in amazing ways the flames of hell and the pain and anguish of man in front of his possible destiny. This aria needs a soprano that knows how to favour, to ride and then to transcend the musical score with her voice. In Mazara, the extraordinary Elaine Alvarez succeeded, sustained by the chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Riccardo Muti."

Vincenzo di Stefano, La Sicilia July 2008


solo recital - vocal arts society, kennedy center

"Alvarez is a charming artist - with a delightfully warm stage presence and a healthy, hearty and agile voice that is still coming into flower - and it does not surprise me that she made a terrific Mimi. She was quite wonderful in a closing set of Spanish and Cuban songs by Fernando Obradors and Eduardo Sanchez de Fuentes, in which she stepped out of what had sometimes seemed an interpretive corset and relaxed as though the hall were filled with old friends, which, by the end of the evening, seemed to be the case."

Tim Page, Washington Post November 2007


mimi, la boheme - lyric opera of chicago

"Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez rendered Mimi with an ample, buffed-bronze soprano that contrasted nicely with Aronica's brighter sound...she displayed a lissome, floated top for the offstage 'Amor' at the close of the first scene, a sensitively shaped 'Donde lieta usci' and an excellent final act. Her portrayl was, moreover, compellingly characterized, subtly naturalistic and fully drawn. Alvarez received a huge ovation in the final curtain calls, a tribute well deserved for intrepid grace under pressure - and for coming through with an intelligent, musically satisfying performance."

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News December 2007

***

"Elaine Alvarez looked and sounded fully prepared to take on this touchstone Puccini role. Far from displaying any obvious nerves, Alvarez looked and sounded like a poised veteran. As the consumptive seamstress Mimi, Alvarez on Monday revealed an appealingly natural stage presence and a big, vibrant lyric soprano the color of deep burgundy. The voice bloomed under pressure the way you want a Puccini voice to bloom, yet kept its warm tonal finish when she floated the high pianissimos opera lovers wait for in rapt anticipation. Conveying lyric pathos seems to come as naturally to Alvarez as breathing. She reserved her most deeply affecting singing for the third act, investing her duets with Quinn Kelsey as the Bohemian painter Marcello and Roberto Aronica as her lover, the poet Rodolfo, with shimmering beauty. When the estranged lovers agreed to remain together until the first rustles of spring, even audience members who have seen hundreds of Bohemes got misty-eyed. Alvarez saved the day, and then some. After her smooth, confident Lyric debut, the opera world surely will be taking notice."

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune October 2007

***

"As if her understudy, Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez, who blossomed into a luminous performance on Monday, had been Lyric's choice for Puccini's doomed Mimi all along. [Alvarez's] Mimi was clearly passionate, and the dark cast to her strong, well-projected soprano added depth and emotional richness to her initial duet with Roberto Aronica's Rodolfo. By the festive Cafe Momus scene in Act II, her singing had become juicy and lyrical, and her wrenching Act III encounter with Rodolfo, frantic at the thought of Mimi's impending death, was luminous."

Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times October 2007

***

"From the start, Alvarez proved to be entirely at ease on stage, projecting easily and deploying her warm soprano with great sensitivity. You couldn't help but be taken in by her shy singing of Act I's 'Si mi chiamano Mimi', and she generated an incredible pathos in Act III, as she realizes that she and Rodolfo must separate. By the time she died in Act IV, her successful debut was a foregone conclusion. Any singer who can make this role dramatic and not melodramatic deserves a place on the world's major stages."

Marc Geelhoed, Time Out Chicago October 2007


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