Vulture 1. Dialogues des Carmélites With Isabel Leonard as the snowy-souled Blanche and Karita Mattila as the raging prioress, the return of Poulenc’s (almost) all-nun opera would have been pretty transcendent even without any additional virtues. But Yannick Nézét-Séguin’s presence on the podium made it downright celestial.
“It’s Leonard, though, in this overdue house debut, who anchors the action. Hers is a fallible, youthful Charlotte – flattered by attention, playful right up until truth and duty reassert themselves and she must reject Werther for the reliable Albert. Dark and thickly painted throughout the range, hers is an attractive voice, flowering into full […]
“The program also featured the mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, in lovely voice, singing Henri Dutilleux’s “Le Temps l’Horloge” song cycle, completed in 2009, haunting music that retains refined French impressionist colorings while speaking a boldly modernist language. She also sang an alluringly sensual account of Ravel’s “Shéhérazade.”” New York Times “Chemistry between Leonard and Nézet-Séguin truly […]
“Leonard sang Blanche with an astonishing mixture of softness and backbone. She has steadily marched toward stardom at the Met, and the affinity between her and Nézet-Séguin is evolving into one of the company’s great artistic partnerships. Her voice is purest vicuña: warm, fine, and naturally colored. She can be slow to shed her poise […]
“The tender lullaby of “Nana” featured gently cooing clarinets trailing after Leonard’s maternal timbre. The vivid orchestration, full of touches of Spanish percussion, complemented the intense narrative qualities of Leonard’s singing.” Washington Classical Review “The evening offered a simulacrum of an American program, polished and shiny. After the Copland, the American element in the second […]