“In her second “Carmen” production since her pandemic-delayed role debut, New York mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, dressed in contemporary fashion, projected a sophisticated, self-assured woman.
That self-assurance translated into an effective vocal performance, especially Leonard’s singing of Carmen’s major arias – the Habanera, the Seguidilla and the chanson bohemienne at Lillas Pastia’s tavern. Always an engaging artist, her success in the role of Carmen is a major accomplishment in an important career.”
“Leonard is a deeply thoughtful performer, as well as a dynamic one; in this staging, she is asked to “be” much more than to “act,” and she is completely engaged in every moment. She’s a superior singing actor, and her vocalism was at an equally high level. It’s impossible to imagine a better match between director and performer.”
“Isabel Leonard was an assured and strong-willed Carmen. Wearing modest modern clothing, she captivated the men with a full-bodied mezzo, smoldering down low, blazing up high.”
“Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sang her first Carmen this May, in a Washington National Opera production directed by Francesca Zambello. Leonard has all the makings of a classic Carmen, a bold and smoky low range with armor-like technique and the physical beauty and stage charisma of a temptress.”
The Classical Review