Opera Review Excerpts

AMNERIS - Aida
AUGUSTA - The Ballad of Baby Doe
AZUCENA - Il Trovatore
CARMEN
ISABELLA - L'Italiana in Algeri
MADDALENA - Rigoletto
OCTAVIAN - Der Rosenkavalier

 

AMNERIS

"...Ms. Munzer handled the requirements of her role with ease. Her acting was natural, her singing unforced, the mezzo-soprano was particularly fine in the final act." -- Salt Lake Tribune

"...an Amneris heaven sent. Munzer is a gutsy, sizzling mezzo who brought down the house ... tremendous authority, great projection, full grasp of the roles dramatic possibilities. She was simply overpowering in the Final Act." -- Providence Journal

"...regal hauteur, sings in high style and uses her every resource with intelligence and skill. Her voice is big, beautiful, clearly focused, and equal to the climaxes. The Judgment Scene separates the women from the girls and Ms. Munzer carried it off with supreme artistry, lasting its cruel course triumphantly." -- Deseret News

"...created opera magic. Ms. Munzer was superbly imperious in all her declamations, her singing scrupulously shaped with chilling and thrilling chest tones, with top notes that rang out full and free." -- Knoxville News Sentinel

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AUGUSTA (The Ballad of Baby Doe)

"Strongest figure in this production was mezzo-soprano Cynthia Munzer who combined musical sense, a solid vocal production and a keen sense of the dramatic import in the role of Augusta." -- Dayton Daily News

"The contrasting sorrowful darkness unerringly projected in the acting and superb singing of Cynthia Munzer; expressive in anger and anguish in her warm, beautiful contralto voice." -- Milwaukee Sentinel

"...her acting skills flesh out her character beyond words. Munzer is so passionate, so realistic, so intense, the audience is swept up in her story. She leaves nary a dry eye in the house." -- Saginaw News

"Hers was a voice steely, rasping, suffering; hers were face and body evoking domination, strength in face of desertion, the debilitating effects of aging. To Ms. Munzer goes the credit for sustaining the vitality of this production." -- Milwaukee Journal

"Munzer's intense portrayal and forthright vocalism quickly established and held the dramatic center of the evening." -- Opera News

"Ms. Munzer's beautiful, rich mezzo sustained the tragic knowledge of her own flaws and failures expressed in the closing aria of great emotional power, her voice and acting raising this character to the most tragic and sympathetic figure." -- Opernwelt

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AZUCENA

"Mezzo-Soprano Cynthia Munzer possesses a powerful voice with considerable dramatic skill. She brings off her interpretation of the wild-eyed sorceress with great flair." -- Denver Gazette

"Munzer was electrifying as the vengeance-mad, guilt-ridden gypsy, Azucena. The tension in Munzer's body and her frozen stare, set in a slightly contorted face, made clear the obsessive inwardness of this woman. The sickness of Azucena's mind was also reflected in Munzer's singing, but did not destroy the beauty of it. She couched the disease, not in distorted tone, but in tortured accents. She left her rich, dark, and exceedingly strong mezzo free to envelop the hall. And when she finally let that voice glide fluidly through a line, it was a balm and a revelation and perfectly suited to the moment, a pre-execution fantasy about escaping to a mountain idyll." -- Milwaukee Journal

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CARMEN

"Munzer has, first of all, the voice for Carmen: the weight in the lower-middle range, the sure top notes and ability to play off registral colors one against the other. And it's Carmen with dimension: sexy, flirtatious, petulant, earthy, ill-mannered, fickle, very funny in her scene of preparation for Don Jose's entrance, wonderfully chilling in her denunciation of him in the finale. One doubts this Carmen's love for Don Jose; he is merely a diversion, a challenge to her ego. She is done with him as soon as she sets her mind on Escamillo." -- Minneapolis Tribune

"In mezzo-soprano Cynthia Munzer's lusty portrayal of Bizet's femme-fatale, we have here a Carmen rarely glimpsed and certainly one long to be remembered. How wonderful indeed, how absolutely unsettling to see Carmen made flesh by so beautiful a woman and so persuasive an actress as Ms. Munzer. What's more, she possesses a stunningly sensual voice to go with the image. And when this Carmen dances ... well, no wonder Don Jose gives up his barracks." -- Milwaukee Sentinel

"...Ms. Munzer had simply crawled inside the untameable gypsy's skin, creating a character so wholly natural. Her joyfully indulgent sexuality, her overflowing temper, her native gift for flamenco dancing accepted, it was the totality of her cultural insight, her perpetrating grasp of an utterly foreign mentality that was so thrilling." -- Milwaukee Journal

"Not only does she have a beautifully placed voice that soars with ease and power, but the voice also is rich and dark in the middle and lower registers without being heavy or throaty. An accomplished actress Munzer plays the role with feline charm and an extraordinary intensity of manner. The greatest Carmens have combined a lot of things to convey a complex personality. This is what Munzer does. As the drama unfolds Munzer's dark-haired Carmen is by turns bitchy and flirtatious, playful and passionate, fearful and fatalistic, yielding and stubborn. Furthermore, Munzer has the good looks and graceful bearing which, combined with her voice and acting skills make her characterization a completely mesmerizing one." -- Des Moines Sunday Register

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ISABELLA (L'Italiana in Algeri)

"Cynthia Munzer had the style as well as the vocal technique to spin out the fioratura with the ease and security that are required. Munzer was in fact a Turkish delight as the heroine. No prettier Isabella ever kept a Bey at bay. She was vivacious, charming--a minx with moxie--and her smile concealed a myriad of feminine wiles. With her stage command and comic gifts she was able to brighten the stage far more elegantly than the lighting crew. And she did not flinch from the demands of the difficult mezzo-coloratura writing, producing a buoyant and gracious line in her patriotic aria that drew on solid, low notes and full, vibrant middle." -- Chicago Tribune

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MADDALENA (Rigoletto)

"Cynthia Munzer's Maddalena was action packed, sizzling and voiced with a dark, dusky mezzo perfect for the role." -- Opera News

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OCTAVIAN (Der Rosenkavalier)

"The Octavian was Cynthia Munzer, one of the best looking and best sounding singers to be found in the role today." -- Ft. Worth Star Telegram

Over 200 additional excerpts available upon request.

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