News and Reviews
Lorelei Ensemble Announces the World Premiere of Her Story, by Julia Wolfe
Co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Nashville Symphony and San Francisco Orchestras. Written for Lorelei Ensemble and symphony orchestra to commemorate the centennial of the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, Her Story is the latest in a series of Wolfe's compositions highlighting monumental and turbulent moments in American history and culture. That the piece is having its world premiere in Nashville is no accident: Tennessee was the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment, and the world premiere comes mere weeks after the centennial of the August 18, 1920 ratification vote. NPR describes Julia Wolfe as "our labor documentarian, tackling historic issues that resonate today... By marrying history and music, Wolfe forces us to look to our past to protect our future." The immersive, visual performances will be directed by Anne Kauffman with scenic and lighting design by Jeff Sugg, costumes by Marion Talan, and produced by Bang on a Can.
Odyssey Opera's The Chronicle of Nine earned rave reviews!
Here's what the critics had to say:
"Contralto Stephanie Kacoyanis scorched the stage with her portrayal of a brittle, rueful Mary Tudor; her duet with Pachecano in that second-to-last scene, accompanied only by the cry of the orchestra’s cellos, was the standout moment of the evening.
--Zoe Madonna, The Boston Globe
"The dark vocal textures of mezzo Rebecca Krouner (Jane’s mother, Frances Grey) and contralto Stephanie Kacoyanis (her “rival” and successor, “Bloody” Princess Mary Tudor) balanced Pachecano’s lyricism admirably."
--Keith Powers, Opera News
"Alto Stephanie Kacoyanis made for a torn and even sympathetic Mary, her rich, dark singing capturing the queen’s fear that putting Jane to death would be an ill omen of a troubled reign. As the minstrel, Gene Stenger sang with clarion tenor and a storyteller’s grace."
--Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review
"As the much-maligned Queen Mary, Stephanie Kacoyanis sang with regal bearing and a dark, majestic tone. Mary’s not the most naturally sympathetic of Tudor characters, but Kacoyanis disclosed a touch of humanity in her portrayal: one believed this Mary was genuinely conflicted about allowing Jane’s execution to proceed."
--Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse
"Mary is played with a cool, lush authority by Stephanie Kacoyanis. She is surprisingly sympathetic, with a contralto both firmly in control and full of emotion."
--Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts
"By turns imperious and sororal, Stephanie Kacoyanis’ contralto stood out like a pliant seventh cello."
--Kevin Wells, Bachtrack
"Stephanie Kacoyanis did not have very much time to leave an impression as Lady Mary, but she made the most of it, providing a great sense of regret to the character that only brings the unfairness of Jane’s situation into sharper relief than before."
--Arturo Fernandez, Schmopera
Lorelei Ensemble is proud to announce we're the winners of the Dale Warland Commissioning Award from Chorus America.
Lorelei Ensemble released our latest CD, Impermanence.
Read on for reviews and recognition:
I was humbled to be featured in my hometown newspaper for my work as a classical singer. Thanks to the Hamilton Wenham Chronicle for the coverage!
Also thanks to the Boston Musical Intelligencer for this lovely review of Lorelei's debut concert with the Rockport Chamber Muisc Festival! "
"The all-female singing group Lorelei Ensemble makes a truly astounding sound[...]commission. The ensemble’s accomplishment is multi-faceted. First, there is its tone, a soft-edged but muscular sound. I would bet that no discussion of them at intermission was held without using the word “blend” to describe the single-mindedness of tone and execution. The voices blended thoroughly without becoming bland; while individual voices only rarely made themselves known, the summed sound underwent subtle metamorphoses which rarely surprised. Instead, a history of careful choices became apparent as the evening went on, as you realized that the sound had changed since you first started listening, without your noticing any steps in its evolution."
Lorelei Ensemble is delighted to announce that we have joined the roster of Middleton Arts Management! We are honored to be in the company of such esteemed artists and ensembles.
Lorelei Ensemble made our debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Hall. Check out what critics had to say:
"The countertenor Bejun Mehta was a supremely self-possessed soloist; a shimmering chorus of eight female vocalists from the Lorelei Ensemble echoed and babbled around him, a polyphonic haze." -- The New York Times
"...in one moment, a pure vowel shifted from Mehta to Lorelei Ensemble with such fluidity that the distinctions between them seemed to disappear, dissolved into the fabric of the universe." -- The Boston Globe
"The resplendently dressed Lorelei Ensemble, an extraordinary all-women vocal octet composed of some of Boston’s best singers, led by Beth Willer, provided more musical magic, singing fragments of Lorca texts, in Spanish, weaving ornate background webs of shimmering beauty and mystery." -- Boston Musical Intelligencer
"The ladies of this small choir are some of the best singers in Boston. Together, they sang Benjamin’s music with soft elegance. The singers supported Mehta in “Gazing through the Night” with sheets of luminous sound. In “Casida del llanto,” a text that tells of weeping, the voices swirled in an overwhelming web of sorrowful phrases. Dream of the Song is a work of aching beauty, and Mehta and the Lorelei Ensemble supplied its soul." -- Boston Classical Review
Lorelei made our New York debut and received a rave review in the New York Times.
Lorelei's Artistic Director Beth Willer was quoted in a New York Times piece about the common vocabulary pitfalls critics encounter when writing about women's voices.
"Martha" (Boston Midsummer Opera) garnered great reviews:
"Kacoyanis and Budd make an enticing comic/romantic pair as Nancy and Plunkett; it’s too bad Nancy’s “Huntress fair” is cut from this production." -- The Boston Globe
"Stephanie Kacoyanis (Nancy/Julia) and Jason Budd (Farmer Plunkett) improved steadily throughout the evening; their final duet, a mixture of flirting and insinuating humor, proved the two to be perfectly matched, both in vocal brilliance and comic timing." -- Boston Musical Intelligencer
Boston Musical Intelligencer's review of "Five Monodramas" with Odyssey Opera.
Stephanie is thrilled to announce that she will be the soloist in Lennox Berkeley's "Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avila" for contralto and strings with Odyssey Opera as part of their 2015 British Invasion Festival. Read the press release here.
Stephanie is proud to be working with Boston Midsummer Opera again in their upcoming production of Frederick von Flotow's Martha. Stephanie will be playing the role of Nancy.
Reviews of BMOP and Lorelei Ensemble's "Magyar Madness"
"While the first two movements are purely orchestral, the last featured mezzo Stephanie Kacoyanis singing Weöres’s text most affectingly and sonorously." -- Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Under Rose’s direction, the excellent Lorelei singers and the unflappable BMOP players gave this work a dazzling first performance."
"Who can resist the sound of women’s voices climbing high in close harmony? Agócs certainly couldn’t, as time after time she twisted rising vocal lines into radiant cluster chords, a sound capable of expressing either intense lament or exultation."
Reviews of Lorelei Ensemble's Reconstructed: