Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELENA XANTHOUDAKIS – SELECTED REVIEWS

Pamina – Magic Flute – ENO

Elena Xanthoudakis was a pure but strong – rather than fragile – Pamina all the way through, justifying Daniel Heartz’s suggestion that the opera should be titled Pamina. Her Act Two scene with The Queen of the Night was gripping drama in every sense of the word.

Musical Criticism – 18th September – Agnes Kory

Elena Xanthoudakis’ graceful and creamy-toned soprano was well suited to Pamina and she gave a very polished performance, her duet with Papageno “Bei Männern” was one of the vocal highlights of the evening for me, as well as a heartfelt and expressive “Ach, ich fühl’s”.

Opera Britannia – 15th September – Faye Courtney

Young soprano Elena Xanthoudakis gave a poignant and truthful performance as Pamina…

BBC Classical Music Online – September – Hellen Wallace

Elena Xanthoudakis is pure loveliness as Pamina

What’s On Stage – 14th September 2012 – Simon Thomas

Elena Xanthoudakis’s Pamina sounds better and better as the night goes on…

Financial Times – September 16th – Andrew Clark

Elena Xanthoudakis was an endearing Pamina with a sweet-toned, vibrant voice, very much a modern young princess.

Seen and Heard – September 16 – Jim Pritchard

The object of his affection, Pamina, was sung warmly by Elena Xanthoudakis: her aria during the ‘Second Test’ (not cricket!), Tamino having rejected Pamina, contained beauty within sorrow – and it was very seductive, surely enough to melt the Prince’s heart.

Classical Source – September 13th – Kevin Rogers

Elena Xanthoudakis was highly original, even quirky and intense, as Pamina

The Observer – September 15th – Fiona Maddocks

Especially memorable is Elena Xanthoudakis’s Pamina, voiced with shining tone and a fine appreciation of the music’s lyrical contours.

The Guardian – 14th September – George Hall

Elena Xanthoudakis as Pamina is allowed to be subtler – her bright, shining timbre deployed with tact and sensitivity.

The Stage – September 14th – David Gutman.

Elena Xanthoudakis made for an unusually rich-toned Pamina

OperaToday.com USA- Sept 23th – Mark Berry

La Cenerentola  - Rossini – Glyndebourne Festival Opera – May – June – July 2012

…But there are now plenty of laughs in her redefinition of Cenerentola’s sisters (Elena Xanthoudakis and Victoria Yarovaya) as a pair of competitive social climbers straight out of Jane Austen, conned into setting their sights on Armando Nogueras’sglamorous Dandini…

5****’s

Tim Ashley – The Guardian 24th May 2012

The most vibrant portrayals are those of deliciously-observed and sumptuous-voiced ugly sister duo Elena Xanthoudakis and Victoria Yaravaya.

Graham Rogers – The Stage – 24th May 2012

The ensembles bubble and fizz, a tribute as much to the sparky – and far from ugly – sisters, Elena Xanthoudakis and Victoria Yarovaya… 4****’s

Andrew Clark – The Financial Times – 26th May 2012

The fizz and zip that Elena Xanthoudakis (Clorinda) and Victoria Yarovaya (Tisbe) invest in their opening lines is so attractive that it completely undermines the possibility that they might not be the ones we’re supposed to root for. Their rivalry, jealousy and vanity is never anything less than irresistable, especially when fate periodically turns against them and we see them dropping to the floor in fits of fainting.

TheArtsDesk – May 24th

Xanthoudakis, in particular, generates great sympathy in her pathetic downfall, and again truthfulness – a soul-grinding jealousy and ungraciousness that is slowly won over by decency – is the order of the day. 5*****’s

WhatsOnStage – June 9 2012

Delius Orchestral Songs – English Music Festival – June 2012

‘The final concert the following night Delius’s Seven Danish Songs …. were sung with generous ardour by Elena Xanthoudakis,

Fiona Maddocks – The Observer – June 10 2012

TrioKROMA CD – ‘The Shepherd and the Mermaid’  Reviews – 2012

“…very appealing singing of Elena Xanthoudakis whose warm, flexible sound suits both the wistfulness of these songs and their stylised yodels.”  ****  4 Stars

ABC LIMELIGHT Magazine review and Interview - April 2012

‘Their playing is filled with a properly Romantic yearning, warmth, clarity, a fine musical understanding and considerable intimacy…An unexpected pleasure’

‘The Plangent tones of the Clarinet are in gorgeous contract to the warmth and tenderness of the soprano..’  **** 4 Stars

Clive Tims – THE AGE – 21th April 2012

Immaculately performed and produced, this is music that deserves much greater exposure.
New Classics
Australian CD release concert – Sydney : 14th March
“Elena Xanthoudakis gives each song the full feeling they are due in a very intuitive way, which is very refreshing to hear. She has a powerful, full, yet sensitive voice, able to build up and sustain quite a volume”
“her heroines (and heros) are always bright-eyed and interesting, having much address. Her voice is bright, energetic, with an interesting texture nearer the shining raw silkend of the spectrum than the velvet, with a subtle vibrato and taught trills. Her understanding detail and nuance in the phrasing of the music speaks to her sensibility as well as the thorough research, rehearsal and no doubt endless takes the group has gone through for the recording, knowing the music inside and out”
“As for historical performance practice, one of the most important things to get right, as Nikolaus Harnoncourt has pointed out, is to capture afresh in the present day the original spirit of the music, that in which it was inspired and composed and first performed, and I felt their honestly and sensitively attuned performance did this.”
Andrew Miller – The Berkshire Review – March 2012

La Sonnambula – Royal Opera House Covent Garden – Oct -Nov 2011  (Lisa and Amina)

“Elena Xanthoudakis makes a delightfully entertaining and waspish Lisa”

Stephen  Pritchard – The Observer – 6 Nov

Elena Xanthoudakis shone in the small, but pivotal role of Lisa.  Hers is another coloratura soprano, albeit of the bright, white variety.  Pingingly accurate, she was charming, vivacious and just a little bit saucy.  She is unfailingly entertaining to watch and possesses an attractive and remarkably accurate voice.  One would suspect she would make an excellent Zerbinetta or Queen of the Night. This is a singer to keep an eye and ear out for, as I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of her in years to come.

Antony Lias - Opera Britannia – Nov 6

“Elena Xanthoudakis is a splendid Lisa, singing and acting the role to perfection”

Tully Potter -Classical Source – 4 Nov 2012

No sooner had the curtain lifted than Lisa (Elena Xanthoudakis), in a fit of wedding envy, was reaching up into the stratospheric heights in self-pitying Bridget Jones moaning….  …Xanthoudakis continued to offer a first-class vocal slalom throughout.

Igor Toronyi-Lalic – ArtsDest – Nov 3

Guillaume Tell – Rossini – Accademia di Santa Cecilia – 2010 & 2011

BBC Proms:  Elena Xanthoudakis as Tell’s beleaguered son Jemmy amply projected the character’s essential vulnerability, while supplying the vocal heft needed in the testosterone-drenched ensembles.

Roger Parker – Opera Magazine

EMI CD: ‘an exceptional Jemmy from Elena Xanthoudakis’

Robert Osbourne – Gramophone Magazine  - August 2011

Pinchgut Opera – L’anima del Filosofo December 2010

Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis triumphantly performed the twin roles of Eurydice and the sibyl. Her Eurydice was both feisty and vulnerable, revealing her as a singer with considerable acting gifts.

Vocally, she was firm and effortless across her tessitura, displaying penetrating clarity, nuanced colour and excellent diction.  As the Sibyl, Xanthoudakis imparted a brighter-toned quality to her voice while brilliantly executing the expansive coloratura passages.

The Australia – Murry Black -  6th Dec 2010

As Euridice, soprano Elena Xanthoudakis is astonishing. Radiant and in surburb voice she totally captivates both Orfeus and us. … As Genio she has a show stopping aria full of coloratura fireworks…that brought the house down.

Lynne Lancaster -ArtsHub – 8th Dec 2010

..what did astonish..was the singing of the two young Principals, Andrew Goodwin (Orfeo) and Elena Xanthoudakis ( Euridice) – effortless, clean, flexible, and perfectly matched in the duets their tuning was faultless.  Elena’s acting was brilliant too, outrageously sexy and entirely irresistible.

…in one particularly virtuosic aria the part goes up to a high E! Elena [Genio] demonstrated that she can do more that beautiful lyricism - in fact, although someone had told me, I didn’t realise it was the same singer.

Nicholas Routley – Australian Stage – 3rd Dec 2010

Opera de Quebec – Lucia di Lammermoor

Elena Xanthoudakis embodied an absolutely breathtaking Lucia. Her acting was convincingly honest, as much in love as anger, distress and anguish. But Elena Xanthoudakis is above all an exceptional soprano and she has demonstrated this to the public in the Grand Theatre of Quebec. Despite her long solos on stage, her voice does not become tired, the notes and the tone remained just as well. The famous mad scene gave way to a sublime exchange, perfectly synchronized between Lucia and the flute.
Anne-Julie Asselin – 19 May 2010

English National Opera – Satyagraha

The singers, too, excelled. The two principals that had made such a strong impression in the initial run, Elena Xanthoudakis in the role of Mrs Schlesen and Alan Okeas Gandhi, thankfully returned. The first was as stentorian and powerhouse as before, clarion above the rest in the choruses..

Musicalcritisism.com   – 27th February 2010 – Stephen Graham

Scottish Opera – L’elisir d’amore

Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis is a sheer delight as Adina, colouring every sung moment with refreshing clarity and agility or, where called for, plaintive reflection.

The Scotsman, 25 Sep 2009

 

Giles Havergal must have thought he had died and gone to directorial heaven when the new cast for his second revival of Donizetti’s opera dropped on him….they look the part, they act the part, they sing the part and vitally, they ARE the part…

The singing is very stylish with Elena Xanthoudakis’s shining soprano voice floating Adina’s coloratura line weightlessly.

The Herald, 25 Sep 2009

 

Elena Xanthoudakis, making her Scottish Opera debut was as perfect an Adina as one could hope to hear.  Hers is a beautiful, clear, agile coloratura soprano, capable of executing some of the more difficult vocal writing penned by Donizetti with insouciant ease, as well providing a lilting and tender sweetness to everything else.  The lower register is in marked contrast to the top, with almost Callas-like dark inflections creeping into the timbre.

Opera Britannia, 25 Sep 2009

 

Havergal has a dream cast for his revival. …the brilliant Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis sings the role of Adina… with a voice that flies through Donizetti’s lines.

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen), 12 Nov 2009

Opera North - The Abduction from the Seraglio

Elena Xanthoudakis is a revelation as Blonde, the feisty servant to Constanze. Her second act ding-dong with Osmin, the Pasha’s obstructive servant (Clive Bayley), is furious comic fun. Later we see her dressed as Wonder Woman, for a fancy dress celebration. It is quite a sight and she is quite a singer.  The Stage, 21 May 2009

 

Robustly comic, Elena Xanthoudakis has the athletic style to conquer the dizzying heights required of Blonde. The Independent, 4 June 2009

Opera de Quebec Gala Concert

Translated into English:

What additional pleasure to hear again the Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, third prize winner of Operalia outside the stress of the competition. Her Sonnambula was bel canto at it’s best; richly voiced, but with the most delicate nuances – personality, elegance and irreproachable technique.  The audience hearing she had given her all, reserved for her its best ovation of the evening. Then a little later, in ‘Quando m’en vo’, the charm was absolutely irresistible.

Le Soleil (Quebec), 7 Dec 2008.

Performing Australian Music Competition ’08 - London

The charming and seductive performance delivered by Australian Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, whose effectively constructed characterisations and dramatic stage presence did not detract from the purity and clarity of her voice.

Resonate Magazine (Australia), 14 April 2008

 

Royal Opera House – La Cenerentola

Its fiendish vocal demands are met by most with panache, while the primary-colours show is quietly, cumulatively stolen by Cinders’s wonderfully awful stepsisters Elena Xanthoudakis and Leah-Marian Jones.
The Observer ‘…Cinderella is outshone by the ugly sisters’, Dec 23 2007

Royal Opera House – Carmen 2006-7
Outstanding in the supporting cast were Elena Xanthoudakis’ sparkling Frasquita…
Opera Now, Mar/April 2007

 

…is comprehensively outclassed by Elena Xanthoudakis’s brilliant Frasquita…
Independent on Sunday, 17 Dec 2006

English National Opera – Satyagraha

Also remarkable were the vocal acrobatics of Elena Xanthoudakis as Gandhi’s secretary Miss Schlesen.

Metro/ www.onlinereviewlondon.com

 

…singing of fierce commitment and power from Elena Xanthoudakis as his [Gandhi's]

secretary Miss Schlesen.
The Guardian, April 7 2007

 

…as Miss Schlesen, the Greek-Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis made a hugely positive impression, with a secure purity to her meaty top notes.

Opera Today

Salzburg International Mozart Competition (Prizewinners concert)

What they got to hear was really promising. The winner Elena Xanthoudakis from Australia presented a breathtakingly beautiful rose aria [Deh vieni, non tardar] from ‘Figaro’. Her voice, well balanced in all positions, was not only technically flawless, she uses it above all for a personal shape of the music. Every phrase was alive and inspired, here is not only a vocal artiste, but a feeling musician maturing.

Die Standard (Austria), 22 Aug 2006

Bath – Dido and Aeneas

Throughout, Elena Xanthoudakis (Dido) was a most noble and dignified Queen of Carthage. She was particularly at ease on stage and had a dynamic range, sensitivity and purity of tone which made her a wholly convincing tragic figure.
Wiltshire Times, 11 Dec 2005

Montreal International Voice Competition – Jeunesse Musicales: 2005

…it was a 26 year old Australian … Elena Xanthoudakis who stole the show – partly for the voice itself, which was creamy but bright and attractively well produced, but equally because of the engaging way she used it. Of all we heard she was the one who most obviously enjoyed the business of singing, who lived for what she did, and who managed to make real, if momentary, drama from an isolated aria or single song.

Her personality was strong and feisty…
Opera Now, Nov/Dec 2005

 

I was really impressed with Xanthoudakis in the semis — and she did not disappoint here. A beautiful woman…this soprano oozes stage presence. And she has a voice to match — a lovely silvery timbre and smooth legato.
La Scene Musicale (Quebec), 19 May 2005

Sydney Opera House – McDonald’s Aria finals

Elena Xanthoudakis…impressed me in both her lively presentation and the impressively different characters she managed to create.  Before interval, she gave us ‘Al destin, che la minacia’ from Mozart’s ‘Mitridate, re di Ponto,’ an ebullient coloratura showpiece in which her leaps and bounds though aerospace were agile and her sound quality was impeccable.
Opera Opera (Australia), Oct 2004

Wiesbaden – Schubertiad

‘Elena Xanthoudakis’ opened the afternoon in the foyer impressively… The quality of her voice was fascinating from the first Lied….the lively naturalness of her presentation, brightness and warmth of her soprano voice… incited the audience to strong applause.
….One can envisage the young singer, the winner of the Maria Callas Grand Prix 2003 [Oratorio-Lied], perfect for the Opera Stage. However, here she creates vocal intimacy, controlling her large voice ably in the Spohr ‘Six songs for Voice, Clarinet and Piano’ – a pure pleasure…

Wiesbadener Kurier, (Germany) 20 Sep 2004

 

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