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Otello – Desdemona – Rossini – Melbourne – 2018
But this production belonged to Elena Xanthoudakis, as glorious a Desdemona as she was earlier Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena in the company’s previous productions. In total command of the ferociously demanding coloratura, she provided beauty and power right through the range.
Xanthoudakis soars in Australian premiere of Rossini’s rare Otello
Barney Zwartz The Age 18th October, 2018
Having impressed as Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena for Melbourne Opera in recent years, Elena Xanthoudakis maintained those high standards as Desdemona, interpreting the character with dignified anxiety and vocal assurance. Her pure, agile soprano reached exquisite heights of delicacy and expression in Act III’s Willow Song.
Xanthoudakis shared a fine duet with Dimity Shepherd, who played Desdemona’s companion Emilia with sympathy and a supple mezzo voice.
Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine 18th October, 2018
With radiant soprano Elena Xanthoudakis’ mellifluous beauty and quality trills capturing attention, it’s Desdemona who deserves the opera in her name.”
Paul Selar, Herald Sun, 19th October, 2018
Elena Xanthoudakis too excels in the bel canto repertoire and has already notched up notable successes in Melbourne Opera productions of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena. Her Desdemona is another outstanding performance and a reason in itself to rush off to buy a ticket. She has a great deal of taxing music to sing and she does so with apparent ease, tossing off the abundance of runs in a way that invests them with meaning rather than simply a vehicle for dazzling technical display.
Clear diction in musically expressive extended passages of recitative, accurate intonation, a lovely warm rounded tone throughout the range and exciting spin on full top notes all contributed to a compelling interpretation. The final scene where she sings a “Willow Song” was a poignant contrast to Otello’s murderous jealous rage.
Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne, 19th October, 2018
‘Elena Xanthoudakis excelled both vocally and dramatically, personifying Rossini and Berio di Salsa’s characterisation of Desdemona as a courageous woman in an impossible situation; it is in truth Desdemona’s opera. She performed Rossini’s demanding coloratura with consummate artistry, especially in the bravura display in the final scene of Act II. Her acting encompassed every nuance of this emotionally charged role, culminating in the lyrical intensity of Act III, with a superb rendition of the Willow Song as its centrepiece.’
Elizabeth Kertesz, Australian Book Review, 19th October, 2018
Bel canto soprano Elena Xanthoudakis returns to grace the Melbourne Opera stage, balancing passion and vulnerability in a fascinating performance as Desdemona. Required to perform in an extended state of agitated tension, Xanthoudakis maintains lovely vocal stability, with wonderful ornamentals throughout. “The Willow Song” is a truly lovely highlight, bringing the opera towards a moving close.
Simon Parris, Man in Chair, 18th October, 2018
‘But the undisputed star of the opera was Elena Xanthoudakis as Desdemona, her warm, luminous soprano voice navigating the demanding bel canto bravura passages with consummate ease. Ms Xanthoudakis perfectly portrayed Desdemona’s wronged innocence and the strength of her love for Otello. Her tireless singing shone in the ensembles; and the “Willow Song” aria, with simple and beautiful harp accompaniment, was a particular highlight.’
Alex Armstrong, Stage Whispers, October 2018
Elena Xanthoudakis – Desdemona. Xanthoudakis handles this demanding role with strength, ease and emotional energy. The principal performance of the Willows Song and her evening prayer is mesmerising, in captivated the audience, (you would have heard a pin drop), Desdemona’s interaction between Otello and Rodrigo becomes the glue and the catalyst between them.
It is always a pure delight to experience any performance from Xanthoudakis…..
George Dixon, Theatre People, 20th October, 2018
Adina – L’elisir d’amore – Singapore Lyric Opera
Xanthoudakis’ Adina was both a sympathetic and vulnerable portrayal.
Pianofortephilia – Blog – 19 May 2017
Pamina – Die Zauberfoete – Clarion Opera – New York City ( Museo del Barrio)
Elena Xanthoudakis made a radiant, confident Pamina physically; her fine, bright soprano hosts a touch of expressive resin unconventional (but interesting) in the role.
Opera News, David Shengar
Everyone was charming and idiomatic and appealing, suggesting what one might have heard back in the day at the Theater auf der Wieden. Elena Xanthoudakis made a heartfelt, loving Pamina ably partnered by Robin Tritschler as Tamino.
Opera (UK), John Rockwell ( June 2017)
The fey Elena Xanthoudakis won hearts as the innocent Pamina.
New York Concert Review Inc. March 2017
Anna Bolena – Anna Bolena – Melbourne Opera, November – 2016
…soprano Elena Xanthoudakis gives a tour de force performance in the title role. In an impressively calibrated performance, Xanthoudakis dazzles with her sharp dramatic focus and incredible stamina” and “Following a spellbinding mad scene and gorgeous prayer, set to the strains of “Home, Sweet Home,” Xanthoudakis produces a final flourish of splendour, still sounding like she could go back the start and sing the whole opera again.
Man in the Chair – Simon Parris, November 3rd
Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, as Anne, expressed the requisite pathos of the doomed queen and channeled it in rich supple-voiced splendour…when Xanthoudakis took on the madness of Act 2’s Coppia Iniqua and subsequent final defiant burst, her performance was complete.
Herald-Sun, Paul Selar, November 4th
In the title role, Elena Xanthoudakis was compelling, effortlessly negotiating Donizetti’s challenging vocal writing and acting powerfully as she did it.
The Australian, November 7th
Xanthoudakis has a fine soprano voice and is blessed with superlative technique and acting ability. What a performance this is! Whenever Xanthoudakis was on stage, the audience was riveted by Anne’s plight. The Act II mad scene that ends the opera, with its Home Sweet Home reminiscence, was especially poignant.
Australian Book Review – Rob Holdsworth, November 7th
Certainly, this performance boasted a most distinguished Anna in soprano Elena Xanthoudakis… The role is long and cruel, but Xanthoudakis tackled it fearlessly, but also, particularly in the final act, with grace and humility.
The Sydney Morning Herald – Michael Shmith, November 7th
..Xanthoudakis proved to be a continuous delight.
Physically, she could not have been more appropriate. Helen might have launched a thousand ships but Henry’s infatuation with Anne changed the course of a more modern history that continues to have an impact on our lives. Also totally convincing as an actress, Xanthoudakis invested every action and word with meaning. Even when self-consciously theatrical her movement was consistent with the courtly persona that Anne inhabited. Emotionally engaged and engaging, she was the sympathetic figure created by Donizetti and his librettist, Felice Romani. Vocally, Xanthoudakis went from strength to strength, negotiating the coloratura passages with admirable agility and warm, well-projected beauty of tone. Even throughout the range and with emotionally coloured dark chest notes, her voice rode the ensembles with ease and her secure top notes soared. Her singing of the “Home Sweet Home” variation in the final scene when Anne becomes half demented in the face of death was particularly poignant.
Classic Melbourne, Heather Leviston, November 4th
Australian-Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis returns to MO in the second of Donizetti’s “Three Tudor Queens”. She is completely engrossing through her exquisite voice, accomplished acting and nuanced rendition of the character. Her voice is radiant; moving easily from a brilliant upper register, seamlessly through to her rich and powerful chest voice. As a stage presence, she is confident, rendering tiny gestures to match the agility of her singing. This portrayal of Anne is a real person caught between her overly ambitious struggle to get to the pinnacle of power and paying the price for the tension and upheaval she created. Ms Xanthoudakis left nothing wanting in her performance. The massively demanding solos, followed by multiple returns in cabaletta or ensemble give the performer little recovery time. She delivered dazzling musical capability matched with touching emotional glimpses into the mind of her character. This was indeed a towering performance which drew wildly enthusiastic responses at each opportunity. Her interpretation of Anne is as multi-faceted as her previous performances as Mary Stuart; we can only look forward expectantly to her future appearances.
ConcertNet.com The Classical Music Network – Gregory Pritchard, 2nd November
Elena Xanthoudakis had great command of her role as Anne Boleyn and by the end of the show reached a palpable depth of emotion.
Stagewhispers, Patricia Di Risio
The role of Anne is sung by Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis. Her voice has incredible resonance and clarity even while striving to the lofty heights of her vocal range.
In Review (IR) – RMITV, Fiona Murphy, November 3rd
“Dynamic singing, led by soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, is to the fore in this production….After a strong performance as Melbourne Opera’s Maria Stuarda, Xanthoudakis again impressed in the title role. She demonstrated admirable stamina and technique, ably tackling the role’s demanding coloratura trills, leaps and high notes right through to the intense final scene. Vocally and dramatically, it was a performance of considerable pathos.”
Performing ArtsHub – Patricia Maunder
Donna Anna – Don Giovanni – Winslow Hall
There was something of a Spitfire about Elena Xanthoudakis’ Donna Anna, but she remained acutely aware of aristocratic impropriety, and it was a pleasure to hear Non mi dir’ dispatched with such spirit and precision.
Opera – August, Yehuda Shapiro
Reviews for Pia de’ Tolomei – ETO Opening night – London – March 10th – 2016
Elena Xanthoudakis is made for this sort of role: she has a very beautiful voice and knows how to use it, full of feints and curlicues, vulnerabilities and subtleties. … Donizetti on top form – and Pia’s death genuinely tragic. Great stuff. 5 stars
Opera Now – April Edition
“Elena Xanthoudakis takes on a sequence of substantial vocal challenges in the title role, in a performance that is invariably bold and accomplished.
The Guardian – March 11th – George Hall – Pia de’ Tolomei review – ‘accomplished performances in taut drama’
“This is definitely an opera which rises and falls with its star, and Elena Xanthoudakis is truly fabulous as Pia, doing the role glorious justice with her stellar projection, wonderful softness of tone and huge soprano range. Her dramatic instincts are keen, delivering a performance as heartbreaking as it is stunning.”
5 Stars – Bachtrack – 14 March 2016 Charlotte Valori, Something old, something new: Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei, English Touring Opera
The star of the evening also hails from Australia. Elena Xanthoudakis’ Pia was absolutely stunning. Rarely have I heard bel canto sung to such perfection, notably in her cavatina ‘O tu che desti il fulmine’ in which she faces up to the pain and conflict she has to bear with nobility and self-control. Even Boccaccio’s Patient Griselda cannot hold a candle to her. Elena has a flawless, seemingly effortless bel canto technique coupled with an excellent stage presence – and I can’t wait to hear her again.”
Seen and Heard International – Roger Jones – 14/4/16
….against him, vulnerable and defiant, proud and tender, was Elena Xanthoudakis as Pia herself: an utterly convincing performance that managed to be both bring-the-house down brilliant and profoundly touching. Xanthoudakis’s voice danced over Donizetti’s fiendish coloratura with liquid grace; blazing thrillingly at the top and, in quieter passages, capable of anything from a wounded snarl to melting sweetness. Who says you need to be at a major opera house to hear singing of this quality?
The Arts Desk – 16th April – Richard Bratby
The Arts Desk (click link to see complete review)
La Flute Enchantee – Magic Flute – Die Zauberfloete
With Elena Xanthoudakis in the role of Pamina, we are spoilt with magnificent colourings.
Le Soleil – 19/10/15 – Richard Boisvert
Mention some artists who stood out. Pascal Charbonneau in Tamino is good and touching. Elena Xanthoudakis in Pamina is excellent.
www.info-culture.biz – 19/10/15 Jacques Leclerc
Noguera and Xanthoudakis also deliver a superb duo at the end of the first act, with Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen.
Le Journal de Montreal – 18/10/15 Yves Leclerc
Elena Xanthoudakis is a delicate and touching Pamina.
Avant-Scene Opera 17/10/15 The main characters played by Pascal Charbonneau, tenor (Tamino), Elena Xanthoudakis, soprano (Pamina) and Armando Noguera, baritone ( Papageno ) set the tone for the evening with powerful voices.
Media des 2 Rives – 17/10/15
Mary Stuart (Maria Stuarda) – Melbourne Opera,
Xanthoudakis imbued Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots) with fortitude, piety and grace — qualities that win her audience sympathy as she spirals into death. Even Mary’s emotional impetuousness and vilification of Elizabeth is served with forgivingness. Xanthoudakis was intoxicating with her cut-diamond clarity of tone, elegant legato, even crescendos and aching trills.
Herald Sun – Paul Selar – 4th Sept 2015
In the title role, Elena Xanthoudakis is a clear standout, bravura coloratura flurries and stratospheric ascents coupled with impressive carrying power, vivid characterisation and a superb display of fury when maligned by accusations of promiscuity and treachery.
The Australian – Eamonn Kelly – 4th Sept
Melbourne Opera has staged this fine, under-performed opera with aplomb. Elena Xanthoudakis, the Australian soprano now forging a career in Europe, is thrilling in the title role: haughty yet vulnerable, agile and secure in the formidable technical demands. Matching her, tenor Henry Choo is near-faultless as the Earl of Leicester, singing with ardour and beautiful tone. They are electric together.
The AGE and Sydney Morning Herald – Barney Zwartz – 3rd Sept
Mary Queen of Scots, sung by Elena Xanthoudakis, a stunning beauty who was in sublime voice of great range and clarity. …Keeping to her part, Elena Xanthoudakis, gave tremulous affecting bows in response to the audience’s enthusiastic reception.
Australian Book Review – Rob Holdsworth – 4th Sept
It is wonderful to welcome Elena Xanthoudakis back to the Melbourne Opera stage, and to enjoy the flourishing talent that has seen her international career thrive in recent years. … The faceoff between the two queens is a crackling climax to act two, and act three builds with a requisite sense of impending and inescapable doom. Xanthoudakis is in wonderful voice, performing Donizetti’s bel canto music to delightful effect. Her ornamental phrases and colouring are supple and tender. Her performance of Mary’s final prayer, “Ah!! May Thou hear the sound of our humble prayer,” is particularly exquisite.
Simon Parris: Man in Chair – Sept 3rd
Returning to the company with whom she made her professional debut, soprano Elena Xanthoudakis has established a growing reputation for her performances in Australia and in Europe. Like the representation of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary is many-faceted. There were moments when we sincerely believed that she was an innocent who had made some unwise decisions and there were others when it was clear that she was a manipulator who failed to predict the dire consequences of her actions. Ms Xanthoudakis has a ravishing voice; easy, assured and simultaneously reserved and fragile, she coloured every phrase, varying and gently embellishing to give a comprehensive and plausible reading of the character.
Gregory Pritchard – 3rd Sept – Concertonet.com
La Traviata – Winslow Hall Opera.
…. Against this cheerfully rackety backdrop the poise and sincerity of Elena Xanthoudakis (Violetta) and Pablo Bemsch (Alfredo) is thrown into relief. Both singers have even-tone production and beautifully idiomatic phrasing and their blend in duet it exquisite.
Stock histrionics melt away in Act I and II, building to a harrowing public confrontation at the gaming tables, an Addio del passato in which every painful pause and repetition is made to count and a Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo of immense tenderness.
…this La Traviata belongs to Violetta and her lover.
Anna Picard – The Times – 10th July 2015
The petite Xanthoudakis…. looked exquisite….she phrased with such sensitivity that each line was given its expressive due – and the coloratura in ‘Sempre libera’ was impressive.
Yehuda Shapiro – Opera Magazine
Mysterium – Nino Rota – La Verdi Orchestra – Milano – Jan 2015
Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis was a sensation throughout, deftly rattling off runs with remarkable precision in the impish ‘Quemadmodum fuit hoc molitum far‘
Bachtrack – James Imam – 11 January 2015
Lucia di Lammermoor – Donizetti – Winslow Hall – Aug/Sept 2014
Elena Xanthoudakis … is a passionate actress, almost alarmingly identifying with the role. Giving an original account of the mad scene, she begins with hysterical mirth, which intrudes from time to time as she muses on her fate, always using her large and supple voice to intense expressive effect.
The Spectator – Michael Tanner – September 2014
The lyric Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis made an enchantingly fey Lucia… The quivering sensitivity of her opening aria contained the seeds of her subsequent murderous madness, tactfully enacted and imaginatively sung; the girl’s helpless dilemma was intensely felt. She must perform this role again soon.
4 stars The Telegraph – Rupert Christiansen – 8th Sept 2014
“Australian soprano is stunning in Lucia Di Lammermoor”
The star of the show, however, was Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis in the title role of Lucia. Lucia is a woman with so many men interfering in her business that she doesn’t know what to do with herself, and eventually descends into madness. Xanthoudakis’ acting is superb, bathed in blood red light from above. Her voice is clear and loud and she sings the opera’s celebrated mad scene with panache
Oxford Times – Stuart Macbeth – Thursday 25 September 2014
Simply clad in cream, Elena Xanthoudakis sympathetically conveyed Lucia’s highly-strung naivety. At her wedding she managed to hold herself icily together until the contract was signed; the subsequent Mad Scene, at such close quarters, was genuinely harrowing. Xanthoudakis’s clear lyric sound has striking immediacy, and her fluent coloratura grew naturally out of its musical and emotional context, with even the cadential top notes transformed into (truncated) exclamations of shock.
Opera Magazine – Yehuda Shapiro – (November 2014 issue, p. 1429)
…. opera singers — and they were terrific, especially the Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, who sang Lucia not only brilliantly but also with huge elegance, charm and dramatic power.
The Spectator – Alexander Chancellor – 27 September 2014
Rigoletto – Verdi – Opera Queensland – Feb/March 2014
“Xanthoudakis has it all” – Limelight Magazine ….
But it is the women that steal the show – and one woman in particular. Elena Xanthoudakis as Gilda is dazzling. The role has the potential to be a dull stock character – a naïve female victim. But Xanthoudakis has it all: the adolescent playfulness of the Duke’s daughter, the youthful terror of the adult world she’s been thrust into and, above all, the notes. It was and is an opera well worth seeing, if only to catch a rising star in Elena Xanthoudakis.
Andrew Messenger Limelight Magazine, 17th March.
Xanthoudakis sings beautifully as the impossibly innocent Gilda. Gillian Wells, Courier Mail, 17th March 2014 The tragic innocence brings out the best in Elena Xanthoudakis
Martin Buzacott The AUSTRALIAN 15th March
Vocal honours of the night went to Elena Xanthoudakis, as Gilda. Expressively sung, hers was a beautifully controlled performance which even had her adding lustre to the score’s famous soprano aria ‘Caro nome’
Peter Pinne Stage Whispers
Elena Xanthoudakis’s Gilda is a delight from start to finish, with a sweetness and purity of tone that matches her strength of character.
Flloyd Kennedy Performing Arts Hub, 17th March
Jewels of the Bel Canto CD – Released – March/April 2014
From the first aria on this disc, Australian-Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis makes it obvious she is a singer to watch. Her exquisitely focused voice has warmth and suppleness aplenty. With glittering high notes, it is a tour de force… Her intelligent approach and melting tones make each gem on this debut recording a winner.
Patricia Kelly – Courier Mail – Brisbane, Australia – March 2014
Xanthoudakis has a pleasantly even-toned voice that is free from the usual vices, and while she lacks outright strength, she possesses that special requisite in bel canto singing of being able to power up to stratospheric notes with ease and pinpoint accuracy.
Xanthoudakis is a fine shaper of phrase. She judges fluxes of tempo nicely in Egli non riede ancora! from Verdi’s Il Corsaro and gives poignant spaciousness to Bellini’s Eccomi in lieta vesta from I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
The Australian – Graham Strahle. May 14th.
..Xanthoudakis proved to be a continuous delight.
“Her tone is well formed, focused and supported, and she can cover a wide vocal range. The top of her voice does not become thin, which is just well, for there is no shortage of high notes, which are steady in their production. Add to all that her flexibility and one has a singer who is worth hearing. Xanthoudakis and her conductor Richard Bonynge do use variations and embellishments, which are successfully negotiated. One of the liveliest of the arias here is ‘ Vorrei spiegarvi il giubilo’ from La cambiale de matrimonio […]. Xanthoudakis is nimble up and down the scales: I shan’t say ‘like child’s play’, for few children would be able to do it. She invests Marie’s ‘Chacun le sait’ with a frolicsomeness that one expects from this merry and frisky daughter of the regiment.”
International Recording Review – T. Hughes
Combining a Greek background with an Australian upbringing, Elena Xanthoudakis pays tribute in her personal introduction to this wide-ranging bel canto selection to two illustrious predecessors – Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland. She also highlights her collaboration on this disc with Richard Bonynge, whose stylistic apposite conducting is one of its most notable features. Under his baton the Royal Northern Sinfonia offers first-rate accompaniments, while the recorded sound is close to ideal, allowing the characteristic scoring of individual pieces to register with clarity.
Philip Gosset’s notes point up the expectation of early-19th-century Italian composers that their vocal lines would invariable be sympathetically decorated by the performers, noting the surviving kinds of options they envisioned. Xanthoudakis herself scores on many fronts, but especially in selecting appropriate ornaments that bring repeated sections to unusually vivid life; her extracts from La Sonnambula, for instance, perfectly exemplify the split personality of Amina, the soul-searching melancholy of Ah! non credea mirarti, sustained on a gently luminous, finely inflected voice, eventually giving way to the overwhelming joy (and not mere technical display) that erupts in Ah! non giunge’.
It’s a programme that has been thoughtfully put together, and Xanthoudakis demonstrates considerable mettle in delivering it so skillfully.
George Hall – Opera – August – 2014
The Magic Flute – Pamina – Mozart- English National Opera – 2012
(Elena Xanthoudakis as Pamina at 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 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
This revival had the good fortune to have Elena Xanthoudakis in great form, singing her heart out and acting with total conviction. The second act was a tour de force and it was very difficult to take our eyes off her.
George’s Musings – OperaCreep Blog.
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’s glamorous Dandini…
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 contrast to the warmth and tenderness of the soprano..’ **** 4 Stars
Clive Timms – THE AGE – 21th April 2012
Immaculately performed and produced, this is music that deserves much greater exposure.
The Shepherd and the Mermaid – Australian CD release concert – Sydney: 14th March 2012
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 – ArtsDesk – Nov 3
Guillaume Tell – Rossini – Accademia di Santa Cecilia
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
Fidelio – Beethoven – Brighton Festival – Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
“…the perfectly gauged exchanges between Elena Xanthoudakis’s feisty Marzelline and Andrew Staples’s lovelorn Jaquino were an absolute delight.”
Telegraph – 9th May 2011
Messiah – Handel – Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
“…Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis offered the most sophisticated vocal expression, pairing her easy technique and bell tone with a deeply musical treatment of phrasing, dissonances and suspensions.”
The Australian- Eamonn Kelly – Dec 2010
Pinchgut Opera – L’anima del Filosofo – Haydn
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
All of the four principal singers were impressive, but highest marks were scored by Elena Xanthoudakis as Euridice with a brief add-on as the other-worldly Sybil sporting an out of control wig and add-on fingernail extensions about a foot or so long. ….Both of her personas were spot on, and she met their fiendish vocal requirements with skill.
David Gyger – North Shore Times – 10th Dec 2010
But what did astonish in this part of the opera was the singing of the two young principals, Andrew Goodwin (Orfeo) and Elena Xanthoudakis (Euridice) – effortless, clean, flexible, and perfectly matched so that in their duets their tuning was faultless. Elena’s acting was brilliant too, outrageously sexy and entirely irresistible.
…With Euridice now bitten by the snake and out of action, Elena Xanthoudakis was free to sing the part of the Sibyl, the character who performs much the role of Amor in Gluck’s version of the story. Originally written for castrato, in one particularly virtuosic aria the part goes up to high E! Elena demonstrated that she could do more than beautiful lyricism – in fact, although someone had told me, I didn’t realise it was the same singer.
Australian Stage – Nicholas Routley – 3th Dec 2010
Australia-born Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis…demonstrated great stamina and characterisation, thrilling us as Euridice, and in the coloratura role of the veiled Prophet Sybil… a version of Cupid. Her precision, fluent quality and agility was a delight throughout. From her lovely Filomena abbandonata in Act 1 with its alternating legato and florid passages to her bravura Al tuo seno fortunato as Genio (strictly the messager of Sybil, an aria intended for an excellent castrato), we saw and heard a confident, accurate and sensitive succession of performances.
John Gale – Journal of the Early Music Association of NSW Inc. – 5th Dec 2010
There was a breathtaking moment during the first hour of the 5pm Sunday performance of the Pinchgut Opera‘s 2010 production of composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)’s L’anima del filosofo, Orpheus + Eurydice when I became aware of a most beautiful moment of stillness yet attained by any audience I have ever known at the Opera.
It seemed to me as if it was collectively holding its breath so as not to disturb the sheer beauty and depth of the emotional intensity attained in a duet being sung so superbly by the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice portrayed so brilliantly by soprano Elena Xanthoudakis and tenor Andrew Goodwin. Their voices blended into a moment of such perfection that it was truly hard to comprehend and for me, quite literally hard to come to terms with. It felt like dying and going to heaven all that the same time.
Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis’s performance displayed remarkable depth.
Her sensible and sensitive singing of the role of Eurydice in the first act was echoed brilliantly by the splendour of the Angel Place acoustics.
In the second act it took on a much broader texture and achieved a far more powerful dimension as she became the spirit beckoning to us all by the use of a beautifully expressive tone. It bounced back boldly of the roof like fireworks exploding, echoing the sounds of the thunder and lightning that filled the hall. Both parts were technically demanding, but Elena sang consistently and beautifully from the first bar to the last. She has a great subtle and natural gift for opera and her duets with Andrew Goodwin were both sensual and stirring.
The Culture Concept – Carolyn McDowall
Elixir of Love – Donizetti – Blackheath Halls
Elena Xanthoudakis was the flighty Adina, confidently spinning out the coloratura like a bird in flight…
What’s on Stage – Simon Thomas – 16th July 2010
Carmen – Royal Opera House – 2010
“There was, moreover, much to be impressed with in the smaller roles. Elena Xanthoudakis’s Frasquita and Paula Murrihy’s Mercédès sounded a true gypsy – or rather, Bizet’s fantasy-gypsy – presence”
Boulezian – Mark Berry – 5th June 2010
“There are perky contributions from Paula Murrihy and Elena Xanthoudakis’s Mercédès and Frasquita.”
The Sunday Times – Neil Fisher – June 2010
“Rice is best when she shows the softer sides of Carmen’s personality, such as in the card game trio with Frasquita (Elena Xanthoudakis) and Mercédès (Paula Murrihy). All three singing particularly well. A wonderful vignette.”
Opera Today – Anne Ozorio – June, 2010
Lucia di Lammermoor – Opera de Quebec
The soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, who lived her baptism in the title role, has delivered an involved and intelligent incarnation. Moving deftly from naivety to madness, the singer dazzled and touched us at the same time, with her sincere acting and brilliant light soprano voice. Although at the outset she seemed cautious, she was undaunted by the gruelling aria of madness, which she delivered with precision.
Le Soleil ‘Étonnante..Lucia’- ‘Astounding Lucia’ 16th May 2010
…the distribution of voices in Lucia di Lammermoor was frankly impressive. … Elena Xanthoudakis…is quite simply fantastic..
Le Journal de Quebec – ‘Une Lucia bien en voix’ – ’Lucia in good voice’ Denise Martel – 15 May 2010
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.
www.quebecinfo.com – Anne-Julie Asselin – 19 May 2010
The soprano Elena Xanthoudakis was the star of this evening at the Opera of Quebec, where they were presenting Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. In the title role of Lucia, she was at the height of this troubled character who sinks into madness. In the second scene of Act III we are brought to judge actress’s talents as an interpreter, in this famous duet with flute, one of the greatest arias of Italian romantic opera. Xanthoudakis was magnificent, as was the flautist of the OSQ Hyacinth Forand.
Le Voir – ‘A Lucia is born’’- Antoine Leveillee – 20 May 201
Satyagraha – English National Opera – 2010
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 Oke as 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
L’elisir d’amore – Scottish Opera – 2009
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 – 25th Sept by Kim Walton
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 – 25th Sept – Michael Tumelty
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 – 25th Sept.
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) 12th Nov – Roddy Phillips
The Abduction from the Seraglio – Opera North- 2009
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.
Kevin Berry – The Stage – 21 May 2009 .
Robustly comic, Elena Xanthoudakis has the athletic style to conquer the dizzying heights required of Blonde.
Lynn Walker – The Independent – 4th June
Elena Xanthoudakis sparkles as the very un-blonde Blonde. She has a lovely soprano voice and I hope to see her again.
Robert Beale – Manchester Evening News – 4th June
Elena Xanthoudakis was an exciting and engaging Blonde.
by Lynne Walker – Opera Now – September-October 2009
Strauss Gala – Strictly Strauss – Raymond Gubbay National Tour.
Faultless playing by the orchestra, gorgeous singing by classy Australian-Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis and effortless gliding by the eight dancers combined to provide as perfect an antidote to the dreaded downturn as has yet been discovered.
Dick O’Riordan – The Post – Dublin – Classical Notes – 1 Feb, 2009
Elena Xanthoudakis…was a joy to hear.
Oldham Chronicle: Reviewed at Bridgewater Hall – Manchester. 2009
Gala for Opera de Quebec
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.
Richard Boisvert, Le Soleil, 7 Dec, 2008.
Reviews of the 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.
By John Davies, 14 April 2008, Resonate Magazine (resonatemagazine.com.au)
(Elena won the vocal division and the Tait Memorial Trust Award))
Carmen – Royal Opera House – 2008
...the delectable Frasquita of the Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis.
Hilary Finch – The Times – 27th March 2008
La Cenerentola – Royal Opera House – 2007-8
“The excellent Leah-Marian Jones and Elena Xanthoudakis were strongly matched as the Ugly Sisters.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
…the two “bitches” excellent actresses and singers, Greek Elena Xanthoudakis (Clorinda) and English Leah-Marian Jones (Tisbé). Charles Rosenbaum, Webthea.com from ‘Une Cendrillon au goût français
Elena Xanthoudakis and Leah-Marian Jones were excellent as Angelina’s ghastly stepsisters, and had great fun prancing about in their ever-so-slightly-wrong Dior ball gowns. Review by Warwick Thompson
“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. Anthony Holden,
The Observer from ‘…Cinderella is outshone by the ugly sisters’ Sunday December 23, 2007
“If I had been Toby Spence’s Prince Ramiro I might have gone badly off-message and plumped instead for one of her bumptious but spirited stepsisters: Elena Xanthoudakis’s vivacious Clorinda or L-M Jones’s blowsy Tisbe.
Richard Morrison, The Times
Carmen at English National Opera – 2008
“Particular praise for the smugglers’ quartet of Fiona Murphy, Elena Xanthoudakis, Andrew Rees and Scott Davies whose various ensembles were brilliantly voiced.”
Roger Parker, Opera magazine
SATYAGRAHA at English National Opera – 2007
…singing of fierce commitment and power from Elena Xanthoudakis as his [Gandhi’s] secretary Miss Schlesen.
By Tim Ashley, April 7 2007, The Guardian
…wonderfully sung by the chorus and a cast distinguished by Oke and the ringing soprano of Elena Xanthoudakis as his secretary, under the expert baton of Johannes Debus.
By Anthony Holden, Sunday April 15 2007, The Observer
Also remarkable were the vocal acrobatics of Elena Xanthoudakis as Gandhi’s secretary Miss Schlesen.
By Roderick Swanston, Online review London (http://www.onlinereviewlondon.com/)
...as Miss Schlesen, the Greek-Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis made a hugely positive impression, with a secure purity to her meaty top notes.
By Ruth Elleson – Opera Today
The Makropulos Case – CHANDOS recording:
…Elena Xanthoudakis is a fresh and engaging Kristina.
Opera April 2007
Carmen – Royal Opera House – December/Jan 2006-7
Outstanding in the supporting cast were Elena Xanthoudakis’ sparkling Frasquita…
By Yehuda Shapiro. Opera Now. March/April 2007
There was conspicuous talent, too, in the Frasquita of Elena Xanthoudakis and the Mercédès of Viktoria Vizin…
By Edward Seckerson. 12 December 2006, The Independent.
(Micaela)…is comprehensively outclassed by Elena Xanthoudakis’s brilliant Frasquita…
By Anna Picard. 17 December 2006, Independent on Sunday.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Tour – Mozart Concerts:
...the young talented Victorian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis delighted us with arias from Mozart operas and, after encouragement by resounding applause, a further encore – Mozart’s “Alleluja”.
‘MSO Delight’ Warragul Gazette – 17/10/06
Review of the International Mozart Competition
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.
Review of the International Mozart Competition Prizewinners concert 16th August.
Die Standard (Printed) – Austria. 22 August 2006
The Makropulos Case – English National Opera May/June 2006
I was impressed by Elena Xanthoudakis, a young Australian born soprano, making her debut as Kristina.
musicalpointers.co.uk by Serena Fenwick
… Elena Xanthoudakis pretty and sweet-toned as Kristina.
musicomh.com by Helen Wright
…young Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis makes an impressive debut as an ingenue caught up in the action.
bloomberg.com and metro newspaper etc, by Warwick Thompson
There are equally pinpoint accurate representations of lawyer’s clerk Vitek from John Graham-Hall, his daughter Kristina from Elena Xanthoudakis…
The Stage (and thestage.co.uk) by George Hall
Petite Messe Sollennelle – Rossini – Montreal
..O salutaris hostia and Agnus Dei, proved to be splendid showpieces, respectively, for soprano Elena Xanthoudakis and mezzo-soprano Michele Losier, the former bright and the latter walnutty, both firm-toned and emotionally ample.
‘Crack ensemble revisits Rossini’s Petite Messe, Operatic delights of this sacred music fully revealed by Andre Turp Society’ – Arthur Kaptainis – Gazette Music Critic, The Gazette, Montreal, March 11, 2006
…Elena Xanthoudakis,…hier, resplendissant musicalment dans un sobre, modest et interiorise, pui, a l’oppose, dans un rayonnant.
…elle sera paree, comme les autres, pour une grande carriere.
Christophe Huss – ‘Grand Soiree Vocale’ – Le Devoir, Montreal, 9 March 2006
Dido and Aeneas – Purcell – Bath
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.
11 Dec 2005, Wiltshire Times.
Reviews of the 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…
Michael White – Opera Now Nov/Dec 2005
‘formidable’ – Dalton Baldwin -Espace Musique – CBC Radio 2 – May 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 19/5/05 (review of finals of Montreal Competition 2005)
Finals Sydney Performing Arts Challenge – The McDonalds Aria -Sydney Opera House
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.
David Gyger – Opera Opera (Australia) – October 2004
Schubertiade – Wiesbaden 2005
Xanthoudakis is the ‘jungentlich-Lyrisch’ voice type, one would like to hear her here, as in her native Melbourne, as Pamina in ‘The Magic Flute.’ Predestined for this part, this voice, bright and clear in exquisite phrasing, resounds pure. The vocal production and pronunciation leave nothing to be desired.
A group of Schubert lieder impress with their musical phrasing and the variation in the interpretation. The same with Louis Spohr ‘Six German songs’ for Voice, Clarinet and Piano (Op103). In association with the excellent playing of the instrumentalist Thomas Sattler-Fujimoto, Elena lets this high romantic rarity, poetically take its shape, accentuating the drama and the romantic sentiments.
‘Musikalishe Botschafter Australiens’- Wiesbadener Taggblatt-(Germany) 20 September 2004
‘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 ability in the Spohr ‘Six songs for Voice, Clarinet and Piano’ – a pure pleasure...
‘Auf dem Weg zu Schubert’- Wiesbadener Kurier – (Germany) 20 September 2004