Avery Amereau (Carmen) has an effortlessly rich mezzo-soprano voice worthy of any professional stage in the industry, with the charisma to match.
In her Opera Columbus debut, contralto Avery Amereau — soon to receive an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from the Juilliard School — appears as Carmen. In the Southern Theatre on Friday, Amereau brought understatement to a part too often done in broad strokes. During Act I’s gorgeous aria “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle,” Amereau affected a casual stance, with one arm crossed and the other holding a cigarette. In movie star terms, the singer was more like a subdued Lauren Bacall than a fiery Ava Gardner. The contralto’s voice — significantly lower than many operagoers might be accustomed to — had a marvelously rich complexity; it was less silky than velvety, and always a pleasure to listen to.Amereau’s instrument promises a long and important career; she already has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.This “Carmen” belonged to Amereau. We can only hope that her first appearance with Opera Columbus will not be her last.