the vocal soloist was contralto Avery Amereau. She impressed mightily in her first appearance here, in late 2016, and has grown with each return visit. She took an impassioned approach to the cantata, flinging out the phrases of its libretto (by the Darmstadt poet Georg Christian Lehms) as if we were meant to really, really believe their disdain for the shortcomings of mortal souls. (“The world, that house of sins,/Brings forth nothing but hellish lyrics/And seeks through hatred and envy/To prize the devil’s image.”) Her velvety voice was smoothly connected from top (E) to bottom (a startling low A), and was more distinct in coloratura than one expects from so ample a voice — including immaculate articulation of a trill the composer demands, extended through seven slow beats.
Brahms’s strange, limpidly beautiful “Alto Rhapsody” calls for a vocalist with depth and clarity throughout her range. Amereau more than measured up. Her mosaic of clear and cloudy timbres enriched Brahms’s sweetly wandering melodies, fulling expressing the composer’s many dimensions of feeling and craft. Together with the orchestra she magnificently sustained the second section’s mysterious emotionality. In the final section the gorgeous redemptive strains of the men’s choir supported the cool tonal control she maintained high and low, and the hymn-like passages sounded fulsome and pure.
Speaking of whetted appetites, this listener intends to run, not walk, to the next performance by the exceptionally fine contralto Avery Amereau, whose dark, clear voice and profound interpretation of the Alto Rhapsody outclassed anything the orchestra had achieved to that point.Blessed with an instrument of uniform timbre from its strong top to its rich lowest register, Amereau could do no wrong, holding listeners spellbound with long vocal lines and a freedom of nuance that responded to every inflection of Brahms’s unutterably sad and sweet music.The orchestra and men’s chorus rose to the occasion, gently enveloping the soloist at the close and touching off a storm of applause for the gifted young artist.
In the role of Hero’s friend Ursula, contralto Avery Amereau stunned the audience with her rich, supple vocal tone, particularly in her lovely trio with Hipp and Traverse.
Avery Amereau walked into their midst to perform arias from three Handel operas, and the spirit changed. The writing employed more transparent string textures to begin with, to be sure, but the instrumentalists seemed generally invigorated by her presence and her extroverted virtuosity. She attacked “Dopo notte, atra e funesta,” from Ariodante, with downright ferocity (the text partly describes a ship tossed in a tempest). It was an excellent display piece for her distinctive voice, which is deeply pitched and orotund of character, yet capable of finely calibrated coloratura. No less impressive were arias from Giulio Cesare (“Aure, deh, per pietà”) and Rinaldo (“Venti, turbini”). The latter, which included well-played concertante contributions from violinist Redfield and bassoonist Danny Bond, is an early piece from the Handel catalog, and it adheres to a relatively simpler style than the others. Amereau brought it alive with cleanly articulated roulades and fully formed trills. She took a free approach to ornamentation throughout the set. At a few points her phrases threatened to bound off to destinations unknown, but the instrumentalists remained true to their beat and everyone landed at cadences safely and in one piece.For the Christmas component, Amereau returned as the soloist in an unusually imaginative selection of five early carols. The oldest, “Angelus ad virginem,” took the Baroque Ensemble into deeper antiquity than normal; it dates at least to the 13th century and is mentioned in The Canterbury Tales. Its medieval harmonies and rhythms sounded particularly apt in the Loretto Chapel’s neo-Gothic surroundings. The most striking interpretation of the set, however, was of “The Darkest Midnight,” an 18th-century Irish song. Amereau’s timbre injected moody mystery, and the instrumentalists joined in a serene arrangement that intensified the Celtic flavor.
Avery Amereau, a rising contralto, packing a great deal of chocolaty tone and restrained emotion into her few lines as Kate Pinkerton near the end of Butterfly
While poor Kate Pinkerton only has a handful of lines, Avery Amereau was brilliant in her moment, showing poised sadness and an astonishing, molasses-hued contralto.
With an admirable vocal simplicity, Avery Amereau (Cherubino), with her velvety caramel voice, is a perfect lover. Hiding her vibrato for the benefit of the credibility of her character, the American mezzo is the happy discovery of the evening.
A Cherubino always in turmoil, Avery Amereau has a clear and luminous voice which perfectly conveys the adolescent thrills of the character.
The pants role of the young Cherubino is very popular. A role attributed to a woman to better emphasize it’s juvenility, it has the distinction to be able to affect the audience, and the mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau knows how to leave the latter in shock. What precision! What natural ease! What a breath! Her “Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio” in suspension gives a delicate and definitely feminine tone.
A mezzo, whose femininity is happily blended, fresh, fruity, sonorous voice, Avery Amereau embodies the Cherub with an infallible sense of her role. Whether his heart swells for the Countess or Barberine, we share the impulses. Her “Non so più”, like the “Voi che sapete”, despite many references, manages to make us forget the others, so much are the sincerity and the perfection of the song are brought to us again.
Avery Amereau is a first-rate Cherub.
As for Cherubino, he finds in the American mezzo Avery Amereau an ideal interpreter: constantly in turmoil, she possesses the agility of the role and assumes the mischievousness of a youth.
Chérubin is Avery Amereau, a young American mezzo, whose femininity is fortunately blurred, a fresh, fruity voice, with an emotional ardor, both juvenile and almost adult. Not only are her two tunes exemplary, but her recitatives reflect the quivering vitality of adolescence
Even the smaller roles were more than simply notable, from Thomas Allen’s well-delineated Music Master (44 years on from his first solo appearance at the festival),... to a beautifully blended trio of nymphs from Hyesang Park, Avery Amereau and Ruzan Mantashyan.
Supporting roles are well cast: as the Music Master, Sir Thomas Allen does what he can to whip the Prologue into shape, and Hyesang Park (Naiad), Avery Amereau (Dryad) and Ruzan Mantashyan (Echo) make a strong and beguiling trio of companions to Ariadne.
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.
Mr. Keene had a terrific alto soloist in Avery Amereau, the only female singer in the performances I heard to venture the low-lying aria “Es ist vollbracht” (“It is accomplished”), accompanied by viola da gamba. Ms. Amereau is herself something of a welcome throwback at a time when countertenors have all but displaced contraltos in early music.
And then Avery Amereau, here as the gypsy. An alto who can sing with a contralto range. And as the gypsy, she could well become another Carmen…The evening started, though, with Ms. Amereau in a different guise, singing the Bach solo cantata Delightful Rest, Sweet Pleasure of My Soul.Ever since hearing Ms. Amereau sing Berlioz Nuits d’été, I have utterly admired her wide range, her sensitivity, and her lovely interpretations.
The vocal standouts [included] the rich-voiced mezzo Avery Amereau (Narciso), a voice in a million.
Avery Amereau’s strikingly dark, plush mezzo made a solid impression in two roles, Narciso and Giunone
I hadn’t noticed Juno was to be replaced in a staged version a week later by Avery Amereau, who also sang the trouser role of Narciso. it came as a pleasant surprise to hear Ms. Amereau’s distinctive voice, with its lovely contralto richness, as Juno: a gift, in fact.
Mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau brought an unusual degree of brooding intensity to her solos, a hint of simmering defiance underpinning the arias “But who may abide” and “He was despised.” Both were delivered with a formidable poise and satisfying tonal plenitude.
Avery Amereau, a mezzo-soprano with stunning contralto richness and depth, was superb in the alto arias
Because Mr. Eyre’s production [at the Metropolitan Opera) sets the action in Nazi-occupied France, it has been billed as “film noir.” In fact “noirish” might well fit the sound of this particular cast:.. Even the minor role of a musician who recites madrigals written by Manon’s rich patron, sung by the captivating Avery Amereau, stood out for the unusually rich, saturated auburn timbre of her voice.
Avery Amereau, in her (Metropolitan Opera) company debut, brought a smooth, chocolaty mezzo to the madrigal.
The most distinguished among the minor role singers were Avery Amereau (Musico)
Onto the most substantial work on the program, Berlioz’ ravishing Les Nuits d’été, sung by the ravishing young mezzo-soprano, Avery Amereau. Both her name and her enunciation would point to a French upbringing, though she is from Florida. Her work with the Metropolitan Opera and concert halls through Europe and America show that she is more than a “budding” star. While not a household name, she is a luminary in her own right.Ms. Amereau has a richness in those lower registers, but she was not averse to giving a freshness and at time a cautious seductive joy… Ms. Amereau’s forte was of classical balance, an aplomb which was never accentuated, but which gave what is often missing in Berlioz.Romantic as he was, Berlioz and his poet, Théophile Gautier, were not wild-eyed eccentrics. Their beauty came out of the underlying nuances. And in that, Ms. Amereau proved a sensitive artist.
The superb performance was most remarkable for the stunning presence of the lovely and amazing soloist, Avery Amereau, whom I’ve been privileged to hear sing several times and whom Crawford noted with astonishment was that most uncommon creature, a contralto—indeed, on this account she was recently profiled by the New York Times.
a distinctive young contralto
The slender and very attractive young mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau then appeared for the Berlioz. In his opening remarks, Maestro Crawford had spoken of his impression that this singer should be considered a contralto rather than a mezzo; how right he is! It’s a distinctive voice with a warm and very cordial lower range, and her singing of the Berlioz clearly impressed her existing admirers and won her many new ones. A few measures into the gorgeous ‘Spectre de la Rose’, everything came together for the singer and her voice positively blossomed, covering the wide range with confident beauty of tone and expression. I was a bit surprised when Ms. Amereau didn’t sink down to the lowest note of ‘Sur les lagunes’ (to which Regine Crespin so deliciously descends in her magical recording of the work) but that’s a minor detail in the face of all that we could savour in Ms. Amereau’s genuinely fascinating performance.
The three ladies, Alexandra Razskazoff, Caitlin Redding, and Avery Amereau, offered distinctive vocal timbres, but still blended sublimely.
Excellent work in smaller roles came from Avery Amereau (Third Lady)
In her aria “Ach, bleibe doch,” though, mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau drew the drama from some place deep within herself, the lowest notes a rich, enveloping curtain of clarity and undulating vibrato. Her sotto voce da capo, achingly mirrored by her orchestral counterparts, was a moment of easy musical magic
Avery Amereau (Carmen) has an effortlessly rich mezzo-soprano voice worthy of any professional stage in the industry, with the charisma to match.
With her sensual mezzo-soprano voice, Avery Amereau is achingly perfect as Lucretia, who summons vehement intensity when Tarquinius attacks her.
Avery Amereau’s innate delicacy of manner embodied Lucretia’s vaunted chastity, and rendered the character’s defilement all the more gut-wrenching. Her smoky, contralto-like sound gave weight to Lucretia’s utterances —the voice was tinged with tragic forebodings from the start.
Avery Amereau, whose rich, low alto has been garnering notice around town in Bach and Tchaikovsky (and, soon to come, Carmen), gives pleasure in the tranquil, early scenes, then, without loss of quality, shadows her voice with a bitter, despairing inflection. She means every emotion, and she’s also a beautiful woman and a fine actress.
Avery Amereau, poised, dramatic, and sympathetic, as the virtuous Roman, Lucretia, displayed a rich liquid mezzo-soprano that easily reached down into dark, velvety contralto territory. Amereau’s Lucretia’s struggle with and rape by the Etruscan Prince Tarquinius, oily, priapic, and menacing as depicted by high lyric baritone Kurt Kanazawa, was appropriately painful to watch, as he pawed and, binding her in his leather straps, overpowered her.
Avery Amereau, a mezzo-soprano, sang with excellent body and clarity as Mary Cleophas.
Avery Amereau’s distinctive mezzo in “Piangete, si Piangete” expressed her lamentation in words and song that could have come from a Bach Passion.
The whole cast was excellent, particularly the mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau as the stepmother.
At least as good in the underling roles were Avery Amereau, who lists herself as a mezzo-soprano but shows real contralto qualities, as Olga.
Avery Amereau’s attractive, sonorous Olga was superb.