“If [others were] just a hair’s breadth away from perfection, Elīna Garanča hit the mark dead on target.”
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“[Garanča] sings with rich sound, an unerring feel for the nuance and subtext of a phrase, and alluring sensuality. The clarity in her singing makes this Carmen seem intelligent and wily.”
“Elīna Garanča’s voice is one-in-a-million, allying grace and power to a commanding authority.”
“It’s a marvel to see the virtuosic ease with which Elīna Garanča almost casually sails over the hurdles of the material: Never at the limit, and always smiling as she expertly sings, as if it were nothing.”
“Garanča, a tall, strikingly beautiful and fast-rising star from Latvia, sings with alluring tone and captures the gypsy Carmen’s sexual swagger and self-confidence. Under Eyre’s shrewd direction, she dispenses with much of the tired, traditional stage action associated with the character.”
“Elīna Garanča was a consistent pleasure to watch and hear. Vocally she projected the part with well-studied ease, using her smoky low notes and her robust middle to full effect. And the moment she set foot onstage, there was no way to look away from her Carmen.”
“She dominates in every scene.… Here’s one Carmen whose ability to reduce strong men to jelly is totally credible. But she also commands a voice that’s rich and vibrant from lowest note to highest, and capable of hurling out a contemptuous challenge with blazing power.”
“Garanča’s voice has been described as “creamy,” “silken,” and “lustrous” (her chest register is superbly produced) but it also has a surprisingly rounded maturity. What sets her apart, however, is the unteachable ability to send shivers down the spine and make grown men salivate.”
“Garanča has the edge. Her mezzo is stunningly impressive. Rising effortlessly to notes that would stretch many a soprano, it descends evenly throughout the compass, avoiding any unseemly changes of register.”
“It’s this versatility that makes Elīna’s voice so special and impossible to pigeonhole – she has the richness and depth of sound of a mezzo-soprano but also possesses all the top notes and an ability to “float” her voice that is the envy of many a bona fide soprano.”