February 9, 2016
Amanda Majeski has returned to her home company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, for her first U.S. performances as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. Majeski debuted the Strauss role in Frankfurt in 2015 to rapturous reviews; now Chicago critics are praising her "seamless lyricism" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "golden sound" (Chicago Theatre Review), as well as her "creamy tone and ravishing pianissimos." (Chicago Tribune)
Der Rosenkavalier, conducted by Edward Gardner and also starring Sophie Koch, Alice Coote, and Matthew Rose, continues through March 13; tickets are available through the Lyric website.
"As the Marschallin, Amanda Majeski revealed just the type of glowing soprano voice with which Strauss had a lifelong love affair; Majeski has an ample, pungent instrument with the ability to soar above the staff in long, arching lines and fine down to a thread of pianissimo with seeming effortlessness."
"Soprano Amanda Majeski was an intriguing Marschallin, projecting gracious authority while struggling with the painful fact that her youth was forever past and gone. An Illinois native and alumna of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center training program, she sang with a strong, bright, expressive tone. Her seamless lyricism in the opera’s introspective moments conveyed the Marschallin’s essential goodness of heart. In Act III, disgusted by the crude Baron, Majeski’s low vocal line brimmed with scorn."
"The singer who would succeed at Strauss must possess the freedom of tone necessary to brave the rapidly-shifting musicality of his phrases and the buoyant athleticism of their leaps, while maintaining a narrow delineation of pitch. In the plum role of The Marschallin, Chicago-favorite Amanda Majeski makes short work of this challenge. In the Act I Monologue, “Da geht er hin,” the Illinois-born soprano threads her golden sound fearlessly, with a flawless vibrato like a flicker hovering over a carefully-controlled flame."
Chicago Theatre Review
"Majeski was exemplary, riding Strauss’s long lines with gleaming tone and confidence. She brought a dignified sadness to her long Act I soliloquy musing on her fading beauty with touching expression. The soprano was ideally poised and affecting vocally and dramatically in the final trio as she yields her young lover to a woman his own age."
Chicago Classical Review
"What redeems the production is the pathos of seeing performances fresh as dewdrops imprisoned in a dusty mausoleum. Amanda Majeski, who triumphed as the Countess Almaviva in Figaro earlier this season, sings with such tenderness as to render the German language beautiful."
Chicago Stage Standard
"Amanda Majeski regally embodies the Marschallin. Her tall, slender figure and fair skin are a natural fit for the role, but it is her exquisite tone and vocal technique that makes the performance so absolutely enchanting. When Koch and Majeski are joined onstage by Christina Landshamer’s Sophie for Der Rosenkavalier’s finale, the resulting trio is heavenly and sublime."
Stage and Cinema
"Majeski has a way of sliding languidly into notes, letting them come upon her in a way that projects immense self-assurance. Her creamy tone sits beautifully atop Edward Gardner’s direction of the orchestra."
"Strauss specified that his heroine, the Marschallin, be no older than 32. Matching her real-life age to that of the character, soprano Amanda Majeski (who's 31) sang beautifully as the Marschallin, aka the Princess von Werdenberg, wife of a field marshall in Imperial Vienna. The Illinois-born Majeski carried herself with great poise and grace as she lofted creamy tone and ravishing pianissimos into the stratosphere, and she was touching in her character's rueful monologue about the passage of time. She earned herself an extended ovation Monday."