March 06, 2019

Lyric's Leading Ladies Earn Acclaim Around the Globe

When they’re not astounding Chicago audiences in unforgettable performances and highly anticipated debuts, Lyric’s leading ladies are winning praise for tackling opera’s most impressive roles in the world’s major houses. Here’s what critics are saying about some recent performances by Lyric’s beloved divas!

Albina Shagimuratova, who wowed Lyric audiences as Lucia di Lammermoor (final performance Sunday, 11/6!), also earned rave reviews for her portrayal of Rossini’s Semiramide at BBC Proms earlier this season:

“Shagimuratova dazzled in the title role with her high-lying coloratura….Thrilling, every second of it.” —The Guardian 

“…her combination of stage presence, vocal pyrotechnics and expressive abandon made Rossini’s fluent lyricism electrifying.” —Opera Today

Before taking on the role of Cassandra in Les Troyens at Lyric, Christine Goerke sang a formidable Brünnhilde in Houston and an impressive Turandot in Philadelphia:

“The main draw was Christine Goerke’s ferocious Turandot.” —The Wall Street Journal on Opera Philadelphia's Turandot

“"Goerke, with her power, range and charisma, is no less than an ideal Brünnhilde.” —Opera News on Houston Grand Opera's Siegfried.

Renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham (who brings her signature role of Dido to Les Troyens this month) has already been winning acclaim this season for her portrayal of Octavian, opposite Lyric's Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, in Der Rosenkavalier with Boston Symphony Orchestra:

"...[Graham] offered a master class in comic timing." —The New York Times 

"... her vocal lines soared effortlessly above the orchestra. Vocally and dramatically, she portrayed the character's cool confidence to glittering effect." —Boston Classical Review

Meanwhile, Sondra Radvanovsky triumphed as Norma in Toronto, the role she’ll bring to Lyric in the same production this winter:

 “Radvanovsky is a force of nature; she handles the demands of the role with an exhilarating combination of bravura and tenderness.” —The Star 

“…the definitive Norma of our time….It was an astoundingly accomplished performance.”—Musical Toronto

In a performance enjoyed globally in HD, Ekaterina Gubanova (who returns to Lyric as Carmen) impressed critics as a particularly luxurious Brangäne in the Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan and Isolde:

  “Gubanova's rich mezzo was the surprise among the cast, bringing more than the usual dramatic and vocal heft to the role of Brangäne.” —Broadway World

 For some other Lyric luminaries, the new season is just the beginning. Another Lyric Carmen (the role will be her Lyric Opera debut this spring), Anita Rachvelishvili, performs Samson et Dalila in Paris this month, and Ana María Martínez (Eugene Onegin’s Tatiana) is sure to amaze opera lovers as Marguerite in the just-opened Faust at Houston Grand Opera.


We’re very proud of our leading ladies at Lyric, and look forward to experiencing their dazzling talents in opera after opera this season. To those giving extraordinary performances around the world, an ovation from all your Lyric fans!

Photos: Pavel Vaan and Leonid Semenyuk (Albina Shagimuratova), Tom Specht (Ana María Martínez)