Donna Fiorilla in IL TURCO IN ITALIA - Royal Opera House London, April 2010
But when this production was created by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier five years ago, it was as a vehicle for Cecilia Bartoli: one reason why this revival has been eagerly awaited is because Fiorilla is now sung by the Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, and the difference could not be more dramatic. Whereas Bartoli (a mezzo) turned the whole thing into a vocal circus stunt, Kurzak’s performance is so seamlessly natural that one believes her every petulant gesture, and her high coloratura has a wonderfully unforced delicacy.
The Independent - Michael Church
Kurzak, a rising-star soprano with flashing eyes and cover-girl looks,… suits the ensemble cast perfectly, wiggling on stage in her tight, flip-skirt frock and wearing a come-to-bed expression that immediately makes the male half of the audience swoon. How do I know? I could hear it happening all around, if not right next to me. As pert as Betty Boop, she can define a saucy moment with a twitch of an eyebrow and pings her way perfectly through Rossini's stratospheric coloratura vocal lines, only occasionally landing off course. Despite the vigorous demands of the score, she still managed to find the resources for her dark, remorseful aria towards the end, when the music moves briefly out of hot sunlight and into emotional shadow.
The Guardian (The Observer) - Fiona Maddocks
His attention quickly focuses on Fiorilla (alluringly played by Aleksandra Kurzak)… D'Arcangelo, Kurzak and Allen all play their parts with great comic gestures and timing, and handle the vocal gymnastics demanded by Rossini's score with impressive ease…
Sunday Express - William Hartston
The visuals reference Italy in the 1960s, courtesy of films by Fellini, Vittorio de Sica and others, and still look sharp and witty, with Aleksandra Kurzak’s Fiorilla flaunting her colourful frocks to the manner born… At the centre, Kurzak achieves star quality with the sheer personality of her capricious Fiorilla, triumphing over vocal unevenness.
The Stage - George Hall
But the evening is really made by the performances. At the centre are Aleksandra Kurzak's wanton Italian, Fiorilla, and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo's Turkish prince, Selim. Unusually, we warm to the fickle Fiorilla as Kurzak, with her mature but pure voice, emphasises her roots in poverty and shows how it is simply in her feisty nature not to be tied to one man.
musicOMH - Sam Smith
Young Aleksandra Kurzak had much to recommend her as Fiorilla: a secure, silvery lyric soprano with excellent agilty; a lovely physical appearance; a supremely confident stage demeanor; superior acting skills. This was a beautifully sung account, cleanly and effortlessly delivered…
Opera Today - James Sohre
Aleksandra Kurzak, looking like a young Gina Lollobrigida as Fiorilla
The Guardian Unlimited - Tim Ashley
Aleksandra Kurzak’s pouting, preening Fiorilla is the centrepiece. She’s a vivacious actress, hits top notes securely and deploys a delicious sotto voce. And she looks peachy in the skimpy negligée she wears while seducing Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s excellent matinee-idol Turk (pictured together) beneath a none-too-subtle painting of Vesuvius in full eruption. If I report that she’s also required to ripple through her semiquaver runs while unzipping her hubby’s trousers, or licking an ice cream, you’ll get an idea of the show’s level of sophistication.
The Times - Richard Morrison