Maria in MARIA STUARDA - Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, June 2015
The strongest worth comes from the individual vocal performances, especially those of the two queens. In purely vocal terms (...) Aleksandra Kurzak / Mary, sumptuous, concentrated all the bel canto’s refinements and perfectly masters her physical acting and vocal performance. (...) The sopranos, long and loud applauded, are those who are conveying all the emotion and passion.
Pascal de Rauglaudre - Pluris magazine
The Pole Aleksandra Kurzak, who was making her debuts in Paris, is the Queen of Scots. Roberto Alagna’s wife convinces us by a beautiful voice well projected and capable of vocalizations and easy high-pitched vocals, added to a true talent as an actress who knows how to charm and move. […] The audience gives a well-deserved ovation to the singers and musicians, real victors of the evening.
Michel Slama - Anaclase
he two great roles are defended by high-calibre sopranos, a duel of great ladies at the top of the operatic art. With it great arias - breathtaking in their virtuosity and performed by two rising stars on the opera stage - and an ever glossy music, this prestige show, co-produced by several major European houses (London, Barcelona, Warsaw), is musically more than satisfactory because the artists are up to this belcantist pinnacle. Both prima donna who compete on the Champs Elysees’ stage have nothing iconic and are giving themselves body and soul in their vocal duel. Although singing in the same tessitura, the two sopranos turn out very different. Polish Aleksandra Kurzak embodies a multi-faced Mary, alternately indomitable arrogant with her dominating top notes, and imploring grief-stricken lady with her so touching pianissimi.
Noël Tinazzi - Rueduthéâtre.eu
Mary Stuart finds in Aleksandra Kurzak a soul of a dramatic sensitivity that hides a fatal confidence. Indeed, in the second act, her presence is grounded on a sequence of nuances and beautifully fine spun sounds, accompanied by subtle filigree dark feelings, which convey the spirit of her deeply pathetic interiority.
Carmen Giannattasio and Aleksandra Kurzak delighted the most demanding ears, offering a wonderful evening to this rarely performed opera. The last act with Mary holding the hands of the choir through the bars of her cell was one of the very beautiful moments.
Aleksandra Kurzak ideally suits Donizetti in his wish to feature the unfortunate Stuart first in her simple elegy, childlike and remembering her childhood (which in the staging gives rise to screenings, memories of lost garden, a bit childish anyway). But here, we have the opal, crystal clarity and transparence of the tone, we have fine spun sounds, we have the genius of the lyrical elegy in all its purity, we have a charming virtuosity that pulls us rather towards Bellini and his “Somnambula”, all that establishing Kurzak absolutely at the same height and same vocal weight than her rival, she demonstrates in any other way. Splendid complementarity, to which Kurzak adds the vehemence skills that dramatize her vocal projection in the Queens’ duet; and the great lyrical pathos, ecstatic, which rises this opera at the top of the romantic Italian vocalism. A work where, strictly speaking, not a single melody is as such memorable, but where the most refined, finest and sober vocals spirit by Donizetti is prevailing from start to end.
André Tubeuf in L’œil et l’Or
Carmen Giannattasio and Aleksandra Kurzak are “two birds of a feather”, both fitted with a solid medium, a wide vocal range and a bel cantist background that put them on an equal footing. Characterizing Aleksandra Kurzak, the bravery too, during the confrontation’s duet at the end of the first act. To a lesser extent however, because if Maria is moving, it is first and foremost by her mastering of a more introverted vocals, as long as wide, with a rendition of a great lightness and some beautifully spun notes. Aleksandra Kurzak manages to combine the two faces of the Queen of Scots, with a timbre to which her recent maternity seems to have brought an extra depth and thickness…
Christophe Rizoud for Forum Opera