Matilde in MATILDE DI SHABRAN - Royal Opera House London, October 2008
Matilde...a role sung here with alacrity and a nice blend of charm and spirit by Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak...All thus ends happily, with the vindicated soprano priding herself on women's innate ability to lord it over men in her flashy final rondo, which Kurzak delivered with excellent coloratura skills and a fine sense of character.
Opera News - George Hall
When the star is Juan Diego Florez for whom Italian bel canto is life’s elixir, we are sure of a treat…His Matilde, Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, was if anything yet more outstanding. She floated, sparkled and spat her ferocious ornamented passages. Top notes shot out like flick-knives. You wouldn’t want to meet her coloratura on a dark night.
The Evening Standard - Fiona Maddocks
The young Pole, Aleksandra Kurzak, has one of those straight-sixes nights that she will remember all her life. She plays Matilde with exactly the right mix of coquettish charm and steely guile; her cascades of semiquavers are dazzling; and her voice beautifully even-toned from top to toe.
The Times - Richard Morrison
(…) the accolade goes to the ever-improving Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, a delightful Susanna in Figaro here in June, who had the audience eating out of her hand with her pearly coloratura and coquettish charm. Her show-off final aria matches that of La Cenerentola in its brilliance, and she rightly brought the house down... It remains a bit of a mystery why Florez champions an opera in which he plays an unattractive character and has no important aria. Covent Garden audiences should be thrilled that he does:the work is a musical treasure-trove, and Kurzak is a dazzling new star.
The Sunday Times - Hugh Canning
Flórez's sparring partner here is Aleksandra Kurzak, his equal in technique and vocal glamour. She is so staggering that many will probably consider it more her night than his.
The Guardian - Tim Ashley
Matilde di Shabran – in the form of Aleksandra Kurzak – not only tames but upstages him. In the final 20 minutes, all he can do is stay silent and look on in amazement as she dazzles with her jubilant, ear-popping finale.
The Independent - Edward Seckerson
This is Aleksandra Kurzak’s finest achievement at Covent Garden. She possesses the necessary technique for Rossini’s roulades and produced fresh tone from top to bottom…Kurzak reinforced one’s knowledge of here being able to play comedy.
Classicalcource.com - John T. Hughes
(…) Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in the title role, with her pin-point accurate vocal fireworks and mischievously charming acting - there was not stopping this girl getting her man.....
The Sunday Telegraph - Peter Reed
(…) it is Aleksandra Kurzak's dimple-cheeked Matilde who steals the show in Mario Martone's bone-headed Royal Opera House production… Florez's brief moments of lyricism offer delicious respite from the whirling roulades, while Kurzak sparkles all around the stave. It's tosh, but tosh with coloratura.
The Independent on Sunday - Anna Picard
In this production …Flórez winds up playing second fiddle to Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in the title role. A superstar in the making, as I noted here after her Adina in last year's L'elisir d'amore, Kurzak fills the house with her thrillingly pure, warm voice and acts the rest of the cast off the stage. It is a rare moment, indeed, when an opera singer can change the mood with a flash of an eye, the tiniest gesture of disdain.
The Guardian (The Observer) - Anthony Holden
Reviewing her house debut as Aspasia in the Royal Opera’s 2005 Mitridate, Re di Ponto, I wrote of Aleksandra Kurzak that she had ‘a vibrant personality, a really outstanding voice with a confident ring and mastery of the highest notes’ – perfect for the title role in Matilde, and here she managed the challenging feat of not being upstaged by the star tenor, singing with fearless accuracy, colourful phrasing and even tenderness when required. Both she and Flórez are the antithesis of can belto, with a sound made up of seemingly effortless production allied to an intimacy with language which is a joy to hear. Her final big scene, where Matilde triumphs in her romantic victory over Corradino, Tace la Tromba alterra, Spira tranquillità was as stunning a display of vocal acrobatics as I’ve heard in a long time.
Musicweb-international.com (Seen and Heard International) - Melanie Eskenazi
Yet Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, in the title role, matches him note for note in their thrilling coloratura duels.
Time Out - Jason Best
The polish soprano Aleksandra Kurza, so impressive here in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore last year, is once more on the delicious form as the wily minx of the title.
He (Florez) is matched by Aleksandra Kurzak as Matilde: a sparky young woman who has decided to conquer him. She matches a gloriously warm seductive voice with fabulous rat-a-tat coloratura agility and the result is pure joy.
Metro - Warwick Thompson
Ironically the vocal honours went to Aleksandra Kurzak who after many promising appearances in the House, finally revealed her true Diva-status with her wonderfully acted and thrillingly sung assumption of the title role. She held the stage whenever she was on it and produced such technically flawless singing, especially in the almost impossibly fiendish coloratura, that she rightly brought the house down.
Musicomh.com - Keith McDonnell
It would have been easy for Florez to dominate the show but the Royal Opera provided a superb cast who balanced Florez beautifully. First amongst these was the Mathilde of Aleksandra Kurzak. From the moment of her first entry, Kurzak dominated the stage. She cut an attractive figure and displayed and appealing pert character, able to manipulate all the men around her. Kurzak allied to this a dazzling technique, in which her brightly focussed voice could rattle around Rossini's lines. Not only that but she made everything sound easy, attractive and natural, no clucking here. And she sang with a fine sense of line and an unobtrusive vibrato.
mvdaily.com - Rober Hugill
Si l’on accompagne ce « cœur de fer » et de légende d’une Matilde de haut vol alors la partie est à peu près gagnée. C’était déjà le cas à Pesaro en 2004 - Annick Massis chantait la jeune Shabran - et le miracle se reproduit à Londres. A la même agilité et la même assurance dans l’aigu, Aleksandra Kurzak ajoute assise et rondeur (les variations de « Tace la tromba » la montrent tout de même moins imaginative) et propose une composition intelligente, sensible, gourmande, en un mot : attachante. On n’aurait pas cru que Matilde puisse avoir tant d’épaisseur.
Forumopera.com - Christophe Rizoud
She is sung, with stinging verve, by the powerful Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, whose voice has a truly soaring quality. Her ability to handle the highly demanding ornate passages is, at times, quite thrilling.
Daily Express - Paul Callan
Exhilarating though that is, even Florez is outsung by pert Aleksandra Kurzak, whose vertiginous coloratura induced roars from the opening night crowd.
Variety - David Benedict
Ihm stand freilich eine superbe Besetzung zur Seite, mit Aleksandra Kurzak an der Spitze- sie verkörperte jene Frau, die am Ende den Panzer des Misogynen knackt.
Opernwelt - George Hall, December 2008