Nedda in PAGLIACCI - Opernhaus Zürich, September 2016
As Pagliacci, Roberto Alagna plays his character as a broken sideshows' entertainer who loves his wife madly, then throws the death blow in a fit of rage. He is only stammering his "La commedia è finita" while moving forward to the lying body of her Nedda: very emotional. The reply was in the best hands with Alagna's wife, Aleksandra Kurzak. The singer, who already seduced us a Gilda a few years ago, has matured, moving towards a lyric soprano with dramatic attack. As well as her husband, she can rely on a safe technique, and then - as one says - just let it go. In addition, with her as with Alagna, the art of singing and the art of acting are mingling and blending to form a whole, a total artwork. Dramatically, both are wholeheartedly and uncompromising committed in their acting and, in the case of a pure drama, a night like last night deserves to be enjoyed.
Der neue Merker
For sure, reviewers must use superlatives sparingly. But after such an evening, superlatives become inescapable: the revival of this diptych (two almost inseparable works) at the Opernhaus Zürich was a great moment, a triumph of musical and theatrical passions. [...] In Pagliacci as Nedda, it is with a fascinating stage presence, a tinkling and pure voice, that Aleksandra Kurzak is embodying this cheerful lady, determined to find her own way and seeking to escape from Canio's grip. She delivers the aria "Stridono lassù" with a phenomenal ease. Power and sensitivity mark her wonderful duet with the seductive and convincing Silvio by Alexey Lavrov. […] A memorable, very moving and top-class evening, so respectful for the composers that it may well become a referent performance.
As Pagliaccio, the radiance of Roberto Alagna's vocal and stage performance is growing again, fueled by the interaction with his wife - full of temperament - in the role of Nedda, Aleksandra Kurzak, whose voice, since her last Gilda in Zurich has strengthen and became darker.
Die neue Zürcher Zeitung
Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak (in real life Mrs Alagna) was a simply splendid Nedda, garnering as much applause and as many bouquets at the curtain call as Roberto Alagna. Alagna has star quality, his aria ‘Vesti la giubba’ tugged at the heart-strings. Kurzak is his match. [...] With this luxury cast, the Opernhaus Zürich has a hit on its hands with this revival.
Aleksandra Kurzak sang excellently - she performed her aria beautifully with her coloraturas and dramatic accents up to her top notes... The enthusiasm was widespread and unanimous - and that's precisely what makes the great opera nights!
Der neue Merker