Olympia in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN – Metropolitan Opera New York, December 2004
Aleksandra Kurzak steals the show with her excellent début as the robot girl Olympia: her growth from shrill, mechanical emotion to natural human warmth is a beautiful balance of artifice and authenticity.
Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak was an amazing Olympia. Not only did she have a lovely coloratura, but there were times when her movements were so mechanical and doll-like that I had to keep reminding myself that she was only portraying a doll! Tonight the evening truly belonged to Ramón Vargas and Aleksandra Kurzak, as well as to French conductor Frédéric Chaslin for whom Hoffmann was his second Met opera this season.
Opera Notes Review
Newcomer Aleksandra Kurzak, a Polish soprano, was a breathtaking Olympia, firing off the doll’s coloratura fireworks with ease and accuracy and acting brilliantly in David Kneuss’s staging.
Aleksandra Kurzak stole the show in her début (and ‘meta’-début) as Olympia.The Hudson Review
When Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann returned to the Met on December 10, the big noise was the audience’s justifiably wild reaction to Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak’s company debut as Olympia. As the life-size mechanical doll made to seem human by Coppalius’s trick eyeglasses, Kurzak had it all. She sang “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” and her even crazier subsequent music with a dazzling combination of diamondlike brilliance, whirling agility, dead-on accuracy and witty grace that most coloratura divas can only dream about. And this slightly chubby gal with her Shirley Temple hair-do flung her arms and legs about with such violence that one feared for the possible unmanning of her tenor.
Aleksandra Kurzak made a spectacular debut, however, as a broadly comic, stratospherically fearless Olympia.
Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, all of 26, made a sensation as Olympia, singing in a house-filling, crystalline stream of tone with wonderful fioritura and high notes, an engaging flair for gawky, well-timed physical comedy and highly acceptable French. She brought down the house, legitimately making people laugh out loud—not a common thing at the opera. Sign her up for “La fille du regiment” immediately.
Gay City News
Aleksandra Kurzak is this year’s Olympia. Her coloratura is both hefty and true, and her mechanical-doll antics make their effect.
The New York Times
The polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak was smashing. She showed off a phenomenal technique, going way, way above the staff, for example. And her movements matched her notes delightfully. When it was all done- the Met audience going wild- she blew mechanical kisses.
The New York Sun
The highlight of the evening was the Met debut of the 27-years-old polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Olympia, the mechanical doll whose fiendish vocal pyrotechnics were once a breeze for Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills. Kurzak didn’t fall short, tossing off high C’s as if they were bouncing pingpong balls, right on target and with glee.
Associated Press Writer - Verena Dobnik
Agee d'a peine vingt-six ans, la soprano Aleksandra Kurzak fait sensation en Olympia dont l'instrument projette jusque'au bout de la salle, cristallin et merveilleusement virtuose. Ses aigus formidables impressionnent autant que son flair de comedienne et son sens du timing"