Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA - Royal Opera House London, January 2011
Aleksandra Kurzak (Rosina) flings out her amazing trills, roulades and arpeggios with such obvious joy that she makes you want to join in.
Metro.uk - Warwick Thompson
The young Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak charms us into loving her spirited Rosina and caring for her plight. Her voice is clear and true, especially in the singing lesson scene, and she lights up the stage whenever she appears. We rejoice with her as she signs the marriage contract with Almaviva with reckless haste, but also pity her as we know that beyond this perfect moment, she has exchanged one cage for another. This singer really is one to watch.
GlobalNewsBox.com - Crispin Wellbeloved
Standing out though, and in sheer vocal ability, is Aleksandra Kurzak who without stealing scenes makes Rosina the one to watch and listen to, the singer on this second night providing vocal poise, seductiveness and coloratura accuracy...the performances of Kurzak and Abdrazakov are certainly worth catching.
The Opera Critic - Colin Anderson
Among this strong cast, the star of the show was, however, Polish soprano, Aleksandra Kurzak. Only the previous day, Kurzak had signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca, and the studio must be delighted and excited to have ‘hooked’ a singer who is certainly a luminary in the making. Kurzak combines technical assurance with an innate sense of dramatic pacing. The pyrotechnics scarcely caused her to bat an eyelid: she made it sound entirely natural to leap between registers and ornament extravagantly — seldom can coloratura have seemed so ‘normal’ a means of communication. Her effortless delivery, swooning sweetness turning to steely feistiness in a flash, was utterly bewitching. And she knows how to play the audience, her petulant dart-throwing in the middle of a sparkling, nimble ‘Una voce poco fa’, prompted the first real laugh, as Rosina’s ‘goodness’ — ‘I’m obedient, gentle, and loving’ — was ironically belied by a sudden flash of adolescent rage.
www.operatoday.com - Claire Seymour
The evening belongs, however, to Aleksandra Kurzak's Rosina. With her golden tone and lilting coloratura, she is a bright new star to rival fellow Eastern Europeans Angela Gheorghiu and Anna Netrebko.
Sunday Express - Michael Arditti
Best are Ildar Abdrazakov’s madcap Russian Don Basilio, played as an Italian version of Mussorgsky’s Varlaam, and Aleksandra Kurzak’s peachy Rosina. This is the Polish soprano’s seventh role here since 2005, and she continues to develop and grow. Neither the written low notes nor the dizzyingly high notes she interpolates faze her, but this is far from the traditional nightingale-soubrette Rosina. You can hear a Traviata in her lush, brilliant tones, and she is poised for superstardom with a new Decca contract. The revival is worth catching for her alone.
The Sunday Times - Hugh Canning
Two masterful performances stand out. Bruno Pratico’s corpulent Bartolo... He is matched by soprano Aleksandra Kurzak. Her pert, cross features make her a natural for the bella e spiritosa Rosina. Her flawless, gloriously integrated vocal acting does the rest. Rarely will you hear so unshowy a colaratura. No vocal gymnastic seems unjustified — this girl just happens to sigh and holler in beautifully phrased runs and leaps. She’s funny, too: a pouting comic presence who makes her own laughs in the recitatives.
London Evening Standart - Kieron Quirke
Most impressive of all is Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, whose unforced high coloratura presents itself with crystalline clarity and with agility to match.
The Stage - Edward Bhesania
Indeed, Aleksandra Kurzak’s first Covent Garden Rosina does not disappoint. Both musky in her lower register and confident in coloratura, she expresses every second of sensuous joy, despair and frustration within her body and her vocal pyrotechnics.
The Times - Hilary Finch
...but the star of the show is Aleksandra Kurzak’s Rosina, with glinting coloratura even more accurate than the darts she threatens to toss at the audience.
The Telegraph - John Allison
The cast this time round is almost entirely new, with the young Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, who sang a feisty Fiorilla in the Leiser-Caurier ‘Turco in Italia’, as the embattled heroine Rosina... but this is Kurzak’s evening, first and last. The aria in which she introduces herself is perfectly paced, with her demure self-description (‘I’m obedient, gentle, and loving’) belied by a sudden access of fury as she starts hurling darts at the wall: so convincing is she that when she makes a feint at the stalls, people in the front row instinctively cower in fright. Her coloratura is smooth and accurate, and her tone can turn from silk to steel in a flash; she’s both a consummate farceuse and a commanding vocal presence. Decca announced this week that it has signed her for a series of Cds, but it’s here on stage that she is most bewitchingly herself. This is a singer who must be seen as well as heard.
The Independent - Michael Church
The bill for its latest revival is less glossy, but includes a performance that ought to catapult Aleksandra Kurzak on to the Rossini A-list. Kurzak comes to the role of Rosina as a soprano, rather than a mezzo like her predecessor, and the decorations she adds so liberally to her arias just go up, up and away. Her high notes ping crystal-clear around Christian Fenouillat's high-walled box of a set with a nonchalance that suits the wilful minx she portrays; she has Rosina's sugar and spice held in perfect balance. Nobody else is quite her match...
The Guardian - Erica Jeal
Aleksandra Kurzak is completely captivating as Rosina, with her vocal gymnastics scaling amazing heights, and it seems unlikely any guardian could keep her locked up for long!
Camdenn New Journal - Sebastian Taylor
That quality, however, was well supplied by Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, who has a delightfully clear and strong voice. She also does a very good dart throwing, furniture kicking, mock rage, ideal for any comic opera.
Express.co.uk - William Hartston
There’s another memorable performance over the road at the Royal Opera House. Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak is Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” and she sings up a storm. It’s clear that she adores dishing out all the tricks of the coloratura trade, and she does it superbly. Runs, trills, roulades, extra ornaments -- you name it, she’ll fling them out easily, and do so with infectious joy. Little wonder that recording label Decca has signed her as an exclusive artist. Kurzak is a coloratura specialist, and shines in Rossini's florid music.
www. Bloomberg.com - Warwick Thompson
The star of the evening was Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, fresh from signing a prestigious recording contract with Decca. She has everything needed for Rosina: gorgeous looks, plenty of comic acting and timing and a lovely, meltingly warm voice. The role is technically demanding on the singer, but you wouldn't know it: there was never a sniff of Kurzak missing or wobbling a note, and she could throw herself into the dramatic nature of the part while letting the music flow. I was happy to listen to her all evening.
www.bachtrack.com - David Karlin
Another standout performance comes from Aleksandra Kurzak as Rosina who in ‘Una voce poco fal’ presents a convincing and highly entertaining portrayal of a bored little madam who we have no doubt will get her own way. Kurzak brings a touch more vocal gravitas to the aria than many singers, and that is all to the good. She tosses out coloratura with ease, and the combination of rich tones, flexibility of approach, exquisite phrasing and priceless facial expressions make for a memorable performance. Throughout the evening there is a bite to this Rosina’s feistiness that makes it easier to believe that she can be a viper when crossed than that her default position is obedient, sweet and loving!
www.musicomh.com - Sam Smith
The real draw of this revival is soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, a bel canto queen in the making and a complete change of pace from DiDonato’s mezzo Rosina.
www.theartsdesc.com - Alexandra Coghlan
Here a mezzo Rosina is replaced by Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, she is easy-on-the-eye, charming, pert and, as always, shows great comic timing when given the opportunity. Her coloratura warms up slowly during Act I but comes into its own in Act II during the Lesson Scene in Act II. However it is clear to me that roles like this will soon be a thing of the past for her as bigger soprano roles in Puccini and Verdi would seem to be the way her voice is going.
Seen&Heard - Jim Pritchard
My response to ‘leading the cast’ was partly because this production could quite reasonably been renamed ‘Rosina’s story.’ I expect this has been said before about the opera, but in this particular interpretation, it was Aleksandra Kurzak who gave the outstanding performance. As soon as she took centre stage in the second scene, she lit up the production with her star quality. There were times where her comportment was reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. She is described as a coloratura soprano and I fear my rather harsh judgment of Mr Molnár (and to a lesser extent Mr Osborn) is in stark contrast with the ease with which Ms Kurzak negotiates all those semi- and demi-semi-quavers ascending vertiginous heights while maintaining warmth and focus in her voice throughout. She is becoming an established Verdian soprano and has a voice big enough to pin you against the back wall of the auditorium, if she wants to. But in this role she showed a flexibility and lightness of touch which enabled her to ease off the power and trip lightly through the melismata like a songthrush.
Opera Britannia - Miranda Jackson