Floria Tosca in TOSCA - Metropolitan Opera New York, February 2022

KURZAK IS A BEGUILING FORCE IN TOSCA. Puccini’s Tosca returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the third time this season with a new cast [...]. With Aleksandra Kurzak singing the title role for the first time, [audiences] weren’t disappointed. [...] For those who like their Tosca stalking the stage, radiating passion and fury, Kurzak obliged. In Act I, she was befittingly coquettish and playful with her real-life husband, Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi. In Act II, the predatory Scarpia describes Tosca as being too beautiful, and Kurzak certainly was that, as well as tempestuous, vulnerable and glamorous.. [...] Kurzak and Alagna had sung while lying together in one another’s arms on a narrow settee — a feat few of their peers could execute so effortlessly. [...] Kurzak’s Tosca was sumptuously sung. With her essentially lyrical instrument, the Polish soprano is never going to please those who value vocal size above all else in the role. She does, however, have the requisite vocal allure, and with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin at his most attentive and accommodating, balance was never an issue. Her “Vissi d’arte” ticked all of the boxes. [...] Singing Tosca for the first time at the Met isn’t for the faint of heart: Kurzak proved to be a lioness. - Rick Perdian for

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. Climatic vocal moments delivered by ALAGNA and KURZAK, undeniably two of the most exciting performers in the opera world today. Their chemistry was electric in the first Act, the two playing off each other splendidly. Their rapport spoke to an intimacy and understanding that few stage partners have shown in this production. KURZAK DELIVERED A FANTASTIC TURN as the starry diva. Throughout the duet of Act I, the vocal writing suited her to perfection … her sound floated seamlessly and flexibly … glowing high notes … it gave her Tosca an initial innocence that isn’t usually present in most interpretations, but makes sense when you consider her religious devoutness and especially how she acts in the opera’s final act. Giving her this naivete from the get-go inevitably makes her tragedy all the greater. Kurzak also imbued Tosca with fire … and managed a very layered interaction with Scarpia. “VISSI D’ARTE” WAS A GEM … building one succulent legato line into the other seamlessly. Her voice’s texture harkened back to the purity it displayed in the first act, round and vibrant. The climactic high B flat on “Signor” was delivered with an endless pianissimo that dimuendoed beautifully into the ensuing high A flat. This was pure singing that was all the more impactful for the simplicity of its approach and overall lack of affectation. - by David Salazar for Operawire

I would not have thought of Aleksandra Kurzak as a Tosca— I would have thought her more a bel canto singer. But a Tosca, she is. The voice is not huge, but it is substantial and penetrating. She was a smart, smart Tosca, acting with her voice, as well as with the rest of her. You will want to know about “Vissi d’arte,” Tosca’s big aria, and I will tell you: it was superb. Kurzak seemed to be thinking about what she was singing, instead of presenting an aria, if you know what I mean. The character was thinking things through “in real time.” I have seldom heard so effective a “Vissi d’arte,” and Kurzak sang the aria while kneeling.
Can you see Tosca again, if you’re a veteran operagoer and have seen it a thousand times? Oh, yes. That’s one definition of a masterpiece: it is unstaling. And when the performance is a good one—all the better. - Jay Nordlinger for The New Criterion