Musetta in LA BOHEME - Metropolitan Opera New York, May 2022

Met brings together the season’s finest for a stellar spring “Bohème” • Monday night’s performance at the Metropolitan Opera felt as if the most discerning of vocal connoisseurs chose the cast from some of the season’s most compelling performances for this final spring run of La bohème. The two pairs of lovers (Eleonora Buratto as Mimi & Matthew Polenzani as Rodolfo and Aleksandra Kurzak as Musetta and Quinn Kelsey as Marcello) were artists who had triumphed earlier in the season in roles in which they were singing for the first time at the Met (Aleksandra Kurzak as fiery and sumptuously sung Tosca). United for only four performances as Puccini’s young bohemians, they were wonderful in every way. […] As Musetta, Kurzak was as bright and garish as a Valentine’s Day box of candy in human form. Kurzak was a spitfire, who tore up the stage in her grand entrance on a pony cart; smashing dishes came as naturally to this Musetta as did vocal fireworks. The test of any Musetta’s mettle, however, is in the final scene, and there Kurzak melted hearts with the poignancy of her prayer imploring that Mimi’s life be spared. - Rick Perdian for

The 2nd Act was a pivotal moment in terms of my bonding with the characters. While Musetta takes center stage, she spends much of her time trying to get Marcello’s goat. The interplay between the two—one going about life gaily while the other lives an artist’s life of poverty creates a natural tension, especially when the characters have a romantic tie, but Kurzak and Kelsey had the chemistry I felt was missing in the interactions between Polenzani and Buratto. My focus shifted away from the Mimì/Rodolfo storyline and towards that of Marcello/Musetta—particularly Musetta’s journey from who she was in Act two—shallow, spoiled, and vain—to who she becomes in Act four—warm, caring, self-sacrificial.
I liked Kurzak and Kelsey’s performance because, in the wrong hands, Musetta is often a caricature, and Marcello is just a sidekick. That was far from the case with these two artists. Kurzak appeared to have an absolute blast on stage. Her “Quando m’en vo’” was as luxurious and velvety as it was playful. Act two was all hers—she owned it in every way. […]
[At Act 4], Kurzak tapped into Musetta’s progression as a character and highlighted it. Once she rushes into the garret and tells the guys Mimì’s in terrible shape and has accompanied her to the garret, I immediately noted the shift. Kurzak’s choked-up (and believable) presentation of “C’è Mimi” was crushing, and as Kelsey did with Burtato, Kurzak did with Polenzani. The pain and anguish Kurzak displayed ramped up the tenor’s emotion, egging him on to reach the apex of tragedy in the largo sostenuto finale. “Bohème” and the audience deserve nothing less. - Chris Ruel for Operawire

As Musetta, Aleksandra Kurzak is a born coquette with her saucer eyes, dimples and heart-shaped face. But her flirtatious, outrageous antics never dipped into the vulgar or sluttish nor was her manner overly brassy or shrill. Happily, her singing also never displayed shrillness or brass—the tone was ductile and sweet all evening dancing lightly over the phrases. When Musetta shows a generous heart in Act III, Kurzak was totally believable and lovable. A delectable performance in a role that fits Kurzak like a glove. […] A wonderful way to spend an evening on a crisp Spring night in Manhattan. - Eli Jacobson for Parterre Box -