Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA - Teatro Massimi Palermo, August 2020

For her debut as Santuzza, Aleksandra Kurzak gives a performance of undeniable refinement. She does not force the sounds, chisels the melodic line, stands out in her sustained rendition of dazzling top notes, shows roundness in the low range which she does not overuse. In the larger context of an extroverted and incisive interpretation of the role of Turiddu, the best comes from the great duet of Turiddu with Santuzza: a page that Roberto Alagna approaches by showing off the overwhelming beauty of a warm, sunny and Mediterranean tone, with incandescent and incendiary phrasing, both white-hot until the final unison, sculpting the cynical and brutal violence of the character. Aleksandra Kurzak, who is making her debut as Santuzza, offers a frankly soprano interpretation and of an undeniable refinement. Indeed, she resists veristic concessions and overflows intended to reinforce the vehemence of the invective, does not force the sounds. She chisels the melodic line of the sentences, stands out in her sustained rendition of high notes (especially the dazzling top note at the end of the Romance). She shows a roundness in the low range which she does not abuse. The Hymn and the great duet are among the most attractive readings of the evening, until the passionate Andante which constitutes the emotional climax, intensely eloquent. - Giuseppe Montemagno for Connessi all'Opera

Success of the Alagna-Kurzak couple in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Teatro di Verdura. A deep vocal and interpretive reading that deviates from usual patterns and stems from a thorough analysis by Turiddu and Santuzza’s performers of the musical phrases as well as of the text. In addition, they demonstrate an uncommon talent for acting, offering intense captivating moments. The Turiddu and Santuzza created by Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak deviate from usual patterns to offer a deeper approach in the vocal reading and interpretation of their characters. An approach that stems from a thorough analysis not only of the musical phrases but also of the text. Therefore, Alagna’s Turiddu focuses more on the character’s innocent youth, carelessness, and vocal generosity, rather than on the more commonly interpreted bravado and arrogance. Alagna depicts a young man torn between a passionate love for Lola and an affectionate and sincere love for Santuzza. The doubt that inhabits him in this choice is perceptible in both the interpretation and voice of the French-Sicilian tenor, just as Aleksandra Kurzak's Santuzza abandons the hate and anger of a betrayed woman, to give her back all the sweetness and lyricism of a more intimate and painful femininity.

The couple renders the expression of the family drama that connotes the work - all the better as they are not only partners on stage but also in life - via a breathtaking exchange throughout the whole Act ... until a resounding "A te la Mala Pasqua!" ringing in Turiddu’s ears who, to ward off the anathema, makes the sign of the cross. A gesture that works particularly well on the stage, especially because it takes up precisely one of the key themes that all these stories are largely imbued with: popular superstition. Although not following the directives of any stage director, Alagna and Kurzak show an uncommon talent for acting, offering intense captivating moments as in "Voi lo sapete o mamma", or in the duo "Santuzza schiavo non sono" or else in “Mamma, quel vino è generoso, vado fuori al aperto - Laura Donato for