REVIEWS

La fanciulla del West, Minnie

New York, NY -2017

“The cast has just one standout: the soprano Kristin Sampson as Minnie. With her bright, throbbing voice, Ms. Sampson brings expressive phrasing and feisty impetuousness to her performance.”

— Anthony Tommasini, New York Times 

New York, NY -2017

“Ms. Sampson seemed most comfortable as the pistol-packing mama of the frontier: She unleashed high notes with reliable ferocity…”

— Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

 

New York, NY -2017

““The two leads, Kristin Sampson as Minnie and Jonathan Burton as Johnson, boasted big, muscular voices with top B’s and C’s many a Met A-lister would kill for….”

— James Jorden, Observer

 

New York, NY -2017

“The toughest role to cast is Minnie, but Kristin Sampson seems to be making a specialty of it, with a vigorous feminine presence and a voice hitting one high note after another with breathtaking accuracy.”

— David Patrick Stearns, WQXR’s Operavore

New York, NY -2017

“Sampson's Minnie…gave a convincing, straightforward portrayal that was hard not to take to heart; her steely top and high B's helped show who was in charge in the miners' camp and but her mellow middle range made it clear why everyone was in love with her.”

— Richard Sasanow, Broadwayworld.com

 

New York, NY -2017

Kristin Sampson, who also played the title role in last year’s NYCO production of Tosca, turned the “camp girl,” Minnie, into a complicated and realistic woman. (Admittedly, Puccini and librettists Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini laid the groundwork with their verismo philosophy of character-building.) In her first appearance in Act 1, Sampson bore her total control over the miners’ hearts as if it were her birthright. Yet she could also turn gentle when needed, her voice mellow against velveteen orchestral lines during the Act 1 bible lesson, and defiantly strong as she defended her lover (or her camp’s store of gold). The top of Sampson’s range simply sparkled.”

— Anne E. Johnson, Classic Voice North America

La fanciulla del West, Minnie

New York, NY -2017

Kristin Sampson was immediately endearing as Minnie and commanded the stage — and the chorus among so many rowdy miners with handguns. So much so, that when we get to her final attempt to save her lover, we can easily see why the miners would view her as sister and friend. As she enumerates all she has done for them and they turn their guns away from keeping Ramerrez on the gallows, to the Wells Fargo agents instead, it’s a very real, emotional moment. And when Puccini’s score calls for her to turn from endearing to fierce, her voice bloomed – powerful and thrilling, especially in the Act two duet with her “Dick Johnson.” All the moments that she is called to own — especially in Act two and three — she does. Sampson also brings humor and sweetness in the quieter scenes such as her banter with her servant, Wonkle. And throughout, Sampson displayed a major dramatic voice well matched the intensity of the story and music. Let’s hope she remains central to the “new” company.

— Matt Costello, Operawire

New York, NY -2017

“The heart of the piece, and especially of this production, is the lead soprano role of Minnie, played wonderfully here by Kristin Sampson. Her warm, shimmering voice was in splendid shape, and crucially for this Annie Oakley-type, her acting of the role was three-dimensional.”

— Brian Taylor, ZealNYC

 

New York, NY -2017

“Soprano Kristin Sampson and tenor Jonathan Burton were perfectly matched: huge, bright voices with secure high B flats, Bs and Cs (the love duet was performed without cuts, the first time I've ever encountered that other than on recordings) and decidedly unsubtle delivery, which nonetheless thrilled.”

— Robert Levine, Bachtrack.com

 

New York, NY -2017

“There are sizable notes and phrases of great beauty and she was there for the climaxes…”

— John Yohalem, MusicalAmerica.com

 

La fanciulla del West, Minnie

 New York, NY -2017

“For the first time, the New York City Opera can do something that the Metropolitan cannot do, namely, offer New Yorkers the kind of musical experience that the great operatic composers intended. The emotional impact of Fanciulla is overwhelming at close range. The evening’s alpha pair, soprano Kristin Sampson as Minnie and tenor Jonathan Burton as the outlaw Dick Johnson, shine in some of the most difficult music in the repertoire. Sampson’s Minnie is tough and tender, reticent and violent, and utterly in command of the stage.” 

— David P. Goldman, Tablet

 

New York, NY -2017

“Of the cast, Kristin Sampson – cast in the titular role – made a strong impression both vocally and dramatically. Her expressive soprano wonderfully painted the portrait of a woman both strong and vulnerable.”

— Adrian Dimanlig, Interludes

New York, NY -2017

“As Minnie, Sampson (who has appeared in the NYCO’s recent 2016 Tosca and Respighi’s La Campana Sommersa in the spring of 2017) makes her a force of nature, a feisty, spirited woman who is afraid of nothing and knows exactly what she wants. She has a big, forceful voice which fills the house…Burton and Sampson make beautiful music together in their first act duet as well as their impassioned third act finale, among the few arias in the opera.”

— Victor Gluck, TheaterScene.net

 

New York, NY -2017

“Burton and soprano Kristin Sampson delivered the kind of passionate, full-throated singing longed for by Puccini fans.”

“…showing us why everyone was so in awe of Minnie’s generosity of spirit. Her sincere Bible-reading completely captivated her rapt subjects and the banter with Rance climaxed with an imposing high C at the climax of ‘Laggiù nel Soledad. “…her pungent chest voice grew in effect during the awesomely demanding second act. Her tracing Minnie’s extreme mood shifts from swoony infatuation to fierce betrayal to defiant triumph over Rance wasn’t exactly subtle but it packed a punch.”

— Christopher Corwin, Parterre Box

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