Lady Macbeth at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
“As for the dark psychological journey of Radvanovsky’s ambitious Lady Macbeth — alive with an almost sexual thrill in her relish of glory and power in “Vieni t’affretta,” and even more compelling as she falls relentlessly into madness — the grotesque nature of her dreadful circumstance is tragically apparent in the arc and color of each phrase. This was a performance by an artist in command of her full powers. The sleep-walking scene, “Una macchia è qui tuttora!,” when she hallucinates that the blood of their victims won’t come off her hands, was spell-binding.”
“With the scene set, Sondra Radvanovsky makes her blazing appearance as Lady Macbeth, her soaring soprano capturing the relentless, mad ambition that defines the indelible character she plays. She dominates the stage as she works upon Macbeth’s own lust for power, challenging his courage as they plot first to murder Duncan (enabling the two to usurp the throne), then Banquo (in an effort to preempt the witches’ third prediction of his progeny rising to rule).
But Radvanovsky gets one more star turn as Lady Macbeth, sleepwalking, sings of how her hands are permanently stained with blood (inspired by Shakespeare’s “out damned spot” soliloquy). Then Macbeth, informed that his wife has died, delivers one of literature’s most famous aphorisms: that life “is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” “
“In her role debut as his Lady, Sondra Radvanovsky gave a performance that almost made one wonder if Verdi knew she would be along eventually and wrote it just for her. Vocally and histrionically the role requires everything and, at the height of her powers, Radvanovsky is unstoppable.”
“Even more than usual, the evening was dominated by the Lady Macbeth of Sondra Radvanovsky who gave this wayward production its finest vocal moments. One of our leading singing actresses, she delivered a wholly compelling characterization, charting Lady Macbeth’s fall from imperious throne pretender to homicidal co-conspirator and, finally, compulsive, hand-washing basket case… the soprano displayed chest-voice depth in “La luce langue,” threw out reams of rich Verdian tone at high points and soared over the massed ensembles in thrilling fashion.”
Chicago Classical Review
“Friday’s opening night was a musical triumph as Sondra Radvanovsky, the internationally acclaimed Verdi soprano who was born in Berwyn, leads the cast in the searingly sung story of murder and revenge.
Radvanovsky as Lady Macbeth deploys her darkly colored soprano with fabulous nuance as she moves from motivator-in-chief to head-of-the-cover-up to a soul lost to bloody guilt. She exudes power and confidence as she tosses off perfectly deployed high notes and complicated passages as if they were bullets aimed at the heart of her enemies. She remains cold and calculating as her husband’s guilt begins to incapacitate him for all to see. And in her final scene, as her own guilt won’t let her forget the blood on her hands, her singing evokes both terror and pity from the audience. Radvanovsky is a force of nature.”
Hyde Park Herald
“Lady M. delightfully encapsulated by Sondra Radvanovsky, who vocally embraces all her ladyship’s contradictions. Spots or no, Lady M. was neither written nor composed to be of this world, and both Macfarlane and Mazzola rightly set Radvanovsky free to explore just what it means to sleep-sing staccato, fighting off not just her own dreamscape but the demons that come from figuring out what men do for power, long before anyone else.”