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Musical World

Dawn Upshaw

  • Soprano

Reviews

Dawn Upshaw press reviews

“Upshaw is inspiring. She has always been, but there is a new dimension in her singing. Urgency has mixed into her virtuosity. She has become a master storyteller, fixing the center of every song to set it dancing. She has become a bard.”

Hartford Courant, August 10, 2009

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for Dawn Upshaw—though the great American soprano has just knocked me clean off my feet. I haven’t been so astounded by a wave of sound in a cathedral since the funeral of Princess Diana….[Ms. Upshaw] groaned and growled, wailed and railed and chanted in duets with recordings of herself, roared like a forest fire before returning to the faintest candle flicker which still illuminated every corner of the building…This beautifully crafted programme was all about belonging and exile. But Dawn Upshaw belongs to the whole world.”

Eastern Daily Press (UK), May 15, 2009

 

“Dawn Upshaw is, indisputably, a great singer, with a voice that radiates power and unforced warmth. But her secret weapon is a casual, unpretentious demeanor that lessens the distance between stage and audience. Listeners in her presence experience music not as the inaccessible product of a holy art but as a thing of open, approachable beauty. It's also what allows Upshaw to inhabit the character of her songs so effectively, as she did in both the Ives and a set of French songs. In Ives's ‘Memories’ she turned on a dime from comic glee to wistfulness, and 'Tom Sails Away' evoked the sad memory of a soldier leaving home for war. Debussy's ‘La chevelure’ (‘The Hair’) teemed with a palpably erotic sense of longing, and in Messiaen's ‘Prière exaucée’ (‘Answered Prayer’) the music exploded with primal fervor.”

Boston Globe, May 5, 2009

 

“Dawn Upshaw is one of the most significant and dramatically moving singers before the public today, and right now she is unmistakably in her prime. Her voice has a pure-toned radiance and earthen warmth, a certain empathic timbre, and often a palpable undertow of yearning. Of course, the classical music world has many singers with magical voices, but Upshaw's rare gift as a performer is an ability to inhabit a work on the most profound levels, to live the music on stage rather than sing it at you. At the end of a strong Upshaw performance, one feels not dazzled by a glittering operatic star, but rather swept into the world of a fellow life-traveler.”

Boston Globe, May 3, 2009

 

“Dawn Upshaw is a master of the magical moment. While other musicians of her world class caliber will deliver strong performances…the brilliant soprano Upshaw has a gift for taking concertgoers to profound places, sometimes within the space of a few notes….To call this a performance of awe-inspiring depth feels like understatement.”

St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 25, 2009

 

“Dawn Upshaw’s singing is remarkable for its elastic smoothness, and the control with which she finds surprising and unsuspected colours in each corner of a wide range. Most important is her ability to create in each expressive moment a distinctive feeling and to immerse her voice, artistry, and whole being in it.”

Sydney Morning Herald, February 10, 2009

 

“Upshaw’s angelic voice is pure, crystal clear, rapturous and every bit as enchanting as heard on her 50-plus recordings.”

The Australian, February 2, 2009

 

“Dawn Upshaw, who is at her best in music that dwells on extreme passion, gave the intense melancholia and regret of Margarita a wrenching directness. She was in good voice in music that takes her near the extremes of her range.”

New York Times, December 9, 2008

 

 

 

 

“Soprano Dawn Upshaw, singing in recent years with a new vibrancy and physicality that is a joy to witness, invested Kurtág's vocal lines with passionate clarity, and violinist Geoff Nuttall dispatched his jittery melodic shards and treacherous multiple stops with aplomb.”

San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 2008

 

“…and the solo vocal line, an anguished, melodic lament that Ms. Upshaw delivered with her signature crystalline purity and visceral connection to the notes.”

The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2008