Last week my friend Meredith and I attended the Atlanta Opera’s production of Carmen at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Georges Bizet composed this opéra comique and it premiered at the Paris Opera in 1875. It’s now one of the most performed operas in the repertory. Making her U.S. debut, Franco-Armenian mezzo-soprano Yarduhi Abrahamyan sang the title role. Both the singing and spoken dialogue were delivered in French. (My review will appear in Opera News Magazine this summer.) I visited Abrahamyan’s website and found this review of another performance:
Passionnée et force dynamique de l’histoire Varduhi Abrahamyan a interprété une Bradamante capable de rivaliser avec le couple des stars de la soirée. Sa voix ample mais extrêmement charnue, est un véritable délice et sa présence scénique est mémorable.Fabrizio Migliorati, Teatro.Persinsala.it
Fabrizio liked her and thought that her interpretation was just as fine or better than the other singers on stage that night. Writing a music review is always a feat. As a writer you strive to describe the sound you heard, the timbre of a voice or instrument, and you can never truly pin it down. Here, the critic says that her voice was extensive/flowing/sweeping, but also “charnue”, meaning plump and fleshy. What a fabulous description!