"Isabella has moments of Senta-like intensity, which Claudia Waite delivers with riveting focus." (Financial Times)


DAS LIEBESVERBOT

"Isabella has moments of Senta-like intensity, which Claudia Waite delivers with riveting focus."

—George Loomis, Financial Times

"...soprano Claudia Waite was a bold, assertive Isabella, with blazing top notes and a presence to make you believe that a virginal nun could outfox a career politician. Her voice appreciably bloomed in the second act."

—Steve Smith, The New York Times

FALSTAFF

“Veteran Metropolitan Opera soprano Claudia Waite was a fully dimensional Alice, giving life to one of Shakespeare's strong women. Waite sang deftly and effectively, and with flair.”

—Jim Lowe, Barrre-Montpelier Times Argus

“In this [Falstaff] is very well matched by Claudia Waite as the clever Mistress Alice Ford, who outwits Falstaff time and time again, to his delight and chagrin. Waite can sing the tragedies, as her lead role in Turandot ably showed, but there is something in her voice, bearing and demeanor that seems exceptionally well suited to comedy. To fall back on an old saw here: Dying is easy; comedy is hard. There is a clarity and timing and elan to her phrasing here that is a true pleasure to watch and listen to. She manages to cut Falstaff down to size in a way that takes full and appreciative measure of the man without utterly demeaning him: and there is a sense, brought out by Ron Luchsinger's direction, that if it were not for accidents of timing, of age and of, well, girth, Alice Ford and Falstaff are better matched in many respects than she and her rather dim-witted husband.”

—Nicola Smith, Valley News

ALBERT HERRING

“Albert Herring is an opera, but it's a laugh-out-loud opera with very colorful music. Opera North opened a production of Benjamin Britten's comic opera. . . that was beautifully sung, well-played and produced - and very, very funny ... Metropolitan Opera soprano Claudia Waite, who appears in all performances, is an excellent example. Waite sings the part of Lady Billows brilliantly and with the delicious haughtiness of the character. Waite delivers the self-important noblewoman with a truly imperial presence.”

—Jim Lowe, The Times Argus / Rutland Herald

“Soprano Claudia Waite, as Lady Billows, treads a fine line between a monstrous self-regard and a simpering piety: she uses her voice as an instrument to bludgeon the townfolk into submission, while cloaking her ruthlessness in a late Victorian, needlepoint-sampler sentimentality, and Waite brings this off to great effect.”

—Nicola Smith, Valley News

“In order to fully appreciate 'Herring' the audience needs the main character, Lady Billows, to be an opulent matron who slides purposefully across the stage. It's difficult to imagine someone more impressively becoming Lady Billows than Claudia Waite, whose voice animates Billow's ominous, yet persnickety, force.”

—Matt Sturdevant, Connecticut Valley Spectator

TURANDOT

“Claudia Waite made an imposing Turandot, vocally and physically. In one of the most severely demanding roles in Italian opera, Waite delivered her character with power and cold beauty.”

—The Times Argus

“As Turandot, Claudia Waite made the intriguing choice to play the princess as a woman who, while cruel, has had the role imposed on her by a society that has a very narrow, even hostile view of women. Is she exceptionally sadistic or does she merely reflect a coarse and brutal society with a wanton disregard for human life? Waite ably conveyed Turandot's agony, her uncertainty as to how she should behave, her timidity in the face of Calaf's avowals of undying ardor and her trepidation that a woman who loses herself in love also loses something of herself. Waite's voice was ringing and imperious as befits the role.”

—Nicola Smith, Valley News

“Turandot ... was about as good as it gets - rich, full, passionate and nuanced around a stellar cast of singers, headed by soprano Claudia Waite, who gave us a chilling, aloof, menacing Turandot, with a voice of pure gold and a reach to make it all seem effortless.”

—Paul Joseph Walkowski, OperaOnline.us

“Claudia Waite's singing of the lead part, and her acting abilities, presented a monumental achievement of grace both vocally and in the phrasing of the line. Never once did she force, her vocal technique allowing her voice to sing the unkindly written passages with more grace than the one usually heard in this role. Waite returns the role to those sopranos who have the necessary dramatic strength to essay the role. Add to that ability, particularly in the last act, to make Turandot's seem logical ... a particularly loud "Brava" to Waite for a magnificent accomplishment in this rather turgid role.”

—Dan Wolfe, Burlington Times-Sentinel

“Opera North was very fortunate to have Claudia Waite, a tall, statuesque dramatic soprano from the Metropolitan Opera who is a highly skilled singing actress. She made it very clear in her performance that the moment of conversion is NOT when the prince tears off her veil and kisses her, but back further during the conversation with the slave girl who has the courage to confront her with the empty core of her life. Waite's reaction to the suicide indicated that she was shaken to the core and when the prince did kiss her, the conversion wasn't precipitous, as it usually seems, but the end of a convincing process. Friends sometimes ask why I go to a lot of performances "in the provinces." In my experience, you can often find more interesting and challenging work in regional opera and theater on any given night if the conditions are right than in the big urban theaters that often run on automatic pilot.”

—Will, www.designerblog.blogspot.com

“Two roles moved into legendary status in the later half of the 20th century by tenor Luciano Pavarotti (Calaf) and sopranos Montserrat Caballe, Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas (Turandot) are being sung in Reno by the superlatively gifted soprano Claudia Waite, a fabulous Turandot, and the gifted tenor Arnold Rawls who turns in an impressive performance as Calaf. Claudia Waite is a defining Turandot. Regal and elegant in both movement and voice she does not sing in the shadows of the opera's mythic 20th century princesses. With this volatile role, Waite opens up spigots of vocal passion, Act II's "Gelo che ti da foco" to name but one, and lets emotion pour out. She is perfection in her own right and never shirks from her moments in the sun.”

—Jack Neal, Nevada Events

LA GRANDE DUCHESSE DE GEROLSTEIN

“[Claudia Waite] combined a powerful, clarion soprano with the comic attitude that called to mind Madeline Kahn at her most antic.”

— James D. Watts Jr., Tulsa World

LUCREZIA BORGIA

“ ... Eve Queler oversaw an evening of concert opera so spontaneous sounding, it left one realizing you don't have to see the smoke to feel the fire. And that was with Queler's second cast, including the immensely talented, young dramatic soprano, Claudia Waite, as Lucrezia. There are only two female roles in this score, and Lucrezia must balance the wall of tenors, baritones, and basses who sing often and long around here. In this respect Waite, who in her highest notes had the power to drown out even the orchestra, was an equal match, but her singing was also persuasive and sensitively delivered, with an easy elegance one wouldn't expect from a voice so big.”

— Willa J. Conrad, New Jersey Star Ledger

"Lucrezia Borgia’s Lady in Waite-ing"
“Lucrezia Borgia was sung by soprano Claudia Waite. Rising over the entire ensemble and chorus as well as the orchestra, with seemingly no effort, her tones were rich from head to chest. With astonishing lyricism, Ms. Waite floated melting pianissimos and spun out sparkling trills, all with polished phrasing and a magnificent line. Without a soprano of this caliber, Donizetti’s final aria for Lucrezia “M’odi. Ah m’odi, non t’imploro” would be impossible. It is clear that Ms. Queler traditionally casts “stars” for the second performance in Carnegie Hall, but it is doubtful that anyone could outsing this soprano.”

— Sonia Lewis, Arts New Jersey

ELEKTRA

“Not to be forgotten are the gaggle of women who sing at the beginning of the opera: the Five Serving Women and their Overseer. In this number seemed to be at least two future Elektras, including the Overseer, Claudia Waite (scalding and formidable).”

— Jay Nordlinger, NY Sun

“But there were good contributions from Claudia Waite as the Overseer of the maidservants, John Relyea as Orest's tutor, and Jack Lawless, in a wonderfully zippy cameo as the young servant.”

— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

KING PRIAM (North American Premiere)

“When SFO's King Priam hits the mark - most notably in Act 3's opening scene between Andromache (Kristin Clayton), Helen (Elizabeth Bishop), and Queen Hecuba (Claudia Waite), whose impact lingers through most of the powerful remainder - it's an adventurous and striking experience that's been worth the wait.”

— Scott Mackey, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The strongest showings were Earle Patriarco's virile, expansive Hector, Claudia Waite's imperious Hecuba, and Elizabeth Bishop's seductive, self-assured Helen.”

— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

“Claudia Waite and Elise Eidam were the “lustigen Weiber” Saturday night and made a merry pair indeed. Waite tossed off her florid passages as if they were simple back-fence gossip and Eidam joined her for some Sutherland-Horne quality dueting.”

— Ralph Cook, Tallahassee Democrat

DIE FLEDERMAUS

"Claudia Waite Lights Up Merola's 'Fledermaus'"
“The best of this great bunch, the brightest of the bright is Claudia Waite, a young soprano of enormous promise. Her Rosalinda is believable, enchanting. A big voice, excellent phrasing, perfect diction and that joyful presence make this San Francisco (but, alas Florida resident) a potential major star of the near future.”

— Janos Gereben, The Post

“It did not take much of an eye for natural selection, or much of an ear for music, to notice Claudia Waite, whose Rosalinda was the dominant musical force onstage throughout the evening. Her vigorous soprano was entirely seamless, at home in all corners of her vocal range and able to move from dulcet to booming tones without appearing to change gears. And her skills as a comedienne were quite equal to her singing. Waite's Rosalinda is mistress of every awkward situation while still retaining her girlish high spirits. In the end it was Claudia Waite's show, her every moment sublimely funny and sublimely musical. Swathed in a silk dressing gown or gotten up as the masked mystery woman for the formal party she is impossible to ignore, a figure from the rococo, painted by Boucher.”

— Peter Spencer, New Jersey Star-Telegraph

“The first-act cast is exceptionally well matched as actors, but the singing honors here must go to Claudia Waite as Rosalinda and Alfredo Portilla as Alfred. It's hard to imagine a better opening to the operetta than his beautiful ringing notes in duo with Miss Waite's floating tones.”

— Janie Caves McCauley, The Greenville News

“But the real stars were the gifted San Francisco singers. Claudia Waite's Rosalinda was a delightful piece of work, her lustrous singing matching her playful personality.”

— Charles Passy, The Palm Beach Post

“Casting also proved a plus. Waite commanded the stage with her superb acting and talented singing, especially in the Czardas which gave her voice a workout and attested to her talent in the second act.”

— Herbert Perez-Vidal, Palm Beach Daily News

IL TROVATORE

“Understudy in stunning S.F. Opera debut”
“Lotfi Mansouri took a gamble on Waite and YES, she was wonderful. Waite, at 30, sang only in Merola Opera Program roles (including a great Rosalinda last year) and some concert appearances. This was her opera debut in a major role and she made the most of it. The San Francisco-born, Texas-educated soprano sang effortlessly, maintaining a beautiful line as if "Trovatore" were a bel canto work. She built gradually and got heartfelt bravas. Poise, presence, and an outstanding voice—she is on her way and those who were there last night will claim that distinction in the future.”

—Janos Gereben, Marin Independent Journal

“Claudia Waite, an Adler Fellow who took over for an ailing colleague, was singing Leonora for the third time. With her beauty of tone, her acting, and her vocal flexibility, she created a romantic heroine in the highest operatic tradition. In every way she seemed at ease in the role, but her aria "D'amour sull'ali rosee" leading into a duet with Manrico over the choral "Miserere", was especially striking.”

— Marilyn Mantay, The Davis Enterprise

“...the soprano scheduled to sing the role of Leonora, bowed out of the opening performance.... Into the breach stepped Adler Fellow Claudia Waite, to give an entirely creditable performance in the demanding part. Waite did well as Leonora, especially given the circumstances. Her soprano is powerful and clear; she came through most effectively at the end, in "Vivra! Contende il giubilo" and in the final duet with Manrico.”

— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

“Waite commanded the role of Leonora with sensibility and sensitivity, as if she had been waiting for this moment all her life. There were no mannerisms, she was dignified, her voice flowed from an inner artistry, and her acting far outshone the male leads around her.”

— Ann E. Meyer, San Mateo Times

“As Leonora, Claudia Waite looked and acted frail, but her command of the notes was hardly fragile.”

— Warren Sonbert, San Francisco Sentinel

“It was only when a colleague suffered a force majeure that substitute soprano Claudia Waite—and Daniel Oren as well— gave Verdi's magnificent music its proper due.”

— Melvyn Krause, The World and I (Washington DC)

DON GIOVANNI

“Soprano Claudia Waite as Donna Anna was very impressive, another large yet creamy voice, matched with stage presence and, at times, furiously focused drama in the voice.”

— Willa J. Conrad, New Jersey Star-Ledger

“As the exploitees, Larsen has cast two powerful dramatic sopranos. Claudia Waite, a former Metro Opera Apprentice Artist, makes a memorable debut as Donna Anna. Waite commands the role's plangent drama, it's powerhouse requirements of the great arias and makes the melancholy noblewoman a tragic figure.”

— Joan Bunke, Des Moines Sunday Register

BEETHOVEN MISSA SOLEMNIS

“The performance marked the Masterworks debut of two outstanding voices: Tenor Fernando del Valle and Soprano Claudia Waite...Waite showed off her powerful voice in the flawless 'Benedictus.'”

— Ann E. Meyer, San Mateo Times

WHEN WE NO LONGER TOUCH:
A Cycle of Songs for Survival (by Kris Anthony)

“Soprano soloist Claudia Waite superbly expressed the poetic lyrics of the piece—she was clear, crisp and fresh, standing in stark contrast to the heavier tones provided by the chorus.”

— Scott Mackey



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